Puerto Princesa, Palawan — Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) renewed on March 12, 2018 a memorandum of agreement to continue its partnership for a program on Integrated Coastal and Marine Resources Management for Northern Palawan.
The agreement covers 15 select coastal barangays in five (5) north Palawan municipalities, namely: Taytay, El Nido, Linapacan, Coron and Culion. The program aims to "restore degraded coastal and marine ecosystems through ridge-to-reef/ecosystem approach by applying active and passive management interventions that will increase ecosystem resilience to the effects of changing climate; bring back the flow of goods and services provided by healthy lowland forests, reefs, seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and clean coastal waters to improve the production of the fishery sector and enhance the recreational experiences in the tourism industry, and capacitate local communities and community leaders in the management of their environment and natural resources.”
From 2013, MFI has signed conservation agreements covering 14 coastal barangays in the above-mentioned municipalities to implement a marine biodiversity conservation-coastal marine resource mgmt program that includes four major components: 1) Social mobilisation and advocacy; 2) Ecological assessments; 3) Ecological rehabilitation/enhancement; and 4) Socio-economic improvement.
By end-2017, several MPAs improved its management ratings from 25% to an average of 64%, and four sites in Coron and Linapacan were awarded as among top performers at the 2017 USAID RACE awards. Regular reef monitoring activities have likewise shown increases in fish abundance and diversity as well as recovery of reefs. MPA and management zone areas in North Palawan increased by nearly 19,000 hectares through expansion of existing and establishment of new MPAs.