Accomplishment Report 2023


The "Accomplishment Report 2023" details the various environmental conservation efforts undertaken by the Palawan Biodiversity Conservation Advocates Inc. (PBCAI) over the year. Each initiative not only targeted ecological restoration and protection but also emphasized community involvement and education, fostering a more sustainable interaction between the local populations and their natural environment.

Key projects highlighted include:

  1. Sea Turtle Conservation in Dumaran and Araceli: Supported by the Gerry Roxas Foundation and USAID, this project involved training local communities on sea turtle biology, rescue, and hatchery management. Notably, it improved local awareness and engagement in protecting these critical marine species.

  2. Plastic Reduction in Marine Environments: Funded by SEETURTLES, the project focused on cleaning up plastic waste on the nesting beaches of Puerto Princesa, collecting over 910 kilograms of waste, thereby aiding in the conservation of marine turtle habitats.

  3. Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS): Conducted in partnership with Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas, this study aimed to analyze and improve waste management practices in three barangays in Taytay, Palawan, to enhance local environmental conservation efforts.

  4. Community Mangrove Forest Management: A three-month grant project aimed at assessing and restoring mangrove areas damaged by Typhoon Odette, promoting community engagement and sustainable management.

  5. Ridge to Reef Ecosystems Resource Management: This project sought to integrate watershed, coastal, and marine ecosystems management in Dumaran Island, enhancing natural resource governance and promoting sustainable livelihoods among local communities.

I. Sea Turtle Conservation

Dumaran and Araceli

In March 2023, PBCAI was granted the "Ridge-to-Reef Ecosystems Resource Management in Dumaran Island, Palawan" project, which is sponsored by the Gerry Roxas Foundation through the United States Agency for International Development. One of the project's components is to protect sea turtle species and their habitats in both coastal and marine ecosystems using a seascape approach to conservation by networking KBA.

A training session on Sea Turtle Conservation was conducted from July 2nd to July 4th, 2023. The training was attended by 6 female and 24 male participants from five Barangays, namely San Juan, Bacao, and Catep in Dumaran, and Dalayawan and Tinintinan in Araceli. These barangays were identified as having nesting sites for sea turtles. During the training, lectures and presentations were given on Sea Turtle Biology and Ecological Importance in the Marine Ecosystem. The participants also watched the video "Journey of a Sea Turtle".

On the second day of the training, a lecture was given on how to handle and rescue sea turtles that are encountered, and the participants were provided with instructions and details about sea turtle tags and tagging. A video presentation on various sea turtle rescue situations was shown. In the afternoon, the participants discussed hatchery establishment and procedures. Different monitoring forms were introduced and the participants practiced filling out these forms.

Due to unfavorable weather conditions during the training session, a demonstration was conducted on how to locate sea turtle nests and transfer eggs to a hatchery. A simulated nest was created on the beach using ping pong balls and flipper marks. Participants were unable to locate the nest, and the resource person explained the techniques involved in finding sea turtle nests and transferring eggs to the hatchery.

The participants were thankful for the activity because they said that maybe if there is no project like this, they will never know the importance of sea turtles.

Information and facts about sea turtles are not widely known by the participants which may also be true for most of the locals of Dumaran Island.  The conduct of IEC together with the trained participants would be an important component of this initiative.


A lecture on sea turtle conservation was conducted with the Western Command, which was attended by 48 soldiers who are set to be assigned in the Kalayaan Group of Islands, located in the Western Philippine Sea. The lecture aimed to stress the importance of sea turtles to the marine ecosystem and to equip these soldiers with knowledge on how to take appropriate action should they encounter marine turtles during their reconnaissance in the West Philippine Sea.

Soldiers from the Western Command attends Sea Turtle Conservation Training

II. Plastic Reduction in the Marine Environment

On October 12, 2022, PBCAI received funds from SEETURTLES for plastic clean-up activities in the west coasts of Puerto Princesa City which are known to be nesting sites of marine turtles. 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.

    Table 1. Clean-up activities conducted and weight of waste collected

Location of Clean-up Activity

Date Conducted


Weight of Waste Collected

Tagkawayan Beach

November 11, 2022


286 kgs

Simpokan Beach

January 27, 2023


167 kgs

Bagong Bayan Port

March 31, 2023


144 kgs

Napsan Beach

May 22, 2023


152 kgs


July 13, 2023


126.8 kgs


August 28, 2023


35 kgs


The clean-up activities were actively participated by the Barangay Officials, residents of the communities where the activities were conducted, members of the Community-Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) in Tagkawayan, Simpocan Marine Turtle Conservation, Bantay Pawikan (Sea Turtle Monitoring Team) of Simpokan, Bagong Bayan and Napsan, Bantay CADT (Ancentral Domain Guards) of Napsan, PBCAI staff, Board Members, and volunteers. 

