Dr. Lope A. Calanog, Regional Sustainable Finance Specialist of the Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle-Southeast Asia presented a seminar on the Coral and Giant Clam Gardening: Merging Sustainable Financing and Reef Conservation in Taytay, Palawan, Philippines on 29 September 2015 at SEARCA, Los Baños, Laguna.
The SEARCA Agriculture and Development Seminar Series (ADSS), which aims to promote lively scientific exchange on development issues and their implications to agricultural and rural development, sponsored the event.
“I am excited to share this innovative subproject of CTI-SEA with the Los Baños Science Community because it is a pioneering tourism activity in Taytay,” said Calanog.
The coral gardens will be planted in the islands of Denot, Quimbaludan while the giant clam garden will be set up in Tecas island. It is expected to generate an additional income of US$170,000 (P3 million) per year for the municipality.
Stakeholders, including the local government, resort owners, and fishermen’s organizations, agreed that it was the most appropriate payment for environmental services scheme given Taytay’s resources and needs.
“Local fishermen have shown remarkable commitment in setting up the coral and taklobo gardens to address threats faced by Taytay Bay, including Sargassum invasion. They anticipate that this will bring them additional income, which they have longed for in the past.”
A sustainable financing system will be designed and carried out, including a willingness-to-pay study, after the coral and giant clam gardens have been established. CTI-SEA also plans to put up a conservation trust fund in Taytay.
The coral and giant clam gardening project was first introduced to the Coral Triangle Initiative community during the Sustainable Marine Tourism Conference in Bali last August. CTI-SEA is documenting the lessons learned at every step of the subproject through a series of experience notes. The first step, which was establishing the benchmark, was published by GEF/IW:LEARN in September.
CTI-SEA is a project funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Global Environment Facility. One of its goals is to support the implementation of the national plans of action of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines in sustainable finance.