The Philippine Locally Managed Marine Area (PhiLMMA) Network, Inc. is a non-stock and non-profit association of organized coastal communities (People’s Organizations) and support organizations such as NGOs, Local Government Units and academic institutions that envisions developed, empowered, interdependent and faith-inspired coastal communities sustainably managing healthy marine ecosystems, and committed to advance the practice of marine conservation in the Philippines through exchanges , and sharing of resources.
PhiLMMA seeks to strengthen a national network that would build and enhance capacities of local resource managers in coastal resource management and adaptive management by providing enabling environment for the practitioners to share experiences, strategies, resources and information on locally-managed marine areas.
PhiLMMA established in 2003 with 2 founding members, is now working with 26 members sites strategically located in the 3 major island groupings of the Philippines with over 100 coastal communities reached. Total area under community management is 270 sq. km. It was registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission since November 2008.
The Locally-managed Marine Area approaches in the Philippines have enhanced coastal community resiliency and the integrity of the ecosystems. Through community-based approaches, men and women municipal fishers were able to pass appropriate fisheries policies such as but not limited to Marine Protected Area (MPA) establishment, seasonal closure, protection and management of endangered marine species, and upscale law enforcement activities which resulted to significant increase in fish abundance and fish catch. PhiLMMA is also promoting multi-sectoral partnership to facilitate sharing and learning of best practices in the areas of resource monitoring and management, knowledge management, community organizing, organizational development, policy advocacy, law enforcement, sustainable livelihood, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
The surface of the water lay like a sheet of silver velvet smoothed out toward the horizon. Numerous small islands dot the vista, whispy palm fronds adding bits of greenery to the blue-gray panorama. The sheer size of the water area is impressive – Hinatuan Bay is like a small sea in itself, stretching some 360 square kilometers (roughly 140 square miles).
Gemma Gades is a mother and active leader of a local fisherfolk group protecting Hinatuan Bay. Located in the province of Surigao del Sur on the eastern side of Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines, Hinatuan Bay is made up of small island ecosystems abundant with marine life.
To welcome 2004, I thought it would be nice to go for a dive. Little did I know that my New Year dive would go off with a bang! The last time I dove in