Participants of the Cebu City Tourism Office’s (CCTO) information campaign in Barangay, Pasil, Cebu City with CCTO staff and CRERDEC-TTPEU resource person.

When environmental Responsibility takes center stage, touRism spells just right.

As the local government of Cebu City through its City Tourism Officer, Mr. Wilfredo G. Pesquera, Jr. and Cebu City Tourism Commission Chair, Atty. Jocelyn G. Pesquera take action to promote the importance of taking good care of the environment, Cebu City’s top spot in the tourism industry will surely be sustained.

In the light of its vision of a “vibrant Cebu City as an unforgettable and unrivaled tourist destination with exceptional history, culture, tradition, and sustainable natural beauty to generate economic benefits to the community,” the Cebu City Tourism Office (CCTO) intensifies its environmental awareness and information campaign among the local communities from ridge-to-reef for the whole month of October.

Relative to this, CCTO sought the technical assistance of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) through its Coastal Resources and Ecotourism Research, Development and Extension Center (CRERDEC) particularly in the information campaigns among the city’s coastal barangays where coastal tourism development has great potentials.

Some of these coastal barangays host the remaining mangrove forest of the city.

CRERDEC through the Technology Transfer, Promotion and Extension Unit (TTPEU) joined the series of advocacy campaigns facilitated by CCTO.

TTPEU Head Forester Joselito T. Sumabat represented CRERDEC and discussed the overview of the mangrove ecosystem and its biodiversity, management aspects, specifically the ecological, economic, and social importance as well as the common problems that threaten them.

He emphasized that public awareness in protecting and conserving the mangroves is crucial as mangroves play an important role in carbon sequestration and coastal protection from typhoons and storm surge.

The discussion also stressed the importance of promoting community partnerships for collaborative coastal and mangrove management.

According to Forester Sumabat, mangroves act as barriers that keep plastic wastes from polluting our seas. In some cases, they become the depository of wastes indiscriminately thrown by coastal households.

He, thus, urged coastal communities to strictly practice proper waste management and help save mangroves.

A small patch of mangrove forest at the back of the South Road Properties (SRP), one of Cebu City’s prime commercial districts, is being eyed by CCTO for conservation, rehabilitation, and development thus technical assistance of ERDB through CRERDEC is sought.

To acquaint partners further, CCTO recently organized a meeting on October 25, 2021, to orient the group this time, on the basic mangrove ecosystem assessment tools.

Present during the meeting were representatives from FRMD Architectural Studio, Architect Jessryn Marie M. Lim, and staff from the DENR-PENRO Cebu and CRERDEC.

CCTO’s Mr. Wilfredo G. Pesquera, Jr. was very appreciative of CRERDEC’s prompt response to their request for technical assistance.

He also expressed his gratitude to CRERDEC for effectively engaging and providing inputs to partners especially its target coastal communities.

With this, he hopes that a sense of environmental responsibility will have a foothold in the hearts of the coastal communities and thus sustainable coastal tourism for Cebu City will flourish.

In behalf of ERDB Director Henry A. Adornado and CRERDEC Center Head, Dr. Alicia L. Lustica, Forester Sumabat assured CCTO of CRERDEC’s support to its future similar undertakings and looks forward to a partnership with CCTO especially in its advocacy to conserve, rehabilitate, and develop the city’s remaining mangrove forest into an eco-park.//TTPEU-CRERDEC