Accomplishment Report 2022


The "Accomplishment Report 2023" by the Palawan Biodiversity Conservation Advocates Inc. (PBCAI) outlines the organization's significant contributions and successes in environmental conservation throughout the year. These projects collectively demonstrate PBCAI's commitment to environmental stewardship, community involvement, and sustainable development in Palawan. The report details the organization's efforts in both protecting natural resources and enhancing the socio-economic conditions of local communities through conservation-based initiatives.

The report highlights several critical projects:

  1. Sea Turtle Conservation in Dumaran and Araceli: The initiative, funded by the Gerry Roxas Foundation and USAID, focused on protecting sea turtle habitats and educating local communities about conservation through hands-on training sessions. The project aimed to enhance local knowledge and skills in managing and conserving sea turtle populations effectively.
  2. Plastic Reduction in Marine Environments: This project, supported by, targeted plastic pollution on the nesting beaches of Puerto Princesa City, known for their significance to marine turtles. The project successfully engaged local communities in clean-up activities, significantly reducing plastic waste and contributing to the preservation of marine biodiversity.
  3. Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS): Conducted in partnership with Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas, this study aimed to improve waste management practices in three barangays of Taytay, Palawan. It involved training local government personnel and engaging the community to better manage and reduce waste.
  4. Community Mangrove Forest Management: Funded by the Forest Foundation of the Philippines, this project focused on assessing mangrove damage and recovery post-Typhoon Odette, planning restoration activities, and preparing the community for sustainable mangrove management.
  5. Ridge to Reef Ecosystems Resource Management: This extensive project aimed at integrating watershed, coastal, and marine ecosystems management in Dumaran Island. It included various conservation efforts such as protecting marine protected areas, enhancing local governance, and establishing sustainable livelihood opportunities for local communities.

I. Sea Turtle Conservation

Survey of Nesting Beaches in Dumaran, Palawan 

Funded by SEE Turtles   

The project is located at approximately Latitude: 10.47958870 Longitude: 119.89354541 in the eastern part of the province of Palawan.  Dumaran Island is a land-bridge island in the Sulu Sea. It is only separated by seven kilometers of shallow sea (max. depth 16 m) from the mainland of Palawan.  The province of Palawan is situated in the west of the Philippines composed of 1,780 islands and islets.  Palawan is long and narrow and trends northeast-southwest between the South China and Sulu seas.

The Philippines is in Southeast Asia, an archipelago composed of about 7,641 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of 343,448 square kilometers (132,606 sq mi). The 36,289 kilometers (22,549 mi) of coastline makes it the country with the fifth longest coastline in the world. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N latitude and is bordered by the Philippine Sea to the east, the West Philippine Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south.

There are anecdotal pieces of evidence that Eretmochelys imbricata, Chelonia mydas, and Lepidochelys olivacea are reportedly found nesting on the prospective beach in Dumaran, Palawan.  Illegal poaching of eggs and nesters is rampant in these areas in addition to other threats such as by-catch, habitat destruction, slaughtering for food, pollution, and global warming. Aside from animal predation, poaching of sea turtles for meat and collection of their eggs for human consumption has been a practice of the locals and according to them, sea turtles have been part of their traditional diet. Despite the laws protecting these creatures, these practices still continue.

No available data can be found regarding sea turtles nesting in the prospective beach, even with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and there is no current conservation activity in the area. But the locals admit that they do poaching of sea turtle eggs and adult sea turtles which have been part of their diet.

Activities conducted:

Monitoring of the nesting beaches was started in May 2022.  Courtesy calls were conducted with the Office of the Municipal Mayor and the Office of the Barangay Chairman.  Local government officials were informed about the project and the activities that are to be conducted within their jurisdictions.

It was discovered by the team that there is an existing wildlife-human conflict because of their previous livelihood on seaweed production. The residents who were engaged in seaweed production felt that the sea turtles were not good for their source of livelihood and were also the reason why they stopped seaweed farming.

