Bishop Moises Cuevas of Calapan. CBCP NEWS

By Roy Lagarde

October 3, 2023

Manila, Philippines

Oriental Mindoro’s new bishop exhorted the faithful to work together for protection of the Verde Island Passage, dubbed the “Amazon of the oceans”.

Bishop Moises Cuevas of Calapan made the appeal as the globally-important marine seascape is facing “numerous threats, including overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change”.

“The protection of this biodiversity hotspot is not just an ecological imperative; it is a moral duty that reflects our love for both creation and our fellow human beings,” Cuevas said.

The said threats, according to him, not only jeopardize marine life but also the local communities that depend on its resources.

“Let us act and work together to ensure that this extraordinary gift of nature is passed down to future generations, for it is in protecting these marine habitats that we truly demonstrate our love for the Earth and all our affected communities,” he said.

Located between the island of Luzon and Oriental Mindoro province, the VIP is considered the most biodiverse marine habitat in the world, which houses roughly 1,700 marine fish species, nearly 60 percent of the world’s share of fish species.

“By safeguarding the Verde Island Passage, we take a significant step towards healing our wounded planet and building a more just and sustainable world for future generations,” Cuevas said.


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