The CRM Interpretive Center

The CRM Interpretive Center otherwise known as The Fisheries and Coastal Resource Management Interpretive Center (FCRMIC) is designed to showcase and promote efforts to protect and manage the rich fisheries and coastal environment of the Danajon Bank. The Center was established by the Municipal Government of Talibon and opened its doors on February 28, 2007 to serve as the hub of information, education, communication, training and outreach activities related to coastal management and environment conservation in the Danajon Bank area.

Save Danajon Bank! is the main outcry of the TFCRMIC. The Center offers a comprehensive long-term exhibit showcasing Danajon Bank and its local, national and global significance. It aims to increase appreciation of the importance of this little-known natural treasure, especially among local communities. It also intends to deliver this increasingly urgent message: Danajon Bank, which holds the country’s only double barrier reef, is in a degraded and declining condition. Hardly have we come to know about it, we are already losing its once abundant resources, many of them rare, if not unique and irreplaceable.

The Center hopes to move people to contribute to ongoing efforts, as well as initiate new action, to help ensure the sustainability of Danajon Bank. The exhibit was developed by local stakeholders for the Talibon Fisheries and Coastal Resource Management Interpretive Center with the assistance of the Fisheries Improved for Sustainable Harvest (FISH) Project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

The Center consists of the Gallery, the audio/visual Briefing Room, the ECD Resource Center and the Receiving Area where the “House Rules” are mounted on the wall near the entrance.

About the Gallery

The Gallery is divided into five clusters: Cluster 1 (Coastal Walk), Cluster 2 (Around Danajon), Cluster 3 (Life in Danajon), Cluster 4 (Fishing Danajon), and Cluster 5 (Danajon and You).

CLUSTER 1: Coastal Walk

This cluster includes four main sections and a total of seven wall-mounted full-color information panels about the coastal ecosystems, enlivened by a colorful relief representation of the coastal ecosystems.

Section 1 portrays one panel, “The Coastal Ecosystem” where it introduces what a coastal ecosystem is all about. On the panel is written: “The coastal ecosystem is a complex system that incorporates a multitude of habitats and biological communities. In many places, such ecosystem includes mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrasses, muddy and sandy seabeds, islands and islets, and many other components, inextricably linked to each other by various ecological processes, each playing a vital role in maintaining ecological balance.”

Section 2 discusses the Mangrove Community and its importance. The panel illustrates the interrelationship of the mangroves with the other two major communities, the seagrass and coral reef, and its critical role as part of the coastal ecosystem.

Mangroves are the breeding areas for many fish species and other commercially valuable sea life, nesting ground for many water birds, and habitat for countless other animals and plants. They trap silt and pollutants from land, keeping adjacent waters clean and clear, which allows light to penetrate water, and living things that need light to thrive under the sea.

They filter water run-off, reducing the risk of polluting the sea with chemicals that can harm corals and fishes. They provide a continuous supply of food for sea life, constantly shedding leaves that are quickly broken down by bacteria and fungi and released into the water. Mangroves act as a firm, flexible barrier against natural forces like typhoons and waves, thus helping protect and stabilize the shoreline.

Illustrated also is the dire strait that the mangroves are in at present. It is under continued threat from the expansion of areas used as fishponds, housing and industry, harvesting of wood for charcoal, cooking and construction, plus oil spills.

Section 3 portrays the Seagrass Community which is unseen and often unappreciated yet is an essential and integral part of the coastal ecosystem. Consisting of one panel only, it explains the functions and importance of the seagrass community. Seagrasses harbor a diverse community of marine organisms and serve as an essential link between mangroves and coral reefs. Most of the nutrients produced in the mangroves are utilized in the seagrass beds.

Illustrated in the panel is the food chain in Philippine Seagrass communities. The Philippines has 16 known species of seagrass, the highest number in the Indo-Pacific region and the second highest worldwide after Australia’s 23.

Seagrass beds are threatened. Thousands of hectares – approximately 30-50% - of our seagrass beds have been lost as a result of the reclamation of coastal areas for housing, airports and piers and commercial complexes, and from pollution and siltation. The removal of seagrass beds from the marine ecosystem results in lower productivity and decreases water quality. Typically, when a seagrass community is eliminated, animal associates also disappear from the area.

Section 4 showcases the Coral Reef Community which is our underwater rainforest, one of the most priceless – and highly threatened – natural treasures. This section consists of four (4) panels.

Panel 1 “The Coral Reef Community”. Illustrates the coral reefs – how they look, where and how it will thrive, and the different types of reef. Double barrier reefs are rare geological structures. Danajon Bank’s Philippine Double Barrier Reef is the only double barrier reef in the Philippines. Worldwide, only six double barrier reefs have been documented.

Panel 2 “Where Have All Our Coral Reefs Gone?” showcases the different threats to the coral reef community. In the Philippines, there is a total of 2,621,000 hectares of coral reefs including 115,000 hectares in the disputed Spratly Islands. 68.2% of this community is in poor to fair condition, 27.5% in good condition and only 4.3% in excellent condition. Despite increased awareness of need for management, the overall trend is declining.

Panel 3 “So Much to Lose” explains the economic and ecological importance of coral reefs. They are an essential protein source; a valuable resource for the tourism industry; serves as natural breakwaters which protect low-lying coastal areas from erosion, coastal flooding and other destructive action by the sea; and generate much of the beach sand in the Philippines, thus contributing to accretion or increase of land.

