APO REEF RECEIVES BLUE PARK AWARD

APO REEF RECEIVES BLUE PARK AWARD

By Glen S. Ramos

MANILA — The Philippines’ Apo Reef Natural Park has been awarded the platinum-level Blue Park Award.

It was also named an “Outstanding Marine Protected Area” by Marine Conservation Institute during the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal conducted on July 1, 2022.
The country’s largest atoll-like reef and the second largest contiguous reef in the world located in Occidental Mindoro was declared a marine protected area for exceptional marine wildlife conservation.

Other Blue Park Award winners were Raja Ampat Islands Marine Conservation Area in Indonesia and Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Park in Colombia.

The three awardees join a growing network of 24 awarded Blue Parks around the global ocean that has met the highest science-based standards for conservation effectiveness.

The newly awarded Blue Parks has a total area of 13,834 sq. km (5,342 sq. mi.), bringing the Blue Park systems to a total of 1,834,171 sq. km (708,177 sq. mi) of ocean effectively protected in the waters of 20 countries.

The Philippines now has two Blue Park, the Apo Reef Natural Park and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan.

Krystal Villanada, Director of Apo Reef stated that the recognition is a testament to the more than two decades of hard work of different sectors for the conservation and protection of Apo Reef Natural Park. (ai/mtvn)

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