Marine Protected Areas

Sustainable Marine Protected Area Management

A holistic stewardship model.

Globally, so many MPAs are merely ‘paper parks’. No positive impacts are being delivered on the ground in terms of fisheries management, habitat replenishment and conservation, and community engagement in monitoring and management. Consequently, we took a different route in working with Marine Protected Areas in the Philippines.

C3’s environmental stewardship model focuses on assessing the current functioning of MPAs in a holistic manner (traditional knowledge, governance, socio-economic and biodiversity assessments, financial sustainability) and then developing community capacity for governance and implementation of management plans.

Delivery of key community services including diversified income generation and improvements in health and education services is key to ensuring MPAs benefit local populations. Sustained, intensive outreach in the communities about fisheries regulations, climate change, species and habitats is a key focal area because only by fully understanding the purpose and objectives of MPAs can the community be fully motivated and mobilised to sustain them.


C3 already works in two MPAs in the Calamianes islands: Sagrada-Bogtong and Concepcion. It is currently in the process of developing further 9 MPAs.

The Calamianes are home to numerous red-listed marine species, as well as the last remaining members of the Tagbanua tribe. Thus, they are not just a centre of biodiversity, but a centre of biocultural diversity.

C3 has achieved success in leading the establishment of a 191 ha Indigenous Marine Managed Area (IMMA) at Calauit Island, Busuanga; and in the development of several other IMMAs in the Calamianes. Uniquely, the IMMA network will aim to capitalize on existing traditional management of the Tagbanua peoples, integrating these beliefs and cultural behaviours into management plans.

On the main island of Palawan, C3 has been working with stakeholders since 2017. We are improving the functioning of El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, of which 36,018 hectares is terrestrial, and 54,303 hectares is marine. The same threats are present: land conversion for tourism and agriculture, and illegal logging of hardwoods and mangroves.

C3 is also active in northwestern Palawan, in the incredible Malampaya Sound and Seascape Protected Area. This covers about 200,000 hectares of terrestrial and marine areas alike. This region is of critical ecological and economic importance, as it is both a watershed and a rich fishing ground–dubbed the ”Fishbowl of the Philippines.” It is made up of various habitats and ecosystems such as tropical lowland forest, old growth mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass beds, and coastal beaches. The area abounds with flora and fauna, including species endemic to Palawan.

Community Centre Conservation - C3 Philippines: Marine Protected Areas in the Philippines

Contact C3 Philippines

Busuanga Office

Salvacion, Busuanga, Palawan, 5317 Philippines

Taytay Field Office

Purok 6 San Lorenzo, Poblacion
Taytay, Palawan, 5312 Philippines

C3 Philippines (C3PHILIPPINES INC.), in accordance with the Corporation Code of the Philippines, is registered as a non-profit organization in the Philippines under the Securities and Exchange Commission with Company Registration No. CN201115227.