The locals were gathered and the project team conducted an information education activity through a PowerPoint presentation on Sea Turtle Conservation. Attendees were awed by what they learned about sea turtles and the benefits that these creatures provide.

IEC in Barangay Bohol, Dumaran, Palawan                           An ex-situ hatchery built by the locals

Three nesting beaches in the two barangays, San Juan and Bacao, were surveyed with a total length of approximately 15 kilometers.  There were also some locals who volunteered to monitor the beaches when the team is not in the area.

These nesting beaches were regularly monitored at night usually during high tides from May to December 2022. Unfortunately, the team was not able to actually see a nesting sea turtle but were able to find nests and eggs.  The first set of eggs that were found was transferred to an ex-situ hatchery which is located in a safer higher ground enclosed with a bamboo fence to protect the eggs from predators.  Unfortunately, according to one of the barangay officials, one of the locals went to the hatchery and dug the nest thus damaging the eggs and attracting stray dogs that destroyed the eggs.

The team has also monitored other nests that were dug and damaged by stray dogs.  In one instance, there were still whole eggs left in the nest dug by dogs which the team covered with sand in the hopes that these will still hatch but the eggs did not.

Bamboo fence was built around the place where the eggs were transferred.


The Nesting Beach Survey was also a research initiative of PBCAI to gather information and data on the beaches of San Juan and Bacao on Dumaran Island.  Nesting beaches were regularly monitored at night usually during high tides from May to December 2022.

Three nesting beaches in the two barangays, San Juan and Bacao, were surveyed with a total length of approximately 15 kilometers.  There were three nests of Olive Ridley turtles that were found, two nests found but the species were not identified because the eggs were dug by dogs.

The estimated or actual hatching success rate is 71% of the 105 eggs transferred to the ex-situ hatchery, there were 75 Olive Ridley hatchlings that emerged and were released to the sea.

A nester was found going back to the sea early in the morning

 Eggs in these nests were found on November 22, 2022 and 47 hatchlings emerged in one of the nests on January 17, 2023.


Release of 47 hatchlings in Barangay Bacao on January 17, 2023 and 28 hatchlings on January 20, 2023

II. Landscape Scenario Development Workshop for Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape

The Forest Foundation Philippines awarded a three-month grant covering the period from December 13, 2021, to March 27, 2023, to implement the project entitled "Landscape Scenario Development Workshop for Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape." The project aims to: 1. Identify and level off the prevailing threats and drivers of change in the landscape; 2. Create baseline, alternative, and ideal scenarios based on existing trends; 3. Co-create landscape and community-level interventions for the next five to ten years; and 4. Develop project concepts from the interventions identified for the landscape with intervention roles and strategies specific to each stakeholder group. 

The project covered three major activities: Landscape scanning, for which PBCAI gathered secondary data; Landscape Scenario Development Workshop conducted in two clusters based on the geographical location of the five municipalities; and Grant Writeshop.


  • Landscape scanning
  • Secondary data gathering was done twice. The first trip includes the delivery of introductory and request letters for data needed. The staff went around the five municipalities and 36 barangays to introduce the project, gather data, and scan for POs and CSOs to invite them to the scenario development workshop.
  • Data gathered:
  • Municipal Comprehensive Plan of each the municipality
  • Consolidated Accomplishment Report of Quezon (the only one to provide a report document among the five municipalities)
  • List of Organizations active in the barangays

The team was not able to secure copies of the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP). As of data gathering time, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has just installed a new Provincial Coordinator. He called us and explained that they could not provide copies as they were fixing their files.

Landscape Scenario Development Workshop

PBCAI opted to conduct the workshop in two clusters. The move complied with the health protocols during that time and considered the geographical location of the five (5) concerned municipalities. The workshop was postponed twice due to typhoon Odette and Covid 19 surge, which placed Palawan province on Level 3 from January to February 15, 2022.

