North Palawan - Coastal communities who signed conservation covenants with Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) are now busy tending to their abalone grow-out culturing located close to their shores.

The fisherfolk associations in Taytay and Linapacan, Palawan were recently trained in environment-friendly cage grow-out culture of abalone, a highly-prized gastropod mollusk in high demand as delicacy in many different countries, including the Philippines. At the same time, as part of the conservation covenant, members of the association play a part in protecting a marine protected area situated close by.

MFI's program, Livelihood Alternatives and Mariculture-Based Assistance (LAMBAT) is part of a marine conservation program which heavily engages fisherfolk communities in playing a major role in conservation actions to help in the regeneration of degraded marine ecosystems and recovery of fish populations. Part of the incentive is support for viable livelihood endeavors meant to sustain communities who are reliant on coastal and marine resources.

The marine-based conservation covenants and incentive mechanism are the first in the country. This pioneering approach by MFI is environment-friendly as no artificial inputs are used since the abalone only feed on seaweeds.