The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and the Malampaya Foundation, Inc. (MFI) have agreed to continue working together to preserve the marine ecosystems in the northern portion of the province.

The PCSD Staff, the body that coordinates the requirements of the Council, said that the memorandum of agreement renewing their cooperation was signed on November 24.

Community-based marine biodiversity conservation and coastal resource management programs have been implemented by MFI since 2012, said the PCSDS.

It said these programs place a strong emphasis on the development of local capacity, the establishment and expansion of marine protected areas (MPA), the strengthening of MPA management and enforcement, ecological monitoring and rehabilitation, and various socio-economic projects that are carried out in close coordination with the organization’s partners and stakeholders.

PCSDS said that agreement’s renewal will pursue conservation and enforcement measures to protect marine ecosystems in Northern Palawan, with a focus on MFI focal sites such as the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape, El Nido Taytay Protected Landscape and Seascape, and the municipalities of El Nido, Linapacan, Coron, and Culion.

It will also capacitate MFI in partnership with PCSD to effectively execute efforts and programs in its Social Mobilization and Advocacy, Socio-economic Improvement, Ecological Assessment, and Ecological Enhancement/Rehabilitation in accordance with the MOA.

“Both parties will jointly implement community-based sustainable coral reef rehabilitation projects such as marine protected area establishment, selective and permitted coral rehabilitation, restocking, and other appropriate and technologically sound reef restoration actions in select sites in Northern Palawan, and agree to maintain existing ties and collaborative efforts by virtue of RA 7611 or the Strategic Environment Plan Law,” the PCSDS said.

The MOA, which shall carry the program “Integrated Coastal and Marine Resources Management Programme for Northern Palawan,” aims to restore degraded coastal and marine ecosystems through ridge-to-reef/ecosystem approach by applying active and passive management interventions that will increase ecosystem resilience to the effects of changing climate.

It also seeks to bring back the flow of goods and services provided by healthy lowland forests, reefs, seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and clean coastal waters to improve the production of the fishery sector and enhance the recreational experiences in the tourism industry, and capacitate local communities and community leaders in the management of their environment and natural resources.

The joint MOA between PCSD and MFI will continue to be in effect until the 31st of December in the year 2024.