Friday, August 2, 2013

People's Declaration Against Overfishing and Other Threats to the Marine Environment - Donsol, Sorsogon

People's Declaration Against Overfishing and Other Threats to the Marine Environment
Donsol, Sorsogon
October 25, 2012

We, the members of the communities threatened by overfishing and other threats to the marine environment across the Philippines, have come together to claim our rights to a healthy environment with abundant fish and marine resources and demand that the state protect our non-negotiable rights to “a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”

We depend on our Seas and Oceans.  A destroyed marine environment is a danger to the well-being of our families and a threat to our very survival.  We denounce the lack of action to address this crisis.

  • Marine pollution, uncontrolled land conversion, degradation, mining, reclamation and coastal erosion is choking and killing our coasts.
  • Our seas becoming a dumping ground for toxics coming from other countries and from local factories and industries
  • The increased amount of carbon pollution and other gases is causing global warming and changes in the climate which will make the Oceans unliveable for the marine creatures that we depend on. 
  • The overcapacity in the fishing fleets, together with the decreasing amount of fish will eventually lead to a collapse in the fish stocks that we cannot survive without.

Solutions are available, what we lack is the collective will to enforce them.

The Philippine government must realize that its task is to ensure the country’s sustainable development with a Marine Environment that can sustain life today and in the future.

The government must prioritize the support forlocal fishing communities so that they can empower themselves and their communities and be a driver of development for the country.

The government must eradicate unsustainable practices that harm our Marine Environment including unsustainable and destructive fishing.

We demand that government agencies and officials concerned take immediate action to protect the well-being of our communities by:

  • Eradicating unsustainable and inequitable use of our marine resources at the soonest possible time.
  •  Providing support to coastal communities so that they can effectively protect their marine resources.
  • Creating an effective network of marine reserves that would allow the seas to recover and continuously provide our needs for the future.
  •  Creating a roadmap for recovery for the Philippine seas and implement it immediately.

We owe the sea our air, our sustenance, our survival. On our part, we, the communities from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that are threatened by the destruction of our Marine Environment declare our pledge to save Philippine seas. ###

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