The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday renewed its commitment to champion sustainable tourism on World Ocean Day.
The agency said it will promote Philippine destinations in a way that will encourage “regenerative tourism” while highlighting responsible resource management, environmental protection, and preservation of cultural heritage, among others.
“As we mark this global effort to manage the oceans for the benefit of mankind, the DOT is committed to its unique mandate in tourism, to both promote and preserve our destinations while ensuring a memorable and meaningful Philippine travel experience,” it said in a statement.
The Philippines is considered as a center of marine biodiversity and is home to the world’s leading beach and dive destinations.
This year’s theme for World Ocean Day is “Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing” with the UN calling on decision-makers and stakeholders to “put the ocean first”.
In a separate statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said Manila is resolute in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 14 or conserving and advocating the sustainable use of ocean, seas and marine resources.
He acknowledged that climate change remains the “greatest threat” to the Philippines given the number of its low-lying coastal areas and communities vulnerable to sea-level rise and underscored Manila’s commitment to addressing it and other pressures on the oceans.
Manalo said the Philippines also understands the fragile balance of marine ecosystems and the significant role they play and is exerting all efforts towards “finalizing an international legally binding agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement).”
“Moreover, the Philippines reaffirms its dedication to the United Nations Ocean Decade — a global initiative that aims to catalyze transformative action for the sustainable use and conservation of the world’s oceans,” he added. (PNA)