Boljoon ends ‘protect sea life’ campaign
The municipality of Boljoon in southern Cebu recently culminated the Pride Campaign that it has been implementing for the last two years.
Various sectors in the community composed of students, pedicab drivers, local government officials, fishermen, peoples organizations celebrated with a mural painting, fluvial parade and pedicab parade.
Some 100 pedicabs were outfitted with campaign messages on tarps and umbrellas to spread the marine fisheries enforcement to the community.
Forty boats were also installed with awnings, while 50 habal-habal and tricycle drivers were given vehicle stickers and sweaters with the same messages.
The two main messages of the campaign were to stop fishermen from intruding in the sanctuaries and to get the community’s involvement in reporting marine sanctuary violations.
Directed and designed by local artist Paul Ancheta and organized by the campaign conservation fellow, Sheryll Tesch, the mural painting depicts underwater sea creatures and the town’s church.
Since the establishment of the Granada and Arbor marine sanctuaries in the town, corals have shown improvement in health, while fish and biomass have grown.
The Boljoon Pride Campaign, done in partnership between the municipality of Boljoon, the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation (Cebu City) and Rare Conservation (Arlington, Virginia, USA), aimed to increase support for the local sanctuary.
The project implementation was spearheaded by the sanctuary Marine Sanctuary Commission and the Management Committee.
Activities included the sanctuary blessing, community swimming, film showings, school visits and volleyball tournaments.
To further instill the message, giveaways and prizes were also distributed, such as mugs, stickers, t-shirts, toys, buttons and fans.
A significant output of the campaign was the mascot named Cora Plaskera, the princess of the corals, which represents the corals in the marine sanctuary as well as promotes the rich church heritage of Boljoon.
Dr. Eugenio Matildo, municipal agricultural officer, said the project is very unique, especially that it links religion and environment, as reflected in the slogan “Ang Sangtuwaryo. Atong Puloy-anan. Atong Garbo. Atong Kabillin.”
“This makes the program more relevant and important, therefore bringing positive behavior change needed for better marine sanctuary management and enforcement.”
Visit the Boljoon Pride Campaign page of Facebook to find out more about the project.