Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fish Yields Rising in Northern Batangas

“Ngayon, ang huli ng mga manlalambat ay umakyat ng dose kilos kada-araw. May dagdag namang isang kilo kada araw ang huli ng mga namimingwit. Mas-marami na po ito kaysa dati,” testifies Adelito Villaluna, a local fisherman who has plied the bountiful waters of Nasugbu, Batangas for years.

Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas is an SM Land-led development project that fuses low-impact land development with both coastal resource management and ecological sustainability. In 2007, Hamilo Coast united with the world’s largest and most effective environmental organization, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines).

Realizing that a healthy location is a supreme selling point, Hamilo Coast also declared the rehabilitation of the area’s marine and terrestrial biomes a prime thrust. Three years later, the results are evident. The regeneration of the coral reefs in Santelmo and Pico de Loro Coves show a slow but steady return of biodiversity. Sea turtles are on the return: nests of Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) have been discovered and stewarded in the region’s marine protected coves.

The same natural qualities that sustain biodiversity sustain human life, which is why the collaboration is far from over. Solid waste management schemes plus renewable energy initiatives are now set to ensure that the site honours both the tenets of aesthetics and pragmatism in Hamilo Coast.

Says WWF Hamilo Coast Project Manager Paolo Pagaduan, “Private sector partnerships are crucial in conserving our natural resource base. Hamilo Coast’s foresight immediately realized that reefs and marine resources are major assets and that degraded natural resources are huge liabilities to long-term shareholder value.”

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