Panel 4 “Facts about the Coral Reef Community” presents some interesting information about coral reefs where all 25 orders of fish are represented. Showcases how reefs are built up entirely by biological activity. The Philippines contain 408 species of reef-building corals out of about 500 known coral species worldwide.

CLUSTER 2: Around Danajon

This cluster includes two main sections and a total of 15 full-color information panels dedicated to describing the key features that characterize Danajon Bank.

Section 1 includes a wall map depicting Danajon Bank and surrounding islands, and nine panels mounted on free-standing rotating stands. To the left of the wall map, a 6.5 ft high full-color panel lists some of Danajon Bank’s notable characteristics.

Panel 1 “An Encompassing Eco-Region”, referring to the extent and diversity of the Danajon Bank area. Seventeen municipalities and one city in four provinces and two regions have jurisdiction over Danajon Bank. Bohol covers 11 out of 17 municipalities that have jurisdiction over the area.

Panel 2 “Rare Reef Structure”, describes Danajon Bank’s most remarkable feature, the Philippine Double Barrier Reef, the only double barrier reef documented in the Philippines, and one of only a few listed worldwide.

Panel 3 “More than a Reef”, draws a picture of the diverse features of the Danajon Bank ecosystem which includes at least 40 islands and numerous islets; barrier, patch and fringing reefs with a combined area of 62,430 hectares; 5,250 hectares of mangroves; more than 500 hectares of seagrass and Sargassum beds; and muddy and sandy seabed communities.

Panel 4 “Naturally Rich and Diverse”, zooms in on the naturally rich coastal habitats that harbor the multitude of species found in Danajon Bank.

Panel 5 “Life-sustaining and Highly Valuable”, describes the importance of Danajon Bank as an economic and ecological resource.

Panel 6 “Reeling from Bad Fishing” showcases the different fishing methods which are harmful and destructive.

Panel 7 “Degraded and Threatened” portrays the current state of Danajon Bank and explains the many causes of its decline.

Panel 8 “Banking on MPAs”, which refers to the several marine protected areas that now dot the waters of Danajon Bank, reflecting the growing concern of local communities over the degraded state of their coastal resources. As of 2005, 53 community-based MPAs covering about 1,621 hectares have been established in Danajon Bank primarily through municipal ordinance.

Panel 9 “Lifeblood of Talibon”, zeroes in on the municipality of Talibon and underscores the importance of Danajon Bank to local residents.

Section 2 showcases Danajon Bank in 3D: the centerpiece of which is a huge (6 meters x 3 meters) 3D model of Danajon Bank and environs. The map was manufactured using a mapping technology called “Participatory 3D modeling” (P3DM). The panels on the walls at both ends of the model explain in words and pictures how the model was produced. P3DM integrates participatory resource mapping (people’s knowledge) and spatial information (contour lines) to produce a stand-alone scaled relief models that have proved to be user-friendly and relatively accurate data storage and analysis devices and at the same time excellent communication media. Relief models may also contain additional geo-referenced information obtained from field surveys, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) readings and secondary sources. The latter generally applies to virtual features like administrative boundaries, watershed classifications based on scientifically defined parameters, and others.

CLUSTER 3: Life in Danajon

This cluster has seven black and white photos that show snippets of local life, about the people who live off Danajon’s resources, tracing changes in their attitude and behavior over the years and how they impact the natural environment.

CLUSTER 4: Fishing Danajon

This cluster has six full-color panels that describe fishing as it is practiced in Danajon, its significance, and how it is impacting the natural environment. Its centerpiece is a diorama showing miniature models of fishing boats and gears commonly used in the area.

Panel 3 outlines the local efforts to save Danajon’s fishery and coastal resources.

Panel 4 is quite interesting. It talks of Seahorses: how they are threatened, what’s being done to save them, and some curious facts about this unique creature. Visit the gallery and learn more about them!

Panel 5 and 6 are both yummy! The blue crabs and siganids (danggit) which are Danajon Bank’s most economically important fishery resources are illustrated and described. Actions are now being taken to protect these resources and increase production.

CLUSTER 5: Danajon and You

This cluster has four sets of cartoon images, each set with two images that paint opposite scenarios. The text above the panels says, “Where would you rather be? Choose wisely.” It tells you, in pictures rather than in words, that your actions literally shape your environment.

The gallery ends at Cluster 5 and here you will meet Lady Seahorse and Sir Crab (giant representations of the seahorse and blue crab) gracing the doors of the exit imploring one and all to “Please help save Danajon Bank!” The exit leads to a Souvenir Shop of the Women’s Organization of Talibon displaying recycled materials such as garment bags and aprons made from tetra packs of juice. Other curious recycled artifacts are available.

Location

The FCRM Interpretive Center is located at Poblacion, Talibon, Bohol, Philippines. The center is situated besides the municipal building. Talibon is a two-hour van ride from Tagbilaran City, the lone city and capital of the province of Bohol. One can also travel from Cebu to Tubigon (2-hrs by boat) or direct to Talibon (3-hrs by boat). From Tubigon one has to travel by van for another 55 minutes in order to reach the town of Talibon.

Contact Persons:
Mayor’s Office -(038) 515-0051
Peter A. Polestico, TFCRM-IC Exec. Director - 09276777275
Rachel S. Savedra, TFCRM-IC Staff - 09287102357

Source: Talibon Fisheries & Coastal Resource Management Interpretive Center

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