On 4 to 5 July the Tubbataha management team in Puerto Princesa is hosting a Sustainable Tourism Planning Workshop for Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP). This is the second major workshop this year, following the Unesco Working Meeting to Strengthen Conservation and Management Capacities for TRNP from 20 to 24 May.
The Unesco meeting brought experts from around the world to Puerto Princesa to discuss Tubbataha’s most pressing concerns, including financial sustainability, vulnerability to Archipelagic Sea Lanes and the future of tourism.
Chris Briggs, Tourism and Recreation Director of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, made a presentation about tourism strategies and challenges. Harald Marencic, Deputy Secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, spoke about tourism strategy in the Wadden Sea, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Briggs suggested more engagement and involvement of local and national government, Filipino youth, the scientific community and students. Scientific data can be used to increase awareness of Tubbataha and TRNP would possibly be incorporated into the school curriculum. Briggs stressed that giving people more access to information on the conservation of Tubbataha would give them more opportunity to care about the future of TRNP.
Planning for Tubbataha
The aim of the current tourism workshop is to design a comprehensive plan for sustainable tourism in TRNP and develop a strategic action plan. The workshop participants are looking at the ecological pressures of tourism as well as socio-cultural impacts. They will define limits and identify the tools required to effectively manage TRNP as a tourist destination.
NOTE TO EDITORS: About Tubbataha
This year, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, the largest marine protected area in the Philippines, is celebrating 25 years of conservation. Tubbataha lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the geographic centre of world marine biodiversity. Located 92 nautical miles from Puerto Princesa City, Tubbataha is a source of coral and fish larvae that sustains fisheries in the mainland Palawan and the surrounding waters of the Sulu Sea. The islets of Tubbataha are the last seabird stronghold in Southeast Asia and serve as an important rookery for endangered species.
Since 1993, Tubbataha has been inscribed on this list of Unesco World Heritage Sites. It is recognised as one of the Philippines’ oldest ecosystems, containing excellent examples of pristine reefs and a high diversity of marine life, an important habitat for internationally threatened and endangered marine species.
For further information:
Glenda G. Simon
Information, Education, Communications Officer
Tubbataha Management Office