Twin Rocks and Agsalin are both part of the Verde Island Passage MPA Network, which currently comprises nearly 70 MPAs in Batangas, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro provinces. These MPAs represent more than 17,000 hectares of critical habitats in the Verde Island Passage, a recognized global center of marine biodiversity.
Since 2005, CI Philippines has been working in VIP, doing research to identify possible sites for new MPAs; assisting the coastal municipalities in establishing new MPAs, expanding or reestablishing existing ones; strengthening law enforcement; and building local capacities for effective MPA management. CI’s efforts helped increase MPAs in the VIP from just over 1,000 hectares in 2005 to more than 17,000 hectares by 2011.
“Effectively managed MPAs provide numerous benefits and they are very important in our fight against poverty, food insecurity, and climate change impacts like storm surges and sea temperature rise,” said Romeo Trono, CI Philippines Country Executive Director. “There’s still a lot of work to be done to promote MPAs and other conservation efforts in the VIP. We hope that this kind of recognition will go a long way in getting more support from communities, local officials, and even private entities.”