Puerto Princesa, Palawan—Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) renewed its partnership for north Palawan yesterday, February 7, 2023 at PCSD’s office in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Signed by PCSD Chairman Hon. Dennis Socrates, PCSD Executive Director Nino Rey Estoya, MFI Chairman Rufino Bomasang and MFI President Annabelle Ong, the formal partnership for marine conservation between PCSD and MFI started in 2015.  Named “Integrated Coastal and Marine Resources Managment Program for Northern Palawan”, the scope covers 15 sites spread across municipalities of Taytay, El Nido, Linapacan and Coron and involves the establishment or expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs)/marine management zones, management improvement, enforcement strengthening, coastal ecosystems rehabilitation where possible, education campaigns, alternative or supplemental livelihoods support and policy formation.

The community-based conservation approach has resulted in improved MPA management and biological recovery of ecosystems, especially in some sites in Coron and Linapacan.  The 3,400+ hectare Bulalacao MPA in Coron has observed returning endangered species such aatthe critically-endangered napoleon wrasse and blacktip sharks after 5 years, along with sharp increase in fish abundance and recovering hard coral cover.  The Bulalacao, Marcilla and Lajala MPAs of Coron as well as San Miguel and Pical MPAs of Linapacan have been awarded multiple times by the USAID RACE awards since 2017.

Bulalacao MPA (Coron) has also been awarded twice as Best Community-Managed MPA in Palawan in 2020 and 2022 respectively at the Palawan PEARL Awards of the Palawan provincial government.