|Biosphere Reserve Information|
© Photo: Han. Q.
The Palawan Biosphere Reserve is a cluster of islands composed of one long main island and smaller groups of islands around it. The 1,150,800 hectares of the biosphere reserve include the entire Province of Palawan Island, which is the westernmost province of the Philippines. The biosphere reserve comprises diverse habitat types such as coral reef atolls, mangroves and forests. The biosphere reserve also includes two World Heritage sites, the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-metre perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands) and the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (a limestone karst landscape). About 600,000 people live in Palawan (1991). Today, agriculture, fishing, mineral extraction and offshore oil and natural gas exploitation, as well as tourism activities are threats to nature in the region.
In 1992, a Strategic Environment Plan for Palawan (SEP) was adopted and through it an Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN) was implemented. The SEP is a comprehensive framework to enhance the sustainable development of the region considering the ecological viability and the social acceptability, in an integrated approach. The ECAN is a graded system of protection and development control over the whole of Palawan. It has three components, subdivided into management units graded from strictly protected to development areas. In 2002, as part of a global initiative of UNESCO’s ‘Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and Small Islands’ platform, an ecological resource assessment was conducted for Ulugan Bay, which is situated adjacent to the national park.
|Major ecosystem type||Tropical humid forests with coastal/marine component|
|Major habitats & land cover types||Evergreen rainforest with dipterocarp tree species; drier, semi-deciduous forest; Casuarina forest dominated by Casuarina rumphiana; montane forest; scrub forest; mangrove dominated by Rhizophora mucronata, R. apiculata, Nypa fruticans etc.; coral reefs; agroecosystems with rice (Oryza sativa), corn (Zea mays), peanut (Archis hypogaea) etc.; forestry systems with ipil-ipil (Leucaena glauca) and Albizia falcataria; pasture lands|
|Location||08°30' to 12°45'N; 117°30' to 121°45'E|
|Transition area(s) when given||458,625|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||-180 to +2,085|
|Administrative authorities||Department of Environment and Nature Reserves Palawan Council for Sustainable Development City Government of Puerto Princesa|
|Last updated: 26/04/2000|