HomeNewsAlliance Endeavors Save Macajalar Bay

An Alliance that Endeavors to Save Macajalar Bay

Northern Mindanao, Philippines — Macajalar Bay is an important fishing ground and major industrial center in Northern Mindanao in the Philippines. Twelve coastal municipalities and two cities surrounding the Macajalar Bay recently forged an Alliance - the Macajalar Bay Development Alliance (MBDA) – in which parties agree to collaborate and pool their resources to ensure the sustainable development of the Bay. The Alliance establishes and sets in motion a Bay-wide ICM program.The MBDA actively promotes networking activities involving key stakeholders, including the private sector, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), civil society and people's organizations (POs), academe and youth, in order to encourage multisectoral and multi-agency cooperation in managing the Bay. Xavier University-McKeough Marine Center (XU-MMC), PEMSEA's ICM Learning Center in Mindanao, plays a crucial role as it provides the necessary scientific and technical support to the Alliance. A number of research activities that are being undertaken by XU-MMC in collaboration with a number of partners, including the resource and ecological assessment of the Bay, community-based coral reef rehabilitation, sea turtle conservation, giant clam stock enhancement, watershed management, seaweed farming for livelihood development and an indicator-based study on climate change, are directly benefiting the Bay and the Alliance.Serving as the interim Project Management Office of the Alliance, XU-MMC requested PEMSEA's assistance in the conduct of bay-wide ICM planning, in order to develop a roadmap for the management of the Bay. The planning workshop was conducted on 20-22 May 2009 with the participation of the members of the MBDA-Technical Working Group, the private sector, NGOs, civil society and POs, youth and observers from the academe and NGOs. An initial assessment on the status of Macajalar Bay was prepared, providing the necessary information for identifying and confirming priority issues and concerns of the stakeholders. It was also agreed that the existing Coastal Resources Management Plans of the various municipalities will be consolidated into the bay-wide plan. This will not only address transboundary concerns but also facilitate the delineation and agreement among the municipalities of their respective municipal boundaries.Work is ongoing to develop a detailed action plan for the Bay.