Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Field Project Summary
Coastal resources management and ecotourism: an intersectoral approach to localizing sustainable development, Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines

Revision Date: 1st November, 2000.
Title:  Coastal resources management and ecotourism: an intersectoral approach to localizing sustainable development, Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines.
Goal: To generate a model for community-based coastal resources management using an intersectoral approach strongly linked to the development of sustainable livelihoods.
Location: Ulugan Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.
Starting date: 1996.
Partners: City Government of Puerto Princesa, Palawan; National Commission of the Philippines for UNESCO; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); UNESCO: World Heritage Centre, Man and the Biosphere Programme, Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform.
Pilot project leader: Dr. Miguel Fortes, Marine Science Institute CS, University of the Philippines, Diliman 1101, Quezon City, the Philippines. 
Tel 632 922 3959,  Fax 632 924 7678, 
e-mail fortesm@msi01.cs.upd.edu.ph

Ulugan Bay is an important area within the Palawan Biosphere Reserve and the northeastern part of the bay is adjacent to the Puerto Princesa World Heritage Site.  The natural resources of the bay (reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves) provide livelihoods to more than 5000 residents and represent a significant source of fish for markets in Puerto Princesa.  Major issues include unsustainable fishing and agricultural practices, conflicting private land ownership, pressures from tourism, the planned naval base and marginalised indigenous people. 

The main activities in this project are as follows:

(1)  A strategic planning workshop was organised by UNESCO in 1996, this resulted in the establishment of a working group and was followed by a series of consultations with stakeholders around the bay.  A needs survey was also conducted.
(2)  In 1997 efforts were concentrated on the development of a project document for planning inter-sectoral activities in the bay and capacity building for local institutions particularly in the field of data collection.
(3)  With the support of UNDP, and the close collaboration of the Government of the Philippines and the City Government of Puerto Princesa City, UNESCO started a 2 year project in 1998: Coastal resources management and sustainable tourism in Ulugan Bay.  Following a data collection phase (ecological, traditional use, socio economic profile, potential for sustainable tourism), the project focused on four main activity lines:
  • Community based experimental areas for sustainable fish farming in Ulugan Bay.

  • Assessment of biodiversity trends and establishment of a fisheries database.

  • Master plan for community based sustainable tourism.

  • Non-formal environmental education for youth and training. 

At the end of this two year project, in July 2000, a policy and management workshop was organised to foster open communication about the model between policy makers and the communities in order to emphasise the lessons learnt.

Achievements & Assessment: (1)  A platform has been created for the development of policy and management practices at the community level in Ulugan Bay.  A linkage has been established between data and policy such that data can provide a significant input for managerial decisions.  There now exist practical guidelines for managers and policy makers.
(2)  An empirical model has been generated for sustainable development in coastal areas which can now be tested in other areas of the Philippines.
(3)  Local institutions have been strengthened to continue the biophysical monitoring activities and use these in addressing local issues.
(4)  Strong links have been established with other major UNESCO projects (Man and the Biosphere Programme, World Heritage Sites) as well as with the UNESCO chair in integrated coastal management and sustainable development.  Activities funded by other agencies also complement this project, e.g. a European Union (EU) funded project on 'Prediction of recovery and resilience in disturbed coastal communities in the Tropics' and a project on mangroves implemented by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific. 
Future Directions: The activities initiated by the project are envisioned to be further enhanced and sustained via the gains and commitment by partners - local, national, regional and international.  This will start the formal institutionalization process.  Gaps in knowledge and management will be continuously addressed so that at the end, the entire project will be transformed into a model in integrated coastal area management not just in the Philippines but in the region as well.
Following the policy and management workshop in July 2000, a project proposal has been prepared and submitted to donors for the implementation of various sustainable tourism activities.
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