In celebration of World Oceans Day, multi-awarded photographers Anna Varona and Danny Ocampo unveiled on June 8 captivating underwater photos to highlight the beauty of the Philippine oceans and the urgent need to protect them.
The exhibit showcases a visual spectacle that will allow the public to see the beauty of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) such as the Marine Sanctuary in Tingloy, Batangas, Apo Island in Negros Oriental, Cagayancillo and Tubbataha in Palawan, and Tañon Strait in the Visayas.
Varona, who is a responsible tourism advocate and a marine warrior on top of being a professional photographer, believes that this endeavor is very much aligned with the 2017 World Oceans Day’s theme ‘Our Ocean, Our Future’ because it aims to spread awareness on the role of MPAs in long-term food security.
“MPAs ensure that our coastal resources are given the chance to regenerate and provide us food now and in the future. Aside from that, our fishermen are given much more stable and sustainable livelihood,” she said.
Ocampo, who also campaigns for ethical and responsible diving and photography, hopes to influence tourists to be more responsible when they visit MPAs, especially since Apo Island has been instrumental in his journey towards marine conservation work. “Apo Island continues to inspire not only me but hundreds of individuals, organizations and policy makers here and abroad who have been there. Sadly, its popularity is beginning to be its bane and measures have to be taken to ensure that tourism and conservation complement each other,” he stated.
Canon Philippines sponsored the printing of all portraits including the postcard versions of select photos that will be sold to help the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines in their continuous efforts to conserve Philippine oceans and the communities that greatly depend on them. WWF-Philippines’ work in protecting the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park inspired the declaration of a one million hectare of MPA by the Municipal Government of Cagayancillo through a municipal ordinance covering its entire municipal waters and surrounding open sea.
The exhibit, which is supported by the Department of Tourism, is open to the public until July 31.
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