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Philippines

Palaui Island

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Conservation benefit: Establishment of a 5,369-acre forest reserve for 20 years

Community benefit: Renovation of multipurpose hall

Date Approved: 06.2008

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Palaui Island sits off the northeastern tip of Luzon Island. Not a lot of land is available for farming, and residents are primarily subsistence farmers and fishers. Because of the island’s isolation, rich natural resources, and the presence of a resource-dependent population, Palaui faces both livelihood and resource protection issues. It is legally protected under national law. However, people still occasionally conduct illegal logging and slash-and-burn farming. These activities decrease the soil’s productivity and make it harder to grow enough food for the local population.

The Palaui Island community has pledged to protect its 5,370-acre forest over the next 20 years. In return, Seacology is funding renovation of an old community building that has fallen into disrepair and is no longer usable.  This will give community members a space where they can gather for meetings, trainings, and livelihood activities such as crafts-making.

Project Updates

June 2010

Seacology field representative Ferdie Marcelo reports that Advocate of Philippine Fair Trade has conducted several livelihood trainings at the multipurpose hall, so the community will not have to resort to extractive methods to sustain themselves. The hall was also the venue for several weddings and other social functions. A nominal fee is being levied for maintenance. No poaching in the forest has been reported.

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December 2009

Construction of the building has been completed, along with the solar-powered electrical system. The building is being used for the Protected Area Management Board meetings and is also serving as the venue for training in making handicrafts such as woven mats and baskets.

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July 2009

All concrete work and exterior construction of the building has been completed. The kitchen and bathrooms are completed with plumbing installed. The roof is approximately 70% complete. Work on interior construction including cabinets, shelves, and windows as well as electrical system and solar power installation will continue into the latter half of 2009. In April, the building was already seeing use for a Protected Area Management Board meeting. There have been no reported incidents of illegal logging on Palaui Island since last year. The community constantly monitors the entry of outsiders to the island and inspects unfamiliar boats for chainsaws or other timber-cutting tools. Field representative Ferdie Marcelo reports an increasing number of tourists visit the island for its natural attractions, and that one of the activities offered to them is mangrove planting along the eastern coastline. In this way, the mangrove reforestation area is slowly expanding.

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June 2009

Typhoons and rains delayed the transportation of building materials to the island, but it is estimated that construction will be done by mid-May 2009. Then the community will begin the process of procuring the solar power system for the structure. The island community continues to look after the island’s forest. So far, no poaching has been reported. Also, the Navy, through its outpost in the island, continues to support the locals as they patrol and protect their natural resources.

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January 2009

The project began in October 2008 and is scheduled to be completed in early 2009.

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Seacology UK.

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