The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is pushing for the development of so-called aqua-marine and renewable energy parks, one the new types of ecozones that will promote the integrated development of marine parks in viable marine protected areas (MPAs) all over the country.
PEZA deputy director-general Theo Panga said these ecozones will host ocean-based industries/activities such as mariculture, marine energy (e.g., solar, wind, tidal and ocean current), marine regeneration and marine ecotourism.
Panga said this pioneering initiative can generate incremental employment especially in rural areas, increase and diversify national exports through aquatic products.
According to Panga, AMREP is also envisioned to contribute significantly to the country’s food security and energy self-sufficiency.
Panga said AMREP is different from the traditional marine/mariculture parks as this an integrated, green and sustainable ecozone development which will focus on responsible marine cultivation and ocean farming.
It will utilize modern mariculture enclosures to allow for a “farmhouse on water” complete with waste management system and floating work space/accommodations for divers , as opposed to the conventional unmanned fish cages.
Panga said PEZA would like to pursue a more inclusive marine park that will allow for fishing by the local fishing communities within the ecozone maritime area in order to protect their jobs and provide food for the host communities.
The AMREP will also engage the community and fisherfolks for the protection and conservation of the marine environment.