Locally-based coastal resources enhancement in the Province of Aklan, Philippines: A success story
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For more than 3 decades, the rural coastlines of the Philippines have been becoming increasingly depleted due to commercial fishing, migration to coastal areas, and clearing of upland forests. Various threats have led to the present socio-ecological conflict in rural coastal areas and motivated the German Development Service (DED), one of the numerous foreign development organizations at work in the Philippines, to provide extension work for local stakeholders and government units. A summary is provided of the various activities conducted by DED in their attempt to address the threatened socio-ecological situation of the Aklan Coastline through the sustainable management of its coastal resources. Community planning, the benefits of artificial reefs, marine protected areas as nurseries and safeguard to artificial reefs, stakeholder networking and, strengthening local management capacity are discussed. Diverse management approaches, such as marine protected area management plans, artificial reef deployment, public education and environmental awareness raising campaigns are under a strong multi-sectoral cooperation and responsible governance will, in Akland, lead to the emergence of a full grown coastal alliance, with its municipal marine protected areas turned into an ecological network system, of benefit not only to coastal communities but to the province as a whole.