AQD attends forum on governance of the sea

Experts and stakeholders gathered in Singapore from 3-5 November to give different perspectives on governing international waters that are not within national territories. This represents an area of 64% of the world's oceans.

AQD scientist Dr. Ma. Rowena Eguia was one of the invited experts, presenting a paper on the Perspectives on the role of developing states in the sustainable use and management of marine genetic resources in global oceans. Genetic resources is considered the “common heritage of mankind.

In her presentation, Dr. Eguia emphasized the fact that even as a developing state with meager resources to conduct research, the Philippines has an important role in conducting relevant research in marine bioprospecting for drug development as she especially pointed out the efforts of renowned Filipino biochemist Dr. Baldomero Olivera who developed the first patented marine drug, an anti-pain one known as Ziconitide.

She also discussed the roles of SEAFDEC and AQD as a moving force in the sustainable use of marine fishery genetic resources in Southeast Asia by promoting responsible fisheries through the implementation of the Regional code of conduct for responsible fisheries.

Dr. Eguia’s earlier paper on Bioprospecting and management of Philippine marine genetic resources: issues and challenges read by a member of the Philippine Mission at the 8th Meeting of the United Nations Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS) in June 2007 in New York created a stir as it tackled the sensitive issue on biopiracy in the Philippines. This led to her invite to the forum.

The Workshop on governance of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction: management issues and policy options was organized by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands; the National Parks Board, Singapore; and the University of Delaware Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy, with funding support from the Nippon Foundation-Japan, and the Global Environment Facility.

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