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Barangay Bulanon


Conservation benefit:Improved conservation of 900-acre protected area that includes mangroves, seagrass, and coral

Community benefit:Watchtower and kayak center

Date Approved: 06.2024


This project supports a local conservation-based tourism initiative.


This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.


This project protects seagrass, which traps more CO2 than any other marine ecosystem, slowing global warming.

The island of Negros is a place of great natural beauty and great human need.

Near the rural village (barangay) of Bulanon, nature has performed a marine ecosystem hat trick, with substantial areas of mangroves, seagrass, and coral. The mangrove forest, which provides habitat for myriad birds, invertebrates, and juvenile reef fish, is also a roosting spot for fruit bats. Nine mangrove species are found there, and in the water, there are nine species of seagrass. The Philippine duck, a vulnerable endemic species, is found there. A 2021 assessment described the corals as massive and in fair

Meanwhile, more than 25% of the households in Bulanon have incomes that don’t cover their basic needs or are below the poverty threshold. Most of the men work in the vast sugarcane fields. Other community members fish or work in tourism-related activities.

The community advocated for a protected area, which was formalized in 2022 as the Bulanon Macapagao-Lapuslapus Local Conservation Area. It includes 561 acres of mangroves, 178 acres of seagrass, and 161 acres of corals.

In 2021, some of the fisherfolk started a small business, renting floating cottages to tourists. Their first effort was both unsafe and potentially damaging to the reefs, if tourists dropped their anchors carelessly. Now, durable floating cottages are permanently installed in a safe area, and tourists can kayak through the mangroves.

A community association now manages the cottage rental business. Members conduct daily patrols of the kayaking areas, and they go around the entire conservation area once a month. As a result, mangrove cutting has become rare, and illegal fishpens, hidden in the mangroves, have been removed. Association members also clean up garbage dumped by passing ships.

To help coordinate patrols and house kayaks, the community will build a watchtower and kayak center, making it possible to monitor the protected area without using fuel.

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