Restored mangroves around a shrimp farm in Batangas, Verde Island Passage, Philippines.
© CI/photo by Giuseppe Di Carlo
The fisheries management pilot project aims to develop management strategies and designate areas to enhance adaptive capacity of fisheries in the Verde Island Passage (VIP), particularly that of small pelagic species, on which VIP communities heavily depend. In partnership with local governments, national agencies and other relevant groups, the project is exploring options for establishing fishery management areas, promoting sustainable fishery practices, and improving enforcement of laws against illegal and destructive fishing.
Effectively designing and managing climate-resilient marine protected areas (MPA) and MPA networks is emphasized as part of the suite of ecosystem-based adaptation responses that coastal communities should undertake. CI has previously provided assistance in putting up the VIP MPA network, which currently consist of around 17,000 hectares of protected areas with biological and social connectivity and a functioning network of managers and enforcer. CI continues to work with these managers and enforcers in developing initiatives that will build climate resiliency of the MPA network.
The coastal protection pilot focuses on certain important mangrove areas in the VIP that have been identified to be highly vulnerable to sea level rise, increased storm frequency and intensity, and increased sea surface temperature. Continued degradation of these mangrove forest areas spell serious consequences to the livelihood and welfare of VIP communities, as they lose the benefits that mangroves provide in terms of offering natural coastal protection as well as being important refuge and habitat for fish and other marine species.
The project is working with local communities, national government agencies and decision-makers to protect existing mangrove areas, promote mangrove restoration activities, and work for the reversion of abandoned fish ponds to mangrove forests. Conservation agreements are one of the avenues being explored to facilitate this work, which will also lead to benefits or incentives for local stakeholders and discourage destructive or unsustainable practices that adversely affect mangroves.