Pujada Bay located in the City of Mati, Davao Oriental has been included in the list of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World (MBBW). Its inclusion was announced at the recently concluded 15th World Bays Congress in Japan.
A delegation from Davao Oriental presented the Pujada Bay’s application to join the MBBW club during the Congress held from October 16 to October 20 in Toyama City, Japan. It was approved by the MBBW, which is scheduled to visit Mati to conduct ground assessment and validation of the Pujada Bay.
Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang cited in a statement that the ground validation is the first official act of MBBW to check submitted credentials of newly approved members prior to induction, which will be held next year at the 16th World Congress in Morocco.
Mindoro‘s Puerto Galera is also among the “world’s most beautiful bays” as proclaimed in 2005. The other bays on the list include Vietnam’s Halong Bay, South Korea’s Yeosu Bay, China’s Qingdao Bay, Spain’s Santander Bay, and France’s Mont St-Michel Bay.
Pujada Bay is part of the Pujada Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape which is home to endangered species such as sea cow (dugong), whaleshark (butanding), dolphins, hawksbill and green turtles. The 21,200-hectare bay comprised of four islands: Sleeping Dinosaur, Ivy, Waniban and Pujada.
Among the criteria to be part of WMBB are: the bay must be the object of protective measures; must present an interesting flora or fauna; must present outstanding and attractive natural habitats; nationally recognized; economic activities in the surrounding area of the bay must be able to coexist; there should be a potential for economic developments among others.
Pujada Bay was proclaimed as a marine protected area by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 431 issued in 1994. Under which, the area is established and reserved for the purpose of “protecting and conserving” and “sustainable development of the area shall be pursued to address the social and economic needs of the local communities without causing adverse impact on the environment”.
Besides boosting the province’s eco-tourism potentials, the approval of Pujada Bay as one of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World will also help the city and provincial government as well as residents in protecting the landscape and seascape of the area.
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