Experience with Marine Protected Area Planning and Management in the Philippines

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Marine protected areas were established in the Philippines as early as 1974. These early models on Sumilon and Apo Islands and others set forth a framework for coral reef management that has been shown to enhance fish yields to traditional fishers as well as protect and maintain nearshore coral reef habitats for biodiversity and multiple economic uses. The history of marine protected areas in the Philippines is described in relation to their present context. Devolution of authority for management of natural resources to local governments (municipalities and cities) in 1991 is highlighted as a major national policy shift that has supported more localized management efforts. Current policies and laws that influence marine protected areas are explained in relation to field management and results. One community and local government based marine protected area on San Salvador Island is contrasted with a National Marine Park being implemented under the National Integrated Protected Areas System. Important lessons include, among others: the importance of a well-articulated process that includes community participation and ownership in collaboration with municipal governments; the role of multiple stakeholders, government, and donor agencies in planning and management; the creative use of financial mechanisms to create long-term self-supporting marine protected areas; and the need for more integrated forms of coastal management to support marine protected area networks through broad area planning.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920750252692599

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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