The Philippines has been the site of several recent coral bleaching events, attributable to both global climate change and a rise in sea surface temperatures across Southeast Asia in 2010 related to La Niña. Estimates of the mortality rate of corals from this bleaching varied from ten to sixty percent in different parts of the nation. A lack of precise monitoring in the Philippines, however, has made it difficult both to determine the severity of the crisis and to formulate appropriate responses.
As a follow up to his participation in CORAL’s Reef Resilience to Climate Change workshop, Dean Apistar submitted a proposal to CORAL, requesting funding for the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, a small organization working to preserve biodiversity in the Province of Siquijor, a small island in the Philippines. The microgrant request was approved, and the group began a project to plug holes in the island's local monitoring efforts. The project involves four objectives:
Members of the People’s Organization of Maite Marine Sanctuary and the Provincial MPA Monitoring Team introduce themselves during the first day of the training.
Staff of CCEF explain the biology of coral polyps and the the causes and effects of coral bleaching.
Members of the People’s Organization of Maite Marine Sanctuary prepare to conduct a Mantatow survey in their village.
The Manta-tow team gets ready to start the survey.
Members of the People’s Organization of Maite Marine Sanctuary perform a timed-swim survey within the shallow portions of their MPA.
Members of the Provincial MPA Monitoring Team conduct the LIT survey inside the sanctuary.
The project is ongoing, however, several notable milestones have occurred: