Community takes the lead in new Philippines’ marine protected area
A NEW marine protected area (MPA) has been founded in the Philippines within what are considered some of the most biologically diverse waters on Earth.
The new MPA, which has been given the name Pirasan, was declared by the municipality of Tingloy on Maricaban Island in the Philippines’ Batangas Province. Pirasan encompasses more than 54 acres (about 22 hectares) of thriving coral reef habitat. The MPA was designed to protect this pristine reef system and, at the same time, boost an emerging local ecotourism industry.
The island of Maricaban is located in the Verde Island Passage, a region that harbors considerable marine biodiversity. The reef ecosystem in the new MPA is considered to be healthy and resilient, but it is facing threats from local pollution, sedimentation, coastal development, and global climate change.
The Tingloy government and local community enthusiastically established the MPA together with collaborating institutions including the US’s California Acad