International Day for Biological Diversity
Today, May 22, 2018, is the 25th International Day for Biological Diversity (aka World Biodiversity Day). The goal of the United Nations is to promote biodiversity issues, including sustainable development, agriculture, energy, health, land, water, and other issues. More importantly, the UN promotes taking appropriate actions to address these issues.
One issue that is of particular concern to us, is our oceans and seas. After all, SASN staff and guests spend considerable time underwater, on the ocean surface, and above the ocean surface. We throughly appreciate the incredible marine, terrestrial, and aerial biodiversity across the Central Visayas, the Philippines, and the Coral Triangle.
Each year, the International Day for Biological Diversity has a different theme. For example, the theme in 2012 was marine biodiversity and the theme in 2014 was island biodiversity. This year, the theme is celebrating 25 years of concerned citizens and organizations taking action. SASN is thrilled to be part of that celebration!
Danajon Bank Double Barrier Reef
Any mention of biodiversity has to include mention of the Danajon Bank Double Barrier Reef. Danajon Bank puts the "diversity" in the word "biodiversity". East of Mactan, Cebu and north of Bohol, it is thought that much of the marine life in the Pacific Ocean evolved from this region.
Although the area of the Danajon Bank Double Barrier Reef is only a small percentage of the Philippines' total area, more than half of Filipino fishers catch their fish here. Danajon Bank has been feeding a majority of Filipinos for centuries, and it continues to do so.
In addition to its spectacular biodiversity, Danajon bank is also a rare geological formation. There are only six double barrier reefs in the entire world! Plus, out of those six, Danajon Bank is in the best condition. Barrier reefs protect coastlines from weather conditions such as typhoons, and double barrier reefs are two, parallel barrier reefs.
What do we do about biological diversity?
At SASN, we educate our staff and guests about biological diversity. When you go scuba diving or snorkeling at any of our dive spots or island destinations, particularly Danajon Bank or the Caubian Islands, you get fun-filled information to help you know more about the wildlife and enjoy the experience to its fullest.
We do more than educate, however. For the past decade, SASN has been consistently working to build up Shangri-la Marine Sanctuary, the house reef at our headquarters on Mactan Island in Cebu. Also, our Boracay staff help protect the local coral reefs by regularly removing harmful crown-of-thorns sea star infestations.
Furthermore, SASN divers at all our dive centers regularly participate in underwater cleanups. Scotty's Dive Club members participate, as well. You will regularly see divers departing with empty mesh bags, and returning with debris from the ocean floor. One way to maintain biodiversity, after all, is to help keep the habitats pristine from pollution.
Teaching the next generation
Most importantly, we actively work with the next generation. Our coral reef restoration project, for example, has included young observers and assistants from Cebu International School.
We also conducted a reef assessment with students from Mindanao State University. We want to ensure that future generations will continue the work that we do today.
We are not stopping in Mactan, Cebu, either. We are currently working toward building another marine sanctuary with Shangri-la's Boracay, and repeating such projects from our dive center there.
Last, but not Least
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We also want to thank our club members for some amazing images on this page!
Thanks for reading, and if you wish, see you next week!
The Research and Media Team at Scotty's.