El Nido, Palawan — Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) signed a conservation agreement with a Barangay Bucana-based fisher organisation Samahan ng Mangingisda Tungo sa Kaunlaran (SMTK) on September 20, 2017 to foster cooperation on coastal and marine conservation with the barangay’s coastal residents who heavily depend on the sea for a living.

Bgy Bucana has one of the highest marginal and commercial fisher population in the municipality of El Nido. However, fishers have reported steep declines in fish catch similar to the downward national and global trends in catch per unit effort. The declines are mainly caused by negative human impacts like illegal fishing methods, upland and coastal deforestation, poor waste management, lack of effective enforcement, coastal urbanisation, etc.

The covenant seeks to implement a wide-range of grassroots-based conservation actions such as social mobilisation and advocacy, regular habitat monitoring, upland and coastal/marine rehabilitation and socio-economic improvement.

The conservation covenant, MFI’s 16th in Palawan, was signed by El Nido mayor Nieves Rosento, El Nido Protected Area Superintendent Alexander Mancio, Barangay Bucana chairman Aracel Bacolod, SMTK President Richard Roldan and MFI Executive Director Karen Agabin.