Early morning before the start of the coastal clean-up in Simpokan Beach, the team was invited to witness the transfer of eggs by the members of the CBST from a nearby beach to the hatchery. Upon arrival at the hatchery, there were two nests where hatchlings had emerged and we also witnessed the release of almost one hundred hatchlings to the sea.

The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated each year on 22 May to raise global awareness about the importance of protecting biological resources and the global biodiversity that shapes our environment — not only the various species of plants, animals, and microorganisms around us but also the genetic diversity of each of them, as well as the great variety of ecosystems that make up our planet.

 While conducting the clean-up activity in Bual-Bualan Beach, a stranding incident from the nearby area was reported to one of the Board members of PBCAI who participated in the clean-up activity.  The team went to the said area and found a dead Green Sea Turtle. This was properly documented before the turtle was buried.

The project had collected a total of 910.8 kilos of waste on a total of 11.6 kilometers in four Barangays in the west coast of Puerto Princesa City.

Collected wastes were mostly composed of plastic bottles, plastic wrappers, plastic sacks, glass bottles, discarded nets, empty sacks buried in the shore, rags, small pieces of plastic nylon, and nylon ropes.  

III. Waste Analysis and Characterization Study

The Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas commissioned PBCAI to conduct a Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) in barangays Paly, Debangan, and Beton in Taytay, Palawan on February to March 2023 which aims to determine the following: 

Quantity of waste generated by the households in the barangay;

Quantity of waste generated by each person and by each household; and

Types and composition of wastes generated by the households in the barangay.

Before the conduct of WACS in each of the island barangays, a one-day training titled “Training on Waste Analysis and Characterization Study” with an objective to provide basic knowledge on the WACS process for the Barangay Local Government personnel to build their capacity in solid waste management was held. A total of 66 participants from the three barangays attended the training. The purpose of this training was to provide basic orientation to participants on the purpose and process of Waste Analysis and Characterization Study. Some of the participants to the training joined the WACS teams in the conduct of the activity as their practicum.

Copies of ordinances and resolutions related to solid waste management at the municipal and barangay level were requested and compiled. There is an updated Ecological Solid Waste Management Plan at the municipal level covering the 10-year period from 2018-2027, a resolution regulating the use of plastic bags and prohibiting styrofoams, and a provision in the Code of General Ordinances of Taytay on anti-littering.  In the three island barangays the only existing policy is an Executive Order on “Organizing the Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management Committee (BESWMC)” with Paly having an ordinance on coastal clean-up.

Interviews with the residents of the three island barangays about their waste management practices revealed an urgent need to educate and conduct activities that could lead to change in their behavior towards waste management. All of those who participated in the interviews are willing to cooperate and participate in projects and activities to reduce waste.

Waste management in the three island barangays faces a lot of challenge.  The MLGU and the BLGUs should develop a specific solid management plan to respond to the needs of these island barangays with corresponding financial support and political will to implement the plan, and policies related to solid waste. Continuous education campaign is also necessary to bring about changes in negative behaviors and lead to active participation in waste management.

IV. Developing Community Mangrove Forest Management Interventions in Selected Sites of Dumaran, Palawan

PBCAI received a three-month grant from the Forest Foundation of the Philippines to implement a project in Dumaran, Palawan, called "Developing Community Mangrove Forest Management Interventions in Selected Sites of Dumaran, Palawan."

The project aims to verify and validate reports of damages and mangrove conditions in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette beyond the sites previously visited by PBCAI and identify necessary actions for planning and restoration in the municipality of Dumaran. Additionally, should a restoration project be undertaken, the project seeks to gauge the community's interest, willingness to participate, and readiness to embrace the project as co-owners.

It specifically holds the following objectives:

  • Validate on the ground damaged mangrove areas in selected barangays caused by Typhoon Odette and identify areas that need restoration.
  • Prepare the communities for a results-based restoration, enhancement, and sustainable management of mangrove forests.
  • Conduct preparatory activities towards establishing a sustainable livelihood for the communities.
  • Establish the status of Dumaran mangrove forests and formulate an appropriate project design to improve management.