Cluster 1 workshop was conducted in Maruyog Ridge Inn with participants from Bataraza and Brooke's Point.  There were twenty-five (25) participants present on day one. However, after the day's session, the NTFP-EP representative explained that they would discontinue their attendance at the workshop because they are already committed to CI – Conservation International. Saying, they will not engage in any SIBOL future activities because of their commitment to CI. The next day, both the NTFP_EP representative and their PO representatives did not return to the workshop. The MENRO representative of Bataraza and the IPMR skipped the second day.


        Scenario Development                                             Ms. Joy Caseres' presentation on the SIBOL program

Cluster 2 was conducted in the municipality of Quezon at Yummy Pension. Participants were from the municipalities of Rizal, Sofroño Española, and Quezon. Sixteen participants came on the 1st day and eighteen on the 2nd day. Ms. Rina Rosales of SIBOL was able to talk amply to the participants of the Cluster 2 workshop.

Two PAMB staff attended the workshop; their presence confirmed most of the challenges that the PAMB face.

  • Disrupted flow of communication – decisions made at the PAMB meeting (which happens only once a year) don't flow or reach the proper channels. Such disruptions usually occur with the mayors, with their hectic schedules, who forget to relay decisions to the appropriate person that could have acted on said decision/s.
  • There is also the predicament of the PAMB membership not fully leveled off in their understanding and priorities regarding MMPL protection and management.
  • Permitting processes are not well established and incoherent from agency to agency.
  • Funding limitations – PAMB representatives disclosed a Php500,000.00 pledge from each municipality for PAMB operational funds. However, the said funds remained at the municipalities' account and discretion.
  • Human resource limitations – the fewer funds, the fewer human resources could be hired.
  • The large number of PAMB members sometimes impairs its chance to reach a quorum.


         Groupie                                                                                     Workshop result presentation

  • Grant Writeshop

The activity was held at Grande Vista Hotel in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Twenty-four participants attended the activity, comprising eight POs. PBCAI invited POs only for the said workshop. During the write shop, POs from the same barangay merged and came up with only one proposal. PBCAI suggested that they prepare a project proposal for each organization.

Actual Grant Writeshop                                         Presentation of Landcape Scenario Development Results

Workshop Results

MMPL Current Profile

The MMPL management plan enumerated five major threats in the protected area that have been imminent in the past years and need further intervention.[1] The participants also validated these threats in the workshops. They agreed that these are still imminent and rampant within the MMPL: 1. Illegal, uncontrolled, and unregulated utilization of forest products (timber, fuelwood, and minor forest products); 2. Increasing conversion of forestland to agricultural use; 3. In-migration and population increase; 4. Wildlife poaching; and 5. Mining claims within and in the periphery of the MMPL.

In addition, the rampant selling of land rights to non-IPs, near or inside the PA, poses a big threat to the MMPL forestlands.

The Scenarios

Currently, MMPL's natural resources degradation is estimated at 30% to 40% and is observed to increase by 5% to 17% by 2027, leaving the natural resources in the protected area with poor biodiversity conditions. Degradation is caused by irresponsible mining activities, specifically in Brookes Point with 14 of its barangays covered by the PA. The efforts of private sectors, NGOs, and other entities that continuously work on the conservation and protection of the environment, together with the determination and will of the IPs and their communities to live more sustainably, will reduce these environmental damages.

In five to ten years, mining and other illegal activities in the MMPL will highly threaten the biodiversity in the protected area. As a result of continuous damages (both man-made and natural disasters), water siltation in the watersheds will lead to poor water conditions within and surrounding the MMPL. Intense typhoons and rains will gravely affect the restoration of natural resources and biodiversity. These may also impede the implementation of projects and activities in the communities. Delivery of goods and agricultural production (upland and lowland) will be affected by frequent natural disasters and climate change. Communities living in hazard-prone (cliffs, bridges, coastal areas, and rivers) areas may also be in danger due to frequent natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Some wildlife species still need to adapt to the changing environment brought about by climate change. With these conditions and interrupted natural habitat, these species may be endangered by wildlife poaching and death due to diseases that may arise because of the changes in the environment

Through the continuing efforts of the private sectors, NGOs, and NGAs on the protection of the MMPL thru the implementation of policies and laws that will help restore damaged areas and empower the IP and its community in conservation work, other people and communities will be encouraged to support and work towards the same goal even among guests visiting the MMPL.

