ILOILO CITY: The Philippines is pushing for the protection of marine biodiversity as a significant way of sustaining and even improving the productivity in the fishing industry sector.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje called for greater cooperation among 21 member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to unlock the full potential of the so-called “blue economy” and achieve inclusive growth in the region.
Paje delivered the opening remarks at the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Blue Economy at the Iloilo International Convention Center in Iloilo City on Sunday.
Paje said the region’s marine resources account for two-thirds of the world’s capture fishery production and 80 percent of the of the world’s aquaculture production making them vital in achieving food security.
The forum, scheduled from October 4 to 5 is co-hosted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture.
On the other hand, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the proposed plan of action cover three priorities geared towards achieving food security in the APEC community.
“First, we have to make our oceans, coastal resources and ecosystems more resilient and the aquaculture industry more sustainable made possible by advancing sustainable management and conservation measures. Second, we work together to reduce food loss and waste, improving the quality, quantity, safety and value of fish and fish products to ensure food security and sustainable livelihood for the people especially those living in fishing communities,” he said.
“We ought to promote agribusiness and blue economy, increasing food security and inclusive growth through market development and open and fair food trade for the integration of small fishers and fish farmers into the global food chains,” he added.