Busuanga, Palawan – Mangrove and marine protected area (MPA) rehabilitation is underway in three partner communities in Busuanga, Palawan. C3 Philippines, together with the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation Inc. (PTFCF), are spearheading a clean-up of fallen mangroves trees and debris in two MPAs in the municipality.
The two MPAs are comprised of three ecosystems – seagrass, corals and mangroves – which are typically recognized as buffers for such natural disasters, and also help combat climate change. The mangrove areas have been littered with many leaves, trees and branches broken by the strong typhoon winds. The fish wardens that protect and patrol the MPAs report that the tree cover of these mangrove ecosystems are much less dense, and there are many bald patches deep inside the mangrove forests.
Cleaning up the debris is important so as to not allow the broken branches to rot, especially in the areas where water flow is restricted. This is because excess debris and rotting materials may impede the ecosystem’s function as a nursery for fish, crabs and other forms of marine life in the ecosystem. There have been many reports by fisherfolk of their sighting dead or stunned fish floating in the sea in the days following the typhoon hitting the country.