On the other hand, poor governance may result in the implementation of projects that can further threaten the natural resources and species within MMPL. Self-interests will impede development despite the laws, policies, and regulations to abide. Given that five municipalities have jurisdiction over the MMPL, unresolved political differences may also result in poor management of the MMPL. Also, political turnover may also affect strategies and programs for the conservation and protection of MMPL. Unresolved political differences may also result in poor management of the MMPL.

On the economic side, it is perceived that poor economic programs and unutilized resources can lead to poor communities. An increase in prices of basic commodities and a lack of livelihood opportunities result in engaging in illegal environmental activities (logging, poaching, etc.) to augment their basic needs. A decrease in demand for NTFP products can result in poor socio-economic conditions and loss of income. Migration and influx of tourists will contribute to overutilization and poor management of natural resources causing further environmental degradation.

If lockdowns and restrictions continue due to the pandemic, activities in the MMPL will be affected ie. Information dissemination, livelihood activities, and others can help with the conservation efforts that have been started. Funds for conservation in MMPL might be diverted, used, and provided to communities as "Ayuda." Restriction in mobility will affect the education dissemination on the conservation and protection of MMPL. Without proper intervention and conservation of the MMPL, further destructions, in the long run, will also result in poverty, poor health, poverty, and a lack of opportunities that will lead communities to engage in intensive resource extraction to meet their basic needs.

Vision and Framework

A consolidated vision for the landscape was formulated: "Strong/empowered community groups and IPs within the MMPL are active in protecting, advocating, and conserving the environment."

This vision is characterized by the following:

  • Stakeholders participate and contribute to the planning and implementation of MMPL policies and regulations
  • Continuous implementation of policies to protect and conserve MMPL
  • A well-managed and sustainable livelihood for the community
  • Empowered IPs and their community that will protect their AD lands and environment within the MMPL
  • IPs' lands surveyed and awarded to IPs
  • Lands within the MMPL are protected and restricted
  • Established sustainable livelihood program for each sector supported by partners and department agencies

IP communities with unresolved differences have a weak force to pursue their rights and privileges to protect and conserve their land and resources within the MMPL. Empowered communities and IPs will pursue their rights despite poor governance and unequal opportunities. If IPs are strengthened, empowered, and educated, they will be able to protect the MMPL.

Despite the current policies, programs, and projects being implemented, there is still a lot to be done and find ways to address the gaps and find possible interventions to address the identified threats to the MMPL for better landscape management.

III. Restoring the Northern Palawan Typhoon-Damaged Ecosystem through Science-Based and Local Initiatives

On April 4, 2022, the USAID, through the Gerry Roxas Foundation, with a six-month grant to implement the project entitled    This project is in response to the aftermath of Typhoon Odette which brought massive damages to the northern municipalities of Palawan.

The major threat identified in the area is the intensified extraction of natural resources due to the sudden loss of livelihood caused by Typhoon Odette and very limited options for income-generating activities. The limited budget allocated by the government to the fisheries sector resulted in weak law enforcement, encroachment in protected areas like the MPAs and the mangrove areas, illegal fishing, and mangrove destruction became intensified after the typhoon. Markers in the MPAs were lost due to Typhoon Odette and enforcement was somehow relaxed because of the lack of sources of livelihood. Insufficient government relief assistance compounded the already dire situation.

