USAID Mission Director impressed by Davao City’s efforts to protect marine turtles

Welcomed by Councilor Leo Avila III, Sangguniang Panglungsod Chair on Environment, barangay officials as well as officials from the City Agriculture Office, and the Region 11 Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Lindborg was highly impressed by the joint efforts of the city, local community, and the private sector in protecting marine resources especially the endangered Hawksbill Turtle.

He underscored the major role the private sector plays in marine turtle conservation, saying that this effort in Punta Dumalag is a concrete example that business and environmental protection need not go against each other but instead can co-exist for the welfare of the environment and the people. He also observed that the sanctuary is very close to human settlements and yet it remains well-protected.

The Pawikan Sanctuary in Punta Dumalag is part of the 37-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA). It was established through Council Resolution No. 02504-03 designating the area as a nesting ground for Hawksbill Turtle. The City Government of Davao then created the Marine Turtle Protection and Conservation Task Force through Executive Order 29-2003, which is responsible for initiating and implementing activities related to marine turtle conservation. In 2004, the Davao Light and Power Company, Inc. signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the City and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to implement the Marine Turtle and Dugong Conservation Project.

USAID’s Philippine Environmental Governance 2 (EcoGov2) Project, through its small grant facility awarded a grant to the Marine Turtle and Dugong Conservation Project through the Save Davao Gulf Foundation, Inc. for the production of information materials to help increase public awareness on pawikan conservation and protection.
The grant also helped support the conduct of workshops on marine sanctuary management and turtle conservation. EcoGov also provided technical assistance to the City Government of Davao in establishing the 37-hectare Punta Dumalag MPA. (Ecogov 2)