The role of women in retention periods, despite the success

In Siquijor, the islanders are, as in most of the Philippines, heavily dependent on the ocean for their income and food. But these days ...


In Siquijor, the islanders are, as in most of the Philippines, heavily dependent on the ocean for their income and food. But these days the fishermen here are catching less and less. Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization, reports that across the Philippines, 75 percent of fishing grounds are overfished and reef fish have declined by up to 90 percent.

While fish stocks have continued to decline due to both overfishing and climate change, research at neighboring Silliman University shows that the fishermen have only redoubled their efforts, resorting to ever more illegal and destructive methods: three-layer trammel, chlorine poison, dynamite.

The resulting ecosystem death spiral is straight out of “Fisheries 101,” said Aileen Maypa, a biologist who has spent years working to restore the reefs of Siquijor and neighboring islands. “If you don’t do anything,” she said, “it’s all starvation.

Dr Maypa said that women’s participation has repeatedly transformed outcomes in the region.

Men “watch the present,” she said. “Women are looking to the future.

When women are involved, she said, the arguments are less bloody and poaching is less common, and when new conservation projects come up, women almost always say yes – and are more willing to compromise. in the short term, then to work to expand the projects.

“The approach to women is softer,” she said, adding, “That doesn’t mean she’s less strong.”

The Philippines is home to more than 1,200 marine protected areas, but most marine scientists believe few of them meet meaningful conservation goals.

In Siquijor, the most recent local assessments, completed in 2019, show that at least half of the island’s 22 sanctuaries meet the criteria for “excellent” management. Of these, two are almost entirely headed by women.

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