Our vision is to stop or mitigate the renewed intensified extraction of natural resources in the wake of typhoon Odette and allow the said resources to regenerate. We believe that if direct restoration activities are supported by economic incentives and livelihood opportunities and if these activities are reinforced by information, education, and communication campaign focusing on the importance of biodiversity in disaster resilience, and if local communities get involved and incentivized in local law enforcement, then they will be encouraged to meaningfully participate in conserving their natural resources, thereby eliminating or diminishing the threats against it.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was forged with the LGUs as an expression of their commitment to allocate more funds for different biodiversity initiatives and recognized that conservation activities need policy support from the LGUs for sustainability.

Mangrove Forest Restoration

Damaged mangrove forest covering 20 hectares in Brgy. Madoldolon in Araceli was planted with 20,000 mangrove propagules collected from the nearby mangroves. Community members were actively involved in the restoration activities like survey and preparation of planting sites, collection and planting of propagules, staking, and monitoring and maintenance.  Monetary incentives provided to the participants have helped the participants with their food expenses in a day or two but the experience with Typhoon Odette has taught them the value of mangroves and has also given them their eagerness to participate in restoration activities.

Photos of the actual planting and staking of total 20K propagules in Barangay of Madoldolon         

The three mangrove species planted were Rhizophora apiculate, Rhizophora stylosa, and Rhizophora mucronata. After three months, the planted propagules were monitored using the Smart App that was shared by the Center for Community Innovations through PBCAI’s request to the Gerry Roxas Foundation. Results of the data showed that around 34% (6579 out of 19,282) of the planted propagules were alive, while 66% died or were not found during monitoring.  The surviving propagules showed signs of growth and budding leaves. During monitoring, there were 14 planted propagules were found infested by barnacles and bitten by crabs but are still alive. Predation by these animals and other insects is seen as a major factor that affected the survival of the propagules. The team replanted around 4000 propagules to replace dead propagules. 

The height of the planted species of mangroves was measured during monitoring. Planted Rhizophora apiculata’s height averages 26.86 cm, Rhizophora stylosa 15.52cm, and Rhizophora mucronata 36.82 cm.

A total of 20 hectares of mangrove forest were restored and 266.27 hectares of marine protected areas where marker buoys and Fish Wardens were installed are under improved management.  Illegal poaching activities are now being monitored and reported to the LGUs contributing to decreased illegal encroachment within the protected areas.

Map of the mangrove planting site (generated on the SMART App) showing the coordinates of the planted propagules.

Drone shot of the mangrove planting site showing the mangrove canopy.

Protection of Marine Protected Areas

Improving the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and strict protection zones is another priority focal area of the project. The project supported the protection of three (3) MPAs measuring 266.27 hectares through the training and installation of Fish Wardens, provision of fuel for patrolling, and modest incentives for the trained Fish Wardens.  Mooring buoys were installed in the boundaries of the MPAs which contributed to strengthening law enforcement and reducing illegal fishing and encroachment in protected areas. With the supervision of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist, Fish Wardens have been actively patrolling and monitoring the protected areas where they were assigned.  They have already reported illegal activities within the protected areas and appropriate actions were done by the LGU. 

Improving the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and strict protection zones is another priority focal area of the project.

 Marine Protected Areas in Dumaran, Palawan

The project supported the protection of three (3) MPAs measuring 266.27 hectares through the training and installation of Fish Wardens, provision of fuel for patrolling, and modest incentives for the trained Fish Wardens.Mooring buoys were installed in the boundaries of the MPAs which contributed to strengthening law enforcement and reducing illegal fishing and encroachment in protected areas. With the supervision of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist, Fish Wardens have been actively patrolling and monitoring the protected areas where they were assigned.  They have already reported illegal activities within the protected areas and appropriate actions were done by the LGU. 

This component was lauded by both LGUs of Araceli and Dumaran who have expressed that as much as they would like to retrain and provide incentives to Fish Wardens in all of their Marine Protected Areas, their limited funds are still a challenge because of the decreased funds due to the effect of the Covid 19 pandemic.

