Fish Right Commences Work with Network of Marine Protected Areas in Palawan

Workshop Image Workshop Image

(Photo Credit: Romwell Mari Sanchez for USAID/Philippines)

Left: Workshop participants discussed with the Fish Right team the initial results of the MPA assessment workshop.

Right: Dr. Joan Castro of PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc., a consortium member of Fish Right shared the line up of activities in Palawan for the Program's first year of implementation.

The Fish Right Program, through its consortium partners PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PFPI) and Marine Environment Resources Foundation (MERF), commenced work with the Calamianes Group of Islands Marine Protected Area Network (CMN) weeks after the Program team spearheaded the network's reactivation. On 14-15 February 2019, an assessment workshop was conducted in Coron, Palawan to review the status of each of the fifteen marine protected areas that make up the CMN.

UDAID's Fish Right Program is implemented in the Philippines by the University of Rhode Island, in partnership with local organizations, such as the PFPI and MERF. Aside from Calamianes (composed of the municipalities of Coron, Busuanga, Culion and Linapacan Palawan), where PFPI is the lead organization, the other priority sites of the Program are the Visayan Sea and South Negros.

During the workshop, MPA managers interfaced with resource persons invited by Fish Right from the Provincial Agriculture Office of Palawan, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). PCSD shared their experience and insights from implementing an MPA network plan while the Provincial Agriculture Office provided an overview of its current initiatives in creating a province-wide MPA network which CMN would also be part of. The Fish Right team also briefed MPA managers on the ecological design principles for establishing a resilient MPA network and the evaluation tools that can used to assess the MPA management effectiveness. Moreover, the Fish Right team highlighted the role of women in managing coastal and fisheries resources.

An effectively managed MPA network is crucial in putting important ecosystems under increased protection. The MPA assessment workshop is an initial step in enhancing management actions carried out by the network and the specific member MPAs. Fish Right's goal by the end of the project is is to bring about 20% of these marine ecosystems under better management systems.

Public, Private and Community Partnership for Sustainable Fisheries Launched in Coron, Palawan

Fun Run Fun Run

(Photo Credit: Romwell Mari Sanchez for USAID/Philippines)

Left: More than 300 people joined Run for the Ocean, an advocacy run organized by Fish Right together with local partners and volunteers in Coron, Palawan

Right: Fish Right champions sign the pledge wall to mark the renewal of the public, private and community partnership for sustainable fisheries and marine biodiversity conservation

Over 300 people joined Fish Right's Run for the Ocean in support of marine biodiversity conservation as representatives from local government units, national government agencies, private sector groups and community stakeholders pledged to improve fisheries management in the Calamianes Island Group on 16 February 2019 in Coron, Palawan. The event was spearheaded by PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PFPI), the lead consortium partner of the University of Rhode Island (URI) in Calamianes. URI, which is implementing USAID's Fish Right Program, also works with other local organizations to cover two other priority sites -- Visayan Sea and South Negros.

Dubbed in the local language as "Gorokudan para sa Kadagatan", Fish Right's advocacy run was aimed at raising public awareness on marine protection and sustainable fisheries in Calamianes. It was held back-to-back with a commitment wall signing by Fish Right champions in the locality. The two events drew people from various walks of life including the youth who joined three race categories.

Mangrove-planting and a fishing game that simulated Fish Right's right-sizing of fishing effort initiative were among the challenges for the kids who joined the Amazing Race category. After the run, the runners witnessed the ceremonial signing of a pledge wall. The signing of the pledge wall marked the renewal of the public, private and community partnership for sustainable fisheries and marine biodiversity conservation in Calamianes.

"Gorokudan para sa Kadagatan" was co-orgnanized by the Fish Right Program through its implementing partner, PFPI, together with private sector and community partners namely Calamianes Association of Tourism Establishments, Calamianes Marine Protected Area Network, the local government of Coron and youth volunteers.

SEAnergy Project

Philippine-American Fund Biodiversity Grant

SEAnergy Project

Background

Province of Oriental Mindoro is one of the five (5) provinces situated in the Verde Island Passage (VIP) marine Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). The VIP is recognized as the world's "center of the center" of marine shore fish biodiversity and is categorized as extremely high priority for conservation. Marine resources and fish sanctuaries are, however, endangered due to overfishing and tourism activities. Limited opportunities for the communities residing within the KBA add pressure to natural resources due to extractive livelihood activities. Conservation efforts of local government units are sparse and neglect the need to interconnect existing MPAs within the KBA.

Activities

USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, supports PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PFPI) in harmonizing local government initiatives and synergizing community efforts for the effective management of MPAs in the VIP. PFPI assists LGUs in enhancing MPA management plans and in establishing an MPA network in the VIP. The project also provides social incentives for communities to support biodiversity conservation work.

Updates As Of March 2017

The Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with PFPI to provide support for the implementation of the SEAnergy Project. Similar to the four MOAs signed by the project with municipal LGUs, the MOA with the Province ensures continued sharing of resources and updating of information, and local engagement in the project activities.

The Calero-Salong Seagrass and Coral MPA in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro was inaugurated in Mar. 20, 2017 following the passage of a city ordinance officially declaring the 107.6-hectare coastal site as MPA and the formal induction to office of the interim MPA Management Body. The activity was jointly facilitated by Calapan City's Fisheries Management Office, the Barangays of Calero and Salong, and the Provincial Agriculture Office.

PFPI also demarcated six MPA boundaries using fiberglass buoys. The MPAs include (1) Harka Piloto Fish Sanctuary, (2) Calero-Salong Seagrass and Coral MPA, (3) Baco MPA, (4) Tamauyan Reef Fish Sanctuary, (5) Punta Ilag Fish Sanctuary and (6) Puerto Galera MPA. In addition, twelve marker signages were installed to demarcate the peripheries of Silonay Mangrove Conservation and Eco-Park.

The project developed and implemented a biodiversity conservation Behavior Change Communication and Advocacy (BCCA) Plan to increase awareness and encourage participation and support in MPA management. Utilizing results from formative research conducted such as focus group discussions, designing behavior change survey and rapid mini-Behavior Monitoring Survey. Appropriate materials such as brochures, calendars and billboards were produced and distributed. The mobile information text campaign was operationalized with a cadre of 42 volunteers promoting biodiversity conservation and related messages such as livelihood, climate change women participation, health and food security.

The project conducted livelihood skills, business planning and financial management trainings for Silonay Mangrove Conservation and Ecopark, Punta Ilag Fish Sanctuary, and Piloto Fish Sanctuary. The programs involved 58 participants (81 percent women). The types of livelihood enterprises were selected through a series of assessment to determine the suitability of the activity, capability of the MPA communities to handle such enterprise, and how these complement marine biodiversity conservation.

The project facilitated three Conservation Agreements (CA) between the people's organizations involved in the MPA management, the Provincial Agriculturists' Office and the LGUs. The CAs require the POs to undertake marine biodiversity conservation actions, which includes regular MPA management meetings and planning, coastal clean-up and IEC campaigns. The CAs also established the roles and responsibilities of the partners in helping the MPA community achieve marine biodiversity conservation.

For Your Donations


Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation
6819 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Philippines
Account Name: PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc.
Savings Account Number: 8-00-10790-6
Swift Code: RCBC PHMM

Central Pacific Bank
Kailua Branch No. 104
419 Kuulei Road, Kailua, HI96734, USA
Account Name: PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc.
Account Number: 04317432-01
Routing Number: 121301691