BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi — Minister Akmad A. Brahim of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM paid courtesy visits to the Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi and the Local Government Unit of Simunul during his stay in the province with the Ministry’s key officials to conduct the second meeting of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary (TIWS).

On 18 July 2022, Board Members Dr. Asri Sukarno and Melham Masdal of the PLGU Tawi-Tawi welcomed MENRE Minister Brahim, Bangsamoro Director General Atty. Badr E. Salendab, Biodiversity, Ecosystems, Research and Development Services (BERDS) Director Mohamad Ali R. Dimaren, Forest Management Services (FMS) Abdul-Jalil S. Umngan, and Provincial ENRE Officer Jonel I. Mohammad Monel for a courtesy meeting.

BDG Salendab shared that the main agenda of MENRE’s visit to the province was to hold the said PAMB meeting and that the PLGU’s presence during the activity should be enough as a show of support. “The end objective of this activity is the protection and sustainable development of the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary,” he said.

Board Member Sukarno highlighted the opportunity for the TIWS and other beauties of Tawi-Tawi, such as its pristine beaches, to become factors to improve public perception of the province.

The day after the PAMB meeting, on 20 July, the same MENRE team proceeded to the Municipality of Simunul for another courtesy visit to Mayor Wasilah Tidal Abdurahman before checking out the mangrove reforestation areas under Bangsamoro Government’s flagship program, the Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program (IBGP).

In addition, the MENRE will be conducting the technical assistance for Forest Land Use Planning (FLUP) as a progressive intervention across the BARMM with one municipality each province—South Ubian for Tawi-Tawi—as a partner for 2022, said Director Umngan. In the following years, as part of the next Bangsamoro Development Plan, the MENRE will be targeting more partners per province for the development of their respective FLUPs.