DAPA, SURIGAO DEL NORTE, October 8, 2019- - The top executives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Mindanao and their respective planning officers have met on Monday in this surfing capital of the Southern Philippines to discuss issues that may boost the local eco-tourism industry. The meeting which is presided over by the DENR Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Field Operations and Regional 11 Regional Executive Director Ruth M. Tawantawan in her capacity as Deputy Head of the P-EAGA Environment Cluster, will also allow the DENR Mindanao Regional Directors to draw appropriate approaches and strategies to implement the best practices for ecotourism presented by the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia and Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) in certain sites declared as Protected Area. These areas are the Pasa Island in Region 4B, the Pink Beach in Region 9, the MIEDECO/FARDECO in Region 10 and Region 11, Sarangani Bay in Region 12 and the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Agusan del Sur, Caraga Region (Region 13). The DENR Regional Executive Directors who came to attend the meeting are Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez (R-9); Arleigh J. Adorable (R-10); Vicente B. Tuddao, Jr. (R-4B); Atty. Feliix S. Alicer and his Assistant Regional Director for Management Samuel C. Danganan (R-13); and Head Executive Assistant (HEA) Daphny Dorris P. Domingo, representing the RED of R-12. They were accompanied by their respective Division Chief of the Planning and Management Service. RED Alicer, being the host region of the cluster meeting, has welcomed the participants and prodded them to enjoy the beautiful scenic ambiances that the tourists-favored island features in their three-day stay, particularly the on-going international surfing competition at the Cloud 9, just a few meters from the venue of the meeting. He said that Region 13 is facing certain challenges that affect its protected area zones including certain irritants on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) with the functions of the Protected Area Management Board which is supposed to be the governing board in declared protected areas as provided under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act of 1992. The DENR REDs shall discuss in the workshop meeting among others the (1) Agreements on the 8th BIMP-EAGA Environment Cluster Meeting and turn-over of Chairmanship to the Philippines, (2) the preparation of in-country compilation of Best Practices within Protected Area for Ecotourism, (3) Selection of communities to adopt the best practices for ecotourism, sustainable, climate resilient fishing or farming, (4) Green Cities initiatives, (5) new project of Environment Cluster including the mangrove ecotourism in Palawan, Siargao and Baliangao, (6) Presentation of results of the Study on Biomass Carbon Stocks, (7) Presentation of Best Practices of Protected Area, and other environmental concerns. ### (RPAO 13 NEWS RELEASE)