Aklan's coastal ecosystems
By RECTO I. VIDAL
KALIBO, Aklan- The Western part of Aklan's 155-kilometer
coastline is dotted by a coral reef spanning the
municipality of Buruanga in the northwest to Pook
Point in Nabas, Aklan.
Cut in three places, the coral reef continues at
Barangay Bugtong Bato, Ibajay and extends towards
Sigat Point to the mouth of Tangalan River.
Mangrove coastal habitats rapidly deteriorate due
to destructive fishing practices ranging from
dynamite and cyanide fishing, according to a WP-Visayas
Siltation and sedimentation triggered by upland
deforestation pose another threat to Aklan's coastal
These problems are exacerbated by population
pressure, increasing economic use of beaches by the
tourism industry and improper waste management.
In order to tackle these problems and protect
valuable coastal ecosystems, the provincial
government has assumed lead roles in coastal resource
management programs in the towns of New Washington,
Batan and Altavas.
Said project centered at awareness generation
among local units, government agencies, non-government
organizations and other concerned institutes on
environmental issues affecting Batan Bay.
This enables these institutions to manage their
own marine and coastal resources. Realizing the
necessity of extending this approach beyond this
region and to include other initiated a similar
project for the four coastal municipalities of Kalibo,
Tangalan, Ibajay and Nabas.
The project objective is to strengthen the
capability of local government units to plan, develop
and implement an integrated and community-based
coastal resource management for these towns.
To achieve this objective, Fishery and Aquatic
Resource Councils (FARMC) were established in all
coastal barangays of these towns. These will direct
and spearhead the process of sustainable coastal
Since December 1997, the German Development
Service had lend support to the provincial government
of Aklan in its desire to protect the marine and
aquatic resources of the province.
In close coordination and consultation with the
barangays and municipal FARMCs, the cooperative aims
to develop a comprehensive development strategy for
coastal areas, since their natural resource base and
the invaluable marine and coastal habitats.
The German Development Service has assisted the
provincial government and the FARMCs to conduct a
comprehensive coastal resource assessment in all the
towns of Nabas, Ibajay and Tangalan.
The resulting profiles will play the foundation
for shaping a data banking system of coastal
The close but complex relationship between
biophysical and socio-economic factors of the coastal
environment asks for a historic and integrative
approach, which focuses not only in natural, but also
in human resources.
The Provincial Planning Development Office said
that the project so far focuses only a fraction of
the total coastline of Aklan.
It is intended to extend the project activities to
neighboring barangays and towns. The core target
group of the CRM-Program has been the fishermen but
other stakeholders who depend on the coastal
resources like the tourism industry, developers and
other integrated planners to make all efforts
successful especially in monitoring and protecting
the coastal amd marine ecosystems.