PBCAI visited the areas with damaged mangroves and conducted rapid assessments with support from Dumaran LGU offices.  PBCAI presented its assessment findings and held a workshop for stakeholders and agencies involved in mangrove management planning on March 15-16, 2023.  The workshop included a grant proposal writeshop and the formulation of the Mangrove Management Plan which is bound for lobbying by the MENRO in the Municipal Development Council for support and resolution.  Barangays committed to apportion 5-10 hectares of mangrove rehabilitation/restoration sites, and eight barangays signified their interest in restoring/rehabilitating damaged mangrove forests in their respective barangays.

Sitio Kastilyo, Barangay Bohol

V. Project Development Workshop for Northern Mainland Palawan

The workshop which was funded by the Forest Foundation Philippines was held on April 27, 2023, in El Nido Palawan, and was focused on discussing how to develop and write effective grant proposals. It was attended by 50 participants representing 44 various civil society organizations from six municipalities of Northern Mainland Palawan including the municipality of Araceli. In addition to these participants, there were one representative present from DENR CENRO and one from DENR Protected Area.  Palawan Biodiversity Conservation Advocates had five members present, while the Forest Foundation Philippines was well-represented by 10 of its members.


  Remedios Cabral of Tagbanua Tandulanen Kat El Nido, Inc

The workshop had a twofold objective: to present the grant programs and results framework of the Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP) and to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to develop effective project proposals that align with the Forest Foundation Philippines mission and objectives. By doing so, the workshop aimed to empower participants with the necessary tools to secure funding and successfully implement conservation projects that support the protection and preservation of Palawan's biodiversity.

A database of stakeholders was generated through a tracking form shared by the Forest Foundation Philippines with PBCAI which was updated from time to time before the conduct of the workshop.  This contains the basic information on various civil society organizations that were registered for the workshop that can be used by the Forest Foundation Philippines for grant-making efforts in Northern Mainland Palawan.

There were 46 concept notes from 44 different organizations that were uploaded and 34 of these Concept proposals were presented and reviewed during the workshop that are expected to submit full proposals for possible funding.

The workshop served as a platform for the Foundation to engage with various People's Organizations from the Northern Palawan, and effectively present their grant programs and results framework. The guidance provided on project proposal development was aimed at helping organizations increase their chances of securing funding for their projects.

Group 4. Watershed Management and Forest Restoration

As an outcome of the workshop, participants gained valuable knowledge and skills necessary for developing effective project proposals that align with the Foundation's mission and objectives. It is essential for the participants to apply this knowledge and skills to their own proposals, and the Foundation encourages them to take advantage of the technical assistance offered during the workshop to strengthen their proposals and increase their chances of success.

The continued collaboration and support between the Forest Foundation Philippines and the People's Organizations will play a vital role in achieving the shared goal of promoting sustainable development and preserving Palawan's biodiversity. The success of the workshop underscores the Foundation's commitment to empowering communities and organizations toward sustainable environmental stewardship.

VI. Ridge to Reef Ecosystems Resource Management in Dumaran Island, Palawan

On March 2, 2023, the Palawan Biodiversity Conservation Advocates, Inc. was awarded the project “Ridge to Reef Ecosystems Resource Management in Dumaran Island, Palawan.”  The project is located in Dumaran Island in the northeastern part of Palawan province and is divided between the 3rd class municipalities of Dumaran and Araceli.

The overarching aspiration for the project is to enrich the environment to form a sustainable source of quality ecosystem services for the next generation. The project targets watershed enhancement, conservation and protection, upland and marine biodiversity conservation, and management and conservation of coastal and marine resources.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  1. Preserve the island's natural resources and biodiversity by implementing sustainable resource management practices and mitigating the effects of destructive human activities.
  2. Create alternative livelihood opportunities for the local population, reducing reliance on environmentally damaging activities and contributing to sustainable development.
  3. Strengthen governance on the island's natural resources thru the enhancement of policies on natural resource governance and community participation in governing bodies
  4. Promote Ridge-to-reef (watershed, coastal and marine ecosystems) protection and management approach in conservation thru island-wide Behavior Communications Change approach.

Following the ridge-to-reef approach to conservation, the project will focus on two watersheds, the Dalayawan watershed (5,904.62 hectares) in Araceli and the Calasag watershed (5,667.02 hectares) in Dumaran. The project will work with two mangrove areas in Dalayawan covering a total of 367.86 hectares, to rehabilitate and conserve these mangrove areas to ensure their long-term sustainability. In addition to the mangrove areas, the project will also focus on strengthening the protection of marine protected areas in two areas below the Calasag and Dalayawan watersheds.  The project will also engage in protecting the sea turtle nesting sites across these coastal lines.

