The main goal of the Research and Monitoring (RM) program is to contribute to the attainment of the TPAMB vision by:
- Determining ecosystem health;
- Generating sound scientific information;
- Informing the design of proactive strategies and responses to emerging issues;
- Measuring biophysical indicators for management effectiveness.
Data is systematically and routinely collected and analyzed to determine the biophysical condition of the park and the factors that may negatively influence this condition. Monitoring enables the measurement of the biophysical management effectiveness indicators for TRNP.
Monitoring results are used by the TPAMB to formulate policies, and by the TMO to determine effective field strategies to halt resource degradation. The data are also used to fulfill reporting obligations to partners such as TPAMB member agencies, UNESCO, Ramsar, ASEAN Heritage Parks, donors, etc. Lastly, research results are used to develop communication education and public awareness (CEPA) materials that keep the public informed of the condition of Tubbataha.
Research on specific topics, e.g., carrying capacity, can improve the understanding of the park’s threshold for pressure. Targeted research helps generate understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in the ecological or social systems and enrich understanding of monitoring results.
The TPAMB, through the TMO, partners with several institutions and the academe to conduct specific research and monitoring activities in the Park. These partners include the De La Salle University – Br. Alfred Shields FSC Ocean Research for reef benthos, Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines for sharks and rays, and Marine Research Foundation for marine turtles, and the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute for other biological and physico-chemical studies, to name a few.
Park authorities will continue to engage with external institutions, encourage and support partnerships, or commission targeted research that would enhance understanding of the resources within and improve management.