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DENR: Marine ecosystems need ‘source to sea’ cleanup

By: - Correspondent / @RAOstriaINQ
/ 10:23 PM March 03, 2019
Man sifting through trash in Manila Bay

A man searches for recyclables through garbage floating in heavily polluted Manila Bay. (File photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

LEGAZPI CITY — Without addressing the sources of the trash that make it to the sea, local government units will have a hard time rehabilitating degraded coastal waters, Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) told journalists here on Sunday.

“We can’t really focus on the sea alone because 50 percent of what happens in the sea originate from the land,” Rodriguez, who was also the former DENR Bicol director, said at Bicol’s World Wildlife Day celebration in this city Sunday.

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She said, however, that some companies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region are doing their part in addressing the problem by doing away with plastic packaging.

“Several companies in Asean are trying to remove the use of plastics and going back to the basics and using bottles,” she said.

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She added that the government was thinking of an incentive-based program to address the problem of marine litter.

In a news release on the World Wildlife Day, Achim Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said that five to 12 million metric tons of plastic make it to the sea each year, posing a health hazard to marine creatures of all sizes.

“To reverse this, a literal ‘sea change” is required in how we manage both ocean and land-based activities, across sectors ranging from fisheries to agriculture to waste management,” Steiner said.

For the first time, the World Wildlife Day celebration is focused on marine life. /atm

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TAGS: biodiversity management bureau, marine cleanup, marine ecosystems, Marlene Rodriguez
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