The Department of Agriculture – National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) and the Marine Protected Areas Support Network (MSN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 17, 2020 to effectively promote and sustain marine protected areas (MPA) management in the Philippines.

Under the alliance, NFRDI has become part of the MPA Support Network consisting of various government, non-government, and academic institutions seeking to reduce biodiversity loss in the country by establishing mutually beneficial cooperation with other sectors of the society.

Witnesses to the signing were Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos, Scientist IV; Mr. Francisco Santos, NFRDI-Training Section OIC; and Dr. Hazel Arceo, MSN Secretariat.

In her speech, NFRDI Acting Executive Director Dr. Lilian C. Garcia emphasized the importance of this partnership in fulfilling NFRDI’s thrust to expand its research linkages nationwide.

“This signing activity marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration between NFRDI and MSN. The accession will enable the two parties to jointly undertake practicable programs in maintaining systems for coordination to improve marine protected areas management across the Philippines,” Dr. Garcia said.

Pursuant to Section 85 of Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, one of the functions of NFRDI is to “formally establish, strengthen, and expand the network of fisheries-researching communities through effective communication linkages nationwide.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Hazel Arceo, MSN Secretariat, recognized each partner institution’s vital role in synergizing MPA management efforts.

“All the partner institutions that makeup MSN share a common vision and deep commitment to ensuring that our rich coastal and marine ecosystem be placed under long-term protection. By pulling each institution’s expertise and resources, MSN embodies the collective strength of its partners,” Dr. Arceo said.

NFRDI is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture tasked with fisheries research and development and is the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ research arm. (IYCruz)

Dr. Lilian Garcia (center) signs MOU with MSN. Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos (left) and Mr. Francisco Santos (right) served as witnesses.
Dr. Hazel Arceo, together with other representatives from MSN, participated in the MOU signing held virtually via Zoom