Quantcast
Latest Stories

More countries sign pact to protect dugong

By

Photo from animals.nationalgeographic.com

MANILA, Philippines – Four more nations have signed an international pact to protect the dugong, a mysterious marine mammal that used to be a constant presence on coastlines around the world, including the Philippines, but whose numbers are now in decline.

Bangladesh, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan joined 21 other signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range, or “Dugong MOU,” a United Nations conservation agency said.

On February 19-20, the Philippines played host to the Second Signatory State Meeting for the Dugong MOU, which took effect in 2007 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS).

Dugongs and manatees are also known as sea cows.

According to a press release from the UNEP/CMS, the meeting attracted government officials and experts who discussed the status of the dugong and shared information on related conservation efforts worldwide.

The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of threatened species classifies the dugong as vulnerable, suggesting it might be extinct or declining in a third of its range, and of unknown status in half of its range.

The range of the dugong spans at least 48 countries and an estimated 140,000 kilometers of coastline, according to the IUCN.

It is not clear how many dugongs remain in the Philippines, but in 2011 an officer of the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines said there could be fewer than 500 individuals.

In the meeting in Manila, leading authorities on marine mammals, in particular professor Helene Marsh from James Cook University of Australia and Dr. John Reynolds from Mote Marine Laboratory in the United States gave presentations highlighting the challenges facing dugong and sea grass conservationists.

The marine mammals, they said, are affected by a range of human-related threats such as capture in net fishing gear and habitat degradation. In addition, extreme weather patterns such as severe storm events destroy critical sea grass beds on which dugongs depend, the experts said.

But UNEP/CMS said there were encouraging signs for supporters of dugong conservation, noting that 10 new countries had signed the MOU since the first meeting of the signatories in 2010.

“The plight for survival of the charismatic dugong has captured people’s imagination on an international scale…. The governments of the 26 nations attending are demonstrating their commitment to take positive action,” it said in the press release.

“A number of coastal communities that have been approached to participate in conservation projects have shown their willingness to make adjustments in an effort to live in harmony with dugongs,” it added.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Conservation , Dugong , Features , Foreign Affairs and International relations , Marine Mammals , wildlife



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace