An ecotourism success story in the Philippines
Our new project partners on Suyac Island in the Philippines have made headlines in local media and beyond.
Earlier this year, Seacology began working with the Suyac Island Mangrove Eco-Park and the community of Barangay Taba-ao to rebuild infrastructure that had been damaged by recent typhoons. The pandemic hit the tourism-dependent area’s economy hard and our partners had struggled to make necessary repairs. With our grant, they are now able to rebuild a watchtower and ranger station that overlook the island’s dense mangroves, helping protect the habitat of many species, including the world’s largest bat.
A piece published recently in the Visayan Daily Star and other outlets explains how a decade ago, local leaders were able to win over skeptics and create an environmental sanctuary on the island. Their vision to develop the island as a destination for ecotourism had benefits not just for local biodiversity—the populations of threatened bats increased more than tenfold—but to the local economy as well. The award-winning reserve’s popularity as a green travel destination allowed it to build up a reserve fund that played a critical role in helping the local people cope with the loss of income over the past few years.
“We are grateful for the offices, organizations and individuals who endured with us. This is our living laboratory on sustainable tourism.”
— Helen Cutillar, city information and tourism officer
The park began welcoming back guests in January. While much work remains, Seacology’s investment will play a key role in its continuing success.
Read the full article at the Visayan Daily Star.