C3 Philippines and the Local Government of Busuanga are working with relevant authorities to initiate a much-needed tourism code for the municipality in response to a request from the municipal government for assistance on their environmental planning policy. C3 is extremely active in the Executive and Legislative Agenda and Municipal Development Plan and we are exploring more partnership possibilities and continuing to lobby for funding and logistical support.
Palawan is recognized as the center of the center of biodiversity in the Philippines that faces serious environmental challenges to its sustainable development. The phenomenal rate of the tourism growth is currently being experienced with 34% rise in visitors to capital city of Palawan province in 2009.
The municipality of Busuanga is a small municipality undergoing tremendous environmental pressures brought about by the growing population and tourism development that extracts huge demands on natural resources and exclude local fishers from their fishing grounds. Moreover, migrants have brought in natural resources extraction techniques more efficient than those previously available to local inhabitants. These activities also put the unique biodiversity of the island under immediate threat and the communities to become poorer.
However, the development of the equitable small scale ecotourism by communities in a sustainable manner in the municipality has the potential to address both the burgeoning poverty of local communities and at the same time reduce the anthropogenic pressures on the fragile environment of the island.