Sustainable Community Based Mangrove Plantation Projects: Three Case Studies from Palawan Island, The Philippines

Dimithri Devinda Jayagoda


Undoubtedly, mangroves and associated wildlife show signs of degradation in almost every region of the world. Historical data proves that in 10 regions, there have been continuous mangrove losses between the periods 1980 to 2005. The Philippines have lost its mangrove cover quite severely. In 1920, the country had 500,000 hectares of mangrove cover that has reduced to 117,000 by the year 1995. The heavy loss of mangrove forest in the world is due largely to human activities. There are community based mangrove plantation and livelihood projects conducted in the City of Puerto Princesa, on Palawan Island, Philippines, namely “Love Affair with Nature”, “Firefly watch in Iwahig mangrove forest” and “Mangrove Paddleboat tour in Sabang” were implemented and continued by the true efforts of the lord mayor, Edward Hagedorn. Valentines day mangrove plantation has been continuing annually since 2003. Mangrove forests have provided nursery grounds for fish, prawns and crabs and as supported matter, which are valuable sources of food for crustaceans and fishes. A unique methodology has been used in this study and photography has been used to document many of the qualitative findings. These Mangrove Plantation and livelihood Projects can be adopted in various other islands in the Philippines and the rest of the world. Recommendations are given to further improve the mangrove plantation project and to also stabilize and increase community participation. The qualitative data gathered from the local high-ranking officials and academia in Puerto Princesa proves that the mangrove is no longer being harvested and is continuously regaining through both the natural and planting processes of reforestation and afforestation. Findings from the interviews with local community prove that everybody in the city is aware about the importance of mangroves and that they are participating in the planting of and protecting the mangroves planted area in every possible manner. These qualitative findings are proved by available quantitative national statistics and which clearly shows the mangrove forest cover and the upland forest cover are increasing in Puerto Princesa during the last two decades.


Community Participation, Environmental projects, Leadership, Mangroves, Sustainability

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