The barangay (village) of Rizal, with a population of 2,065, is the largest village in the Municipality of Magsaysay, in the remote northeastern part of Cuyo Island. The Andres Soriano Foundation is working with Rizal as part of its Small Island Sustainable Development Program. The Barangay Council has agreed to preserve 247 acres of mangroves, including 185 acres as a no-take zone, for at least 20 years.
The villagers culture an edible seaweed called lato in commercial quantities in the controlled-use zone of the park. They realize, however, that they need to develop other livelihoods that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable. They also want to conduct coastal resource management trainings so they can better manage and protect the park.
In recognition of Barangay Rizal’s commitment to conserving its mangroves, Seacology is funding the construction of a multipurpose building. Community members will use the building for trainings, meetings, and monthly medical consultations.