Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SEA-VIP Institute Supports Marine Biodiversity Conservation

By Arabelle Jimenez

DENR Secretary Gina Lopez, stresses the importance of protecting the Verde Island Passage.
Reputed to be Anilao's finest vacation place, Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort recently hosted "Cookout for the VIP", a fund-raising event for the benefit of Science Education and Advocacy for the Verde Island Passage (SEA-VIP) Institute.

Attended by conservationists, divers and non-divers alike, the goal is to discover a treasure only to be found in the Philippines.... the Verde Island Passage, an area having the highest concentration of marine shore-fish biodiversity in the whole planet.

"The event is a big help to further scientific studies with evidence-based approaches to biodiversity conservation," said Robert Suntay, President of SEA - VIP Institute. "Moreover, it will help train community partners to promote sustainable management and resilience of people living in the coastal communities," he added.

Dr. Kent Carpenter speaks before a full-packed audience at Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort.

Special guest speaker, Dr. Kent Carpenter, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinator, revealed the findings of his study conducted in 2005. The study by Carpenter together with Victor Springer of the Smithsonian Institute, showed that the Verde Island Passage, which is located between Batangas and Mindoro Occidental in the Philippines, contains 1,763 over-lapping marine species over a 10 kilometer area, making the Philippines the "center of the center" of the world's marine shore-fish diversity.

Gracing the event was Gina Lopez, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Stressing on conserving the area, Lopez is a staunch advocate in opposing mining activities, where her efforts led to the halt of the threat of mining plunder and pollution affecting the Verde Island Passage. 

Reasons why the Philippines is the world's coral triangle epicenter of marine biodiversity.

Event photos by Robert Suntay.

For more information of the SEA-VIP Institute, please click here.

Visit Aiyanar and Dive Resort by clicking here.  

Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort
Sitio Looc, Brgy. Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas
For reservations, please call: 0917-5940056
To follow Aiyanar on Facebook, please click here.