Last updated, June 2022
- Following two pandemic years of hibernation, reestablished the industry leading citizen science project in scientific diving. Fully trained survey teams have been working since April 2022.
- Provided continous ground truthing on substrate composition on coral reefs for the Allen Coral Atlas.
- Partnered with USAID / Fish Right program, to delivered training to the ENRD Environment and Natural Resource Division dive team, that will monitor MPAs on Negros Oriental outside the operative range of MCP.
- Partnered with Pro Ocean on collection and recycling marine debris and ocean plastics. A full time team under the auspices of MCP now cleans beaches in Southern Negros. Collected >900.000 pieces of plastic garbage (>14 tonnes) in January-June. We were able to recycle ~43% (by weight) and properly dispose of the rest.
- Initiated a two-week introductory conservation program strictly for Filipino participants, unable to spend longer on the project.
- Delivered basic open water and scuba rescue training to the dedicated Zamboanguita Local Government dive team.
- Organized three simultaneous beach cleanup on World Ocean Day, June 8th, (pictures) mobilizing police, coast guard, fraternities, youth groups, fisherfolk associations, local government, sea rangers and concerned citizens.
- Ran a fund raiser and distributed 12.000 meals to afflicted areas after the typhoon Rai devastated large areas in the central Visayas. Video
- Launched plantamangrove.org a website allowing private and corporate sponsors to plant mangrove trees on demand. Using GPS and photo ID tagging of individual trees, the website dashboard provide users with unprecedented guarantees and transparency on planting efforts.
- Erected protective fences and planted 1000 mangrove trees to re-forest an area in Mayabon, where livestock had ruined previous reforestation attempts ten years ago.
- Examined the extent of Seagrass / Coral reef interconnectivity in Zamboanguita, to determine MPA effectiveness. Read full paper.
- Planted 11.000 mangrove trees in Tanjay. Read more
- Provided ground truthing on substrate composition on coral reefs for the Allen Coral Atlas on their rollout in the Philippines.
- Assisted the tourism department of the Local Government of Siaton with creating a report based on MCP monitoring data, to highlight the diverse coral reefs and dive sites of the municipality.
- Partnered with Pro Ocean on collection and recycling marine debris and ocean plastics. A full time team under the auspices of MCP now cleans beaches in Southern Negros. Collected >1.100.000 pieces of plastic garbage (>23 tonnes) in March-December. We were able to recycle ~42% (by weight) and properly dispose of the rest.
- Initiated a scholarship program for gifted youth enrolled in marine studies and welcomed the first two candidates in February 2021.
- Delivered rescue and MPA infrastructure maintenance training to dedicated Zamboanguita Local Government dive team.
- Demarcated Basak MPA and Lutoban MPA, following loss of marker