National Museum Marinduque-Romblon webinar calls for protection of Philippine Rise, sovereignty

The National Museum Marinduque-Romblon will observe the Environmental Awareness Month this November with a webinar aimed at promoting the protection of Philippine Rise and Philippine sovereignty. The free webinar, entitled “Discovering Philippine Rise: The Philippines’ Underwater Paradise”, is set on November 26, 2021,  9 AM to 10:30 AM through Zoom and Facebook Live.

Dr. Jay Batongbacal, the Director of  University of the Philippines – Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, will enlighten the participants about the Philippines’ journey in claiming the Philippine Rise while Marianne Saniano, Science Campaign Manager  and Atty.  Rhea Yray-Frossard, Fisheries Management and Campaign Research Manager of  Oceana Philippines will share their agency’s advocacy in the protection of the Philippine Rise and the Fisheries Management Area 1, respectively. Also, Desiree Eve Maano the Supervising Ecosystems Management Specialist Chief  of the Biodiversity Management Bureau  – Coastal and Marine  Division will discuss the topic “Philippines Rise’s Marine Resource Reserve.”

The webinar is a corollary activity of the “The Journey Towards the Protection of Philippine Rise”, an exhibition featuring underwater photographs, maps and a video of the exploration of the Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of the Philippine Rise. The Benham underwater exploration was a joint project of Oceana Philippines and the Philippine Government. Oceana donated the exhibition to the National Museum. It was first launched at the National Museum of Natural History in 2019 and later installed at the National Museum Marinduque-Romblon, where it was opened to the public on Feb. 19, 2020, during the centennial provincehood celebration of Marinduque.

The Philippine Rise is a massive underwater region off the coastlines of Cagayan and Catanduanes comprising roughly 24 million hectares and is 3,000 to 3,500 meters deep. It is home to rare corals (some have a lifespan of 900 years) and hundreds of species of marine creatures. Its diverse ecosystem attracts and serves as a spawning ground and nursery to migratory fishes like mackerel, marlin and the highly-valuable Pacific bluefin tuna, which are known to swim to the US and Mexico.

The webinar is in collaboration with the NMP Zoology Division and Oceana Philippines. It aims to inspire the public to protect and conserve our ocean and our sovereignty. Participants can pre-register at this link: https://bit.ly/3hKvwks

Those who can’t join in Zoom can simultaneously watch the webinar at NM Marinduque-Romblon FB Page. For inquiries, contact (042) 332-0507 / 0919-077-9858 or email us at nm.mramso@gmail.com.