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Philippines

Manamoc Island

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Conservation benefit: Protection of 272-acre Caseledan Lagoon for 25 years

Community benefit: Multipurpose community center

Date Approved: 02.2018

Mangroves

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

Seagrass

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

Manamoc is a small, almost circular island in the Sulu Sea. The rich marine environment that surrounds it includes coral reefs and seagrass. The island’s most distinctive physical feature is Caseledan Lagoon, which supports seagrass beds and thick stands of mangroves. The lagoon is a breeding ground for rabbitfishes, crabs, clams, and other valuable resources.

Most of the island’s 2,630 residents make a living from fishing or seaweed farming. They are also exploring options such as raising hogs, growing vegetables, and making handicrafts.

The community has worked to stop destructive fishing practices, protect coastal habitats, and reduce fishing pressure for years. Since 2008, it has been protecting a 267-acre marine protected area under an agreement with Seacology. The community used a Seacology grant for a solar power system for the village’s schools and health centers.

The community will now protect the 272-acre lagoon, including its 74 acres of mangroves, for 25 years. The Barangay (Village) Council has already restricted fishing and banned cutting mangroves on the island. The council has also agreed to allocate funds to protect the lagoon, as it does for the marine protected area. The MPA management committee will monitor and patrol the lagoon.

The community, which receives few government services, will use a Seacology grant to build a multipurpose community center. They will use the building for meetings and trainings, and for shelter during the typhoons that regularly slam into the Philippines.

Project Updates

December 2019

The barangay council has partnered with the local high school on regular mangrove clean-ups and mangrove planting in the eastern part of the lagoon. Fishing in the lagoon using mesh nets is regulated, especially from February to April, when most rabbitfish species spawn there. The water catchment system and tile for the community center are finished.

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May 2019

The lagoon is being protected. The water tank is now connected to the community water system, and the community will use the rest of the grant money to tile the floor of the community center.

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December 2018

The community center has been built and is in use. In August of last year, we received some funds earmarked for this project., which the community is using for a water catchment system. They have installed a water tank behind the community center and plan to connect it to the community water system.

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May 2018

We disbursed the first grant funds in March, and our project partner has been mobilizing its staff and resources. Construction of the community center is set to begin in June. Building materials have been procured and are being prepared for shipment to the island.

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