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Philippines

Liminangcong Village

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Conservation benefit: Enhanced enforcement of fishing restrictions in 2,933 marine acres for 15 years

Community benefit: Floating watchtower, signs, equipment, and training to protect mangrove and marine area

Date Approved: 06.2021

Mangroves

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

Ocean

This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

Seagrass

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

The Malampaya Sound is part of a large protected area around Palawan Island that includes mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows. It is home to a number of threatened or endangered species restricted to Palawan. There are endangered dugongs, green and hawksbill sea turtles, and the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.

Fishing is the primary occupation of about 70 percent of the people  in the municipality. The area’s population has grown in recent years, leading to damaging competition for resources. There has been a surge in illegal fishing, sometimes involving the use of fine-mesh nets, dynamite, or chemicals.

Local fisherfolk, most of whom are women, rightly see overfishing as a serious threat to their livelihoods and futures–and are stepping up to enforce fishing restrictions in a large area. A new floating watchtower, signs, and equipment will aid enforcement. Community members are already working on conservation with the Philippines Department of Natural Resources and other entities and will play a crucial role in monitoring and enforcement efforts. Twenty fishers will receive training in environmental law enforcement, leadership, and ridge-to-reef ecosystem management.

The prominent new floating watchtower will, by its presence alone, help to deter illegal fishers. Located between two islands, it can be moved to a safe docking area during typhoons. Trained volunteers will occupy the watchtower 24/7, on a rotating basis. Big new signs at the entrance to the visitors center and other sites will provide interpretive information and remind people of the fishing rules.

Fishers will also monitor the sound in their own boats. When they spot illegal activity, they will notify authorities. If necessary, they will request backup from the barangay, coast guard, or Department of Natural Resources. Grant funds will provide equipment such as binoculars, life vests, and two-way radios.

Project Updates

June 2022

Our partner has received permits from the government agencies to buy wood for the tower. They have also designed the large signs that will let people know which activities are restricted in the protected area. The signs will highlight distinctive natural features of the area, such as Mt. Capoas, the highest peak, and the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin, the protected area’s flagship species.

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February 2022

In November, members of the local fishers’ organization attended training on ridge-to-reef ecosystem management and discussed mangrove, seagrass, and coral ecosystems. Construction of the watchtower was slated to begin in January 2022, but in December, Typhoon Odette hit northern Palawan, causing severe damage. People are now focused on rebuilding their homes, and the storm has delayed the arrival of materials. Our partner did visit the proposed tower site with community members and confirmed that it is in a strategic location, where boats can be spotted before they enter the strict protection zone.

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