It is estimated that 9,775 individuals will experience enhanced economic advantages from the Marine Protected Areas due to the strengthened law enforcement, in contrast to the situation following the disaster.

Telban Core 186.58 hectares.

Banawa Core 37.69 hectares.

Sta. Teresita 42 hectares.

Location of the 3 MPA Sites

Assembly, labeling, and hauling of mooring buoys and sinkers with the supervision of the Municipal Agriculture Office and PBCAI.




Installation of mooring buoys

 Fishery Law Enforcement Deputation Training for Fish Warden

Livelihood Establishment

To support the fisherfolks to recover from the loss of livelihood, they were supported in the production of seagrape “lato” from technical training and other materials needed in the establishment of the lato production areas.  The establishment of lato production areas has given the fisherfolks an alternative source of lato instead of collecting from the wild which would also give ample regeneration time for the lato growing in the wild. 

Members of the Fisherfolks Association in Poblacion, Dumaran were involved in the collection of seagrapes planting materials (“Caulerpa racemose”. Local name: “Abangar”).  Incentives were given to the members in the collection of wildlings, bringing of materials to the site, and planting of the wildlings. The planting materials were collected from the wild near the planting site.

Bamboo poles were installed around the area where the lato will be planted to serve as fences to protect the wildlings that will be planted in the area. Participants in the lato project were able to prepare 32 plots measuring 10x10 meters per plot. Each plot was assigned to 5 persons who completed the installation of the bamboos and they are also the ones to plant and maintain the lato planted in the particular plot.

Photos of collected lato planting materials and planting sites


Harvested lato

There were 800 individuals from the 750 target who benefited from lato seaweed production.  The number of participants has been extended to an additional 50 because of the cheaper price of bamboo poles purchased for the project.

Lessons learned in project implementation:

  • Biodiversity conservation project is more effective when coupled with livelihood complementation – as a motivation factor to increase participation of the local communities in conservation activities.
  • Livelihood projects should be culturally appropriate and technically feasible.
  • Visibility of monitoring teams for law enforcement deters illegal activities and reduces encroachment in Marine Protected Areas.  It also raises awareness in the community about the protected areas.
  • Information, education, and communication campaign instill awareness and willingness to participate in conservation activities.
  • A tragic experience (like a typhoon) is a motivation factor.
  • It is most beneficial to have a good relationship with the Local Government Units and local communities.
  • The Situation Model-Theory of Change of the project should be revisited from time to time to assess and check on the track of the project.

Bad weather conditions have affected the latter part of the implementation, particularly the monitoring of planted mangrove propagules.  Our request for the smart app training has somehow also delayed the completion of the activity and the project team has to get additional manpower to augment the monitoring activities.  Delays in the disbursement of funds have also caused some delays.


IV. Plastic Reduction in Marine Environment

On October 12, 2022, PBCAI was granted funds by the SEETURTLES for plastic clean-up activities in the west coasts of Puerto Princesa City that are known to be nesting sites of marine turtles in coordination and collaboration with the local government units. The target sites for the project are Barangays Napsan, Simpokan, Bagong Bayan and Bacungan in Puerto Princesa City.  These are nesting beaches for hawksbill turtles, olive ridley, and green sea turtles.  There were 248 nesters monitored in these areas based on the data gathered from December 2015 to December 2018 with a total of 23,244 sea turtle eggs found and 13,259 released from in-situ and ex-situ nurseries.

Coastal Clean-up at Tagkawayan Beach in Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City was conducted on November 11, 2022.  The activity was participated by the members of the Tagkawayan Community-Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) and some of the residents of the community.

Participants collected a total of 286 kilos of waste mostly plastic bottles, plastic wrappers, plastic sacks, and glass bottles.


[1] MMPL Management Board. Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape Protected Area Management Plan 2021-2030 (2021), p.24-25