Church signs MOA to protect marine life

By: Fe Marie D. Dumaboc November 23,2017 - 10:51 PM

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma (seated second from left) with (L–R) Fr. Murphy Sarsonas of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Environmental Concerns (CACEC); Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, vice president of Oceana Philippines; and Atty. Liza Osorio of Philippine Earth Justice Center sign a Memorandum of Agreement to partner in parish-based efforts to protect Tañon Strait.
CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

THE Cebu Archdiocese through the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Environmental Concerns (CACEC), will now take an active role in the conservation of Tañon Strait.

CACEC chair Fr. Murphy Sarsonas bared plans to create a parish-based environmental action group that will help spread the word on the need to preserve and clean Cebu’s coastal environment.

A memorandum of agreement between the Cebu Archdiocese and nongovernment organizations (NGO) for the protection of Tañon Strait was signed yesterday by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, vice president for the Philippines of Oceana, and Atty. Liza Osorio of Philippine Earth Justice.

Palma said the partnership aims to strengthen resource sharing between the organizations, especially on the NGO’s knowledge and expertise regarding coastal and marine conservation.

“We are aware of our strength and our limitation. We have the pulpit to teach. We can only pray that somehow attitudes might change. Change comes from the mind and the heart,” Palma said.

According to Ramos, this would be Oceana’s first time to engage a religious or faith group, in environmental law enforcement and policy advocacy.

With the help of Oceana, the Cebu Archdiocese hopes to create, by February 2018, a module to guide parishioners on ways to protect the environment.
“This partnership hopes to bring solidarity and help one another in serving and sharing what we have and to give better service to Cebuanos. We see the need to collaborate,” said Fr. Sarsonas.

There are around 70 to 80 parishes under the Cebu Archdiocese that are located within municipalities surrounding Tañon Strait.

Tañon Strait is a 161-km-long body of water which separates the islands of Cebu and Negros.

Covering 521,018 hectares, it became the Philippines’ largest marine protected area in 1998 after President Fidel Ramos issued Proclamation Number 1234.

Known for whale and dolphin watching, the seascape suffers from effects of illegal fishing and pollution.

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TAGS: church, concern, Justice, life, marine, MOA, parish, protect, signs

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