As part of the island’s rehabilitation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be starting the biodiversity assessment of coastal and marine areas on the island.
Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez, DENR’s director for the Biodiversity Management Bureau, said the marine biodiversity assessment will be conducted with the assistance of the Boracay Business Administration of Scuba Shops (BBASS), a group of divers and scuba shop operators.
“The biodiversity assessment will be necessary for the rehabilitation of Boracay’s coastal and marine areas,” Rodriguez said in an interview on Tuesday.
The group’s familiarity with the coasts of Boracay is one consideration why they were tapped to help in the assessment.
Due to the conduct of the marine biodiversity assessment, diving activities will be temporarily suspended during its scheduled reopening on October 26.
A memorandum of agreement between the DENR led by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and BBASS was signed on Monday, during the first day of the island’s 10-day dry run.
BBASS will also be assisting the DENR in policing the coastal areas of the island as well as on its information, education, and communication campaign.
“This is to make sure that the people are aware of their responsibilities and what they can do to protect the marine biodiversity of Boracay,” she added.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez said there are still many indigenous species found on Boracay Island, mostly concentrated in Barangay Yapak or in the northern part of the island.
“One of which is the flying foxes, which are all worth protecting and preserving,” she added. (PNA)
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