The British government has chosen five locations in the Philippines to focus on marine conservation initiatives for 2012 to 2016. The Initiative, called “Responding to fish extirpations in global epicenter of marine biodiversity,” will focus on the identification and conservation of fish species that can be found in five locations in the Philippines: the Verde Island Passage, Palawan, the Polillo group of islands, Danajon Bank and Lanuza Bay. The British government, which will partner with the Ateneo de Manila University, United Kingdom-based Newcastle University and Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, will provide approximately $500,000 in funding to help with the project.
“Only 10 percent of the world’s millions of species have been identified,” project leader Nicholas V.C. Polunin of Newcastle University said in a report in Businessworld Online. “With the many threats to our biodiversity, such as climate change, it’s a key concern to be able to gain more knowledge on our biodiversity so we can identify scientific methods towards protecting and conserving our environment. And this is what our project is all about.”
Local fishermen will be interviewed on specific species, and historical data and underwater surveys will be used to confirm information. The collected data will help determine how to approach research management with local governments and fisherfolks in the area. The findings of the initiative will also help in policy recommendations at the local, national and international level.