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Inroduction:

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 130,028 ha, including the North and
South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density
of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and
marine turtles.

It protects an area of almost 100,000 hectares of high quality marine


habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea. The property is
home to a great diversity of marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and
Napoleon wrasse are amongst the key species found here. The reef
ecosystems support over 350 species of coral and almost 500 species of fish.
The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding
seabirds in the region.

Threats

The Philippines is considered a Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the world's most


biologically rich countries - but also among the most threatened. Coral reefs
are among the most endangered ecosystems on our planet.
1. Shipping - fishermen used destructive fishing techniques. They used
dynamite to blast reef areas and cyanide solution, a poison that dazes
fish and kills corals. Entire ecosystems collapsed in their wake.

Example: 1.) One current problem is that Topshells - are being stolen at
night by people entering the park by boat from mainland Palawan. The
Topshells are sold and made into shirt buttons, jewellery and
ornaments. Topshells are important to marine ecosystems because
they act as natural cleaners of corals and serve as food for other
marine life.

Topshellls image

Example 2.) - In 2007 the first outbreak of crown-of-


thorns starfish (COTS).

Thorn starfish image

2. Marine Debris - The volume of debris in our oceans increases every


year. Plastic garbage is a threat to marine animals as it is often
mistaken for food, which can cause injury or death.
Marine Debris image

3. Climate Change- The potential of sea surface temperature increases


due to climate change looms on the horizon and could have a severe
negative impact on the coral reef ecosystem in the future.

Issues and Challenges

1. Tourism
2. Solid waste

Other challenges

1. Oil/ gas exploration


2. Temperature extreme
3. Earthquake/tsunami

The only weakness in the Park management system is long term


financial sustainability which could be addressed through the
establishment of an endowment fund.

Solution:

Overall protection and management of Tubbataha are excellent and


serious problems of short term management are small due to the good
management team and their vigilant efforts to protect the Park.

Effective Measures:
1. Research
2. Monitoring
3. Tourism and Visitation management
4. Sustainable use
5. Sustainable finance
6. Boundaries - are established by national law and publicized for all
mariners and stakeholders (TRNP Act of 2009). The boundaries are
adequate (IUCN Evaluation, 2009).

Best Solution

Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations


In 2009 when the World Heritage Committee approved the extension of the
property, it also requested that the State Party to put in place a programme
of ecological monitoring and to develop a sustainable tourism strategy
(Decision 33COM 7B.18). In its Decision 35COM 7B.17 the World Heritage
Committee commended the State Party for the progress achieved in
implementing the recommendations, but also urged the State Party to
undertake further actions, including expediting the application for the
designation of the Sulu Sea as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area. A regional
forum will be held in Philippines in July in response to the request for the
establishment of Tubbataha as a PSSA. The Philippine Coast Guard has been
identified as the lead agency in such an application (Consultation with the
site manager, June 2014).

Active Office

1. The TMO the Tubbataha Park in its entirety and coordinates all
activities within the Park and assists to source resources for Park
management. ( Tubbataha Management Office )
2. WWF Philippines provides monitoring support to the TMO and use of
their boat to travel to Tubbataha for routine operations. WWF also
provides support for some personnel assisting with Park. ( World
Wildlife Funf Philippines )

Video

Tagalog url: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-D3z3t-0Dw

Title : LOREN LEGARDA: Philippine Marine Biodiversity Documentary