Communities in the project sites will be provided with education and build their capacity to engage in conservation efforts and manage their natural resources sustainably. The project can promote ownership and stewardship by involving the communities, leading to more effective and sustainable conservation practices. Additionally, the project's efforts will help to ensure that the communities can continue to benefit from the natural resources in the island, supporting their livelihoods and overall well-being.

Preliminary activities were conducted upon approval of the project which included courtesy calls to the Local Government Units of Dumaran and Araceli and to the eight target barangays. The project was discussed with the LGUs and the target barangays to level-off on the objectives and activities that the project will undertake in their areas.  Total number of attendees to the project presentations were 149 women and 90 men. They were thankful that their municipalities and barangays were selected for this project and are expecting that this project will contribute to the betterment of their lives.

In preparation for the Livelihood component of the project, a training on Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment was conducted with resource persons coming from the DOST-PCAARRD-Western Philippines University Agriculture and Aquaculture Technology Business Incubator (WPU-ATBI).  This was attended by a total of 26 participants (6 women, 20 men) from the eight barangays and have identified potential livelihood based on the resources they have identified during the training. After the training, meetings with the organizations in the 8 barangays will be conducted to validate the results and for the organizations to agree on what livelihood they will engage in.

The locals’ negative mindset regarding marine turtles is one challenge that was encountered but through patient and logical explanations about the species and its importance to the marine environment and the benefits they provide, resistance gradually mellowed.  However, this will be a continuing challenge that the project will encounter during the early phase of project implementation.

The team from the WPU-ATBI conducted two batches of training on alternative livelihoods where they presented potential livelihoods for the participants to identify which one is the most suitable for implementation.  The team also trained the participants on the technical aspects and planning of their selected livelihood projects to increase their chances of success. Assessments of the proposed sites of the chosen livelihood were also conducted to select the most suitable site for implementing the livelihood.

PBCAI staff facilitates the identification and ranking of livelihood options with the members of the organizations

A resource person was also invited in the conduct of the Training on Organic Farming where the participants gained knowledge and skills that they can adopt in their farms. The participants were interested in the technologies shared by the resource speaker which they saw as an opportunity for them to cut their expenses and use of chemicals which would lead to a better harvest and more income for their families.

It is expected that the project can achieve as stated in the Theory of Change, “If sustainable livelihood opportunities are accessible to the communities, then households will have supplemental income. New knowledge on farming technology and conservation-based enterprises will enable communities to refrain from resorting to illegal activities such as kaingin, illegal logging, and wildlife poaching as mechanisms for sustenance.”

For the Ridge-to-reef (watershed, coastal, and marine ecosystems) protection and management component of the project, Resource and biodiversity information were gathered which will be used as inputs to improve existing plans in the management of their watersheds and coastal resources. Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Dumaran and Araceli were surveyed to identify boundaries where marker buoys will be installed.  Training on fishery law enforcement (FLET) was also conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and is aimed at the deputation of fish wardens to monitor these MPAs.

Sea Turtle Conservation Training was also conducted with participants from five identified barangays with sightings of marine turtle nesters who are now prepared to conduct patrol activities during the nesting season of sea turtles in their respective communities. Participants to this training also attended the FLET training.

Mangrove areas in Barangays Dalayawan, Lumacad, and Tinintinan were surveyed to identify enrichment planting sites to stabilize the coastline, protect the communities against storm surges, and provide habitat for various marine life. Possible enrichment sites in Dalayawan could reach up to 158 hectares while in Lumacad, the mangrove forest has minimal damage from Typhoon Odette and the team perceives that no physical intervention is needed in these areas. In Tinintinan, a noticeably large portion of damaged mangroves due to typhoon Odette covering around 7.8 hectares was identified and along with this area, the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of Tinintinan proposed an abandoned fishpond covering around 4.5 hectares for rehabilitation.

During this quarter, the WPU-ATBI team conducted training sessions on alternative livelihood in several Barangays including Bacao, Catep, and Calasag in Dumaran, and Dalayawan and Tinintinan in Araceli. The team presented various potential livelihood options to the participants, who then identified the most suitable one for implementation. The team also provided technical training and planning support for the selected livelihood projects to increase their chances of success. Furthermore, the team assessed the proposed sites for the chosen livelihood to select the most appropriate site for implementation.

Participants from Barangays Bacao, Calasag, and Tinintinan opted for milkfish culture as the livelihood option for their organizations, while members from Dalayawan chose mud crab culture for their livelihood, and Barangay Catep will pursue a fish processing project.

On December 10-11, 2023, PBCAI conducted a Business Planning workshop which was attended by representatives of the organizations from Barangays San Juan, Bacao, and Lumacad.  The participants have developed a business plan for their chosen livelihood projects which will be discussed with their respective organizations for finalization.

The establishment of the pond for the culture of giant freshwater prawns in Barangay Lumacad needs some minor adjustments based on the observations during the visit of the WPU-ATBI team.  Fingerlings will be sourced from the Western Philippines University by the end of January when the stocks are ready.

The assembly of the Milkfish floating cage in Barangay San Juan was started by members of the Fisherfolks’ Association and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2024. Bangus fingerlings will be purchased from a Fisherfolks’ Association in the Municipality of Roxas.

Preparation of the Floating Cage for Milkfish in Barangay San Juan.

SA2. Ridge-to-reef (watershed, coastal, and marine ecosystems) protection and management.

MPA and Mangrove Protection

The MPA Monitoring Team diligently crafted specialized sinkers and assembled a floating bamboo raft to ferry the sinkers to the designated sites, 20 days before the scheduled deployment. The PBCAI Team also brought the mooring buoys into the area. The sanctuary spans approximately 4.95 hectares and is strategically located along the main river that flows through the mangroves, from the river mouth to its inner reaches.

On November 23, 2023, the PBCAI Team and the MPA Monitoring Team collaborated to attach mooring buoys to sinkers using a combination of cables, ropes, and swivels for optimum functionality. They painted the buoys with the name of LGU-Araceli for identification purposes.

On November 24th, the MPA Monitoring Team loaded and manually towed a buoyant bamboo raft to transport a set of mooring buoys and sinkers during high tide. They carefully positioned five (5) orange mooring buoys and two (2) plastic drums at the entrance of the MPA Fish Sanctuary to effectively demarcate the sanctuary and make it easier to haul the sinkers. The team distributed five (5) orange mooring buoys and two (2) plastic drums along the entrance of the MPA Fish Sanctuary to strengthen the integrity of the sanctuary.

The Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) of Araceli actively participated in the installation of mooring buoys and expressed satisfaction with the outcome. They also reminded the MPA team to be vigilant in protecting the area for the benefit of the community. This collaborative effort showcases the community's dedication to safeguarding the marine biodiversity within its boundaries and reinforces their commitment to sustainable management and preservation of the aquatic ecosystem.

Mooring buoys were also installed in the Pungtod Nagtalula Marine Protected Area situated in Barangay Bacao, Dumaran, Palawan. This activity involved partnering with the LGU of Dumaran through the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO). The LGU provided three boats and representatives from the MENRO and MAO as their commitment to environmental stewardship and community welfare.


Installation of mooring buoys in Pungtod Nagtalula Marine Protected Area in Bacao, Dumaran

To ensure accuracy, each boat was equipped with GPS, and two boats had LGU representatives on board. The installation process involved hiring two divers to assist with sinker placement during installation, ensuring that the buoys remained securely anchored. These divers assist in verifying the suitability of the placement and navigating potential coral areas, preventing unintentional damage.

Sea Turtle Monitoring Teams monitored the nesting beaches in five barangays. They transferred 519 eggs to ex-situ hatcheries after monitoring six nests. In December 2023, they released one hundred and thirty-nine hatchlings.

 A sea turtle while laying eggs in Bacao

Restoration of 50 hectares of typhoon-damaged mangrove ecosystem in Dalayawan

The PBCAI Team identified the area for planting mangrove propagules and discovered that the mangroves were in their fruiting season. Most of the propagules had already matured and started to fall off. Later, the team decided to start collecting the propagules and schedule the planting.

The local community was actively engaged in the propagule collection process and was incentivized through a payment system based on the quantity of propagules collected. They committed to contributing their efforts to the subsequent planting phase, as per the mutually agreed-upon arrangement.

The community members of Barangay Dalayawan, Araceli have successfully collected and planted 47,000 propagules. Additionally, they have planted 2,000 propagules in the abandoned fishpond situated in Barangay Tinintinan, Araceli. Moreover, in the nursery located in Tinintinan, Araceli, they have collected and nurtured 1,000 wild seedlings of various species for future planting activities.

Species planted are mostly Rhizophora and some Pagatpat mangrove species.