NKK Lab-Research Report by Mr. Brando Razon
by Mr. Brando Cabigas Razon
Mr. Brando Razon from the Republic of the Philippines is one of the master’s students at the NKK lab, here he will introduce his research activities.
My Research Introduction
Sustainable Development Strategy for Coral Reef Resources
My research is about the “Sustainable Development Strategy for Coral Reef Resources”. This research will be conducted in Sarangani Bay, Mindanao, Philippines. Reefs are ecologically important ecosystems and have a high biodiversity that serves as a rich genetic resource storage bank. The diversity of coral is far greater in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, particularly around the “Coral Triangle” which includes areas in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. Many invertebrates, vertebrates and plants live in close association to the scleractinian corals, with tight resource coupling and recycling, allowing coral reefs to have extremely high productivity and biodiversity, such that they are referred to as “The Tropical Rainforest of the Oceans".
Pictures of corals (taken from: Wikipedia)
Coral reefs are important for many different reasons. Apart from protecting the shoreline from the damaging effects of the ocean through wave erosion, they provide habitats for many organisms and are a source of nitrogen and other nutrients essential for food chains.
The coral reef ecosystem faces both natural and anthropogenic threats. Natural threats include weather-related damage as a result of large and powerful waves from hurricanes and cyclones, tidal immersions, disease and predation.
The destruction of coral reef is a threat now and needs to be treated seriously before the situation gets out of hand. This must be considered seriously to protect the country's natural resources for the interest of future generations.
Sarangani Bay was declared a protected seascape by Presidential Decree of the Republic of the Philippines in the year 1996. THus, there is a need to find out and assess the status and condition of the coral reef in this area and to know the perception of the local community regarding the status of the bay as protected seascape
The research includes ecological, bio-physico-chemical and socio-economic assessments. In the same month, I underwent training on SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving in General Santos City, Philippines and got the International License in SCUBA diving in preparation for the scheduled ecological assessment of corals from November to December of this year. Basic knowledge on SCUBA diving is necessary to carry out the ecological assessment of the coral reef underwater. To get to know the real condition of sea nature, it is indispensable that I can dive into the sea not only to learn the beauty and importance of the marine ecosystem but also to be personally involved in the actual gathering of the primary dataforf my research.
Risk is inevitable to all researchers. Many researchers have met accidents and have even lost their lives while collecting data in the field. Those who work with dangerous organisms in the field or toxic substances in the laboratory must follow strict safety procedures to avoid contamination. Researchers working in the field should follow the necessary measures to avoid accidents.
In my research, data gathering underwater is a tough task. It is necessary to know the basics of SCUBA diving as precautionary measures to avoid risks in data gathering underwater and so the international license for SCUBA diving is necessary.
(front side) My PADI ID (back side)
Secondary data on the previous ecological assessment of the bay was gathered in March 2010. I learned that there were 11 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) within Saranagani Bay. I am also interested in assessing the status of the established MPAs to determine what level of law implementation is already done and to know the perception of the local people around the protected areas. I hope this will be considered in my future research.
Collecting secondary data from the Environmental Conservation and Protection Center
in Sarangani Bay, Mindanao, Philippines
Continued to Part 2