The Outstanding Young Scientists Inc. (OYSI), a collegial body of scientists who are recipients of the Outstanding Young Scientist Award given annually by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines, is committed in the creation of avenues for scientific excellence and innovation in research and development for the benefit of the Filipino people.

OYSI conducted its 4th Regional Syposium and Workshop on April 13 and 14, 2012 at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) in Tagbauan, Iloilo. With its local organizers: SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department, UP Visayas, San Carlos University, and Visayas State University the event was a success with 128 participants in attendance coming from various and institutions in the Visayas and Mindanao Regions. With the event’s theme, “Optimizing Coastal Resources for Equitable and Sustainable Development”, various researches and scientific-based approaches to Coastal Resources Management (CRM) were discussed. The keynote lecture of Dr. Angel C. Alcala, former DENR Secretary and NAST member, on the “Socio-economics of Marine Protected Areas” provided direction for the plenary sessions.Topics range from stock enhancement program to CRM’s role in climate change mitigation.

The symposium was concluded by a workshop session wherein the participants agreed on the following points:

  1. Ocean filling/ coastal reclamation projects of any size should be immediately stopped;
  2. The process of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) be strictly implemented in all coastal development projects and that all the data pertaining to the process should be made public;
  3. Science-based coastal habitat restoration be intensified (sea grass/seaweed beds, mangroves, corals); and
  4. Visayan Local Government Units (LGUs) will strictly implement environmental laws on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to protect its marine resources.

One of the important accomplishments of the activity was the formulation of the position paper on advocating an integrated approach to Coastal Resource Management which elaborated on the points mentioned above. It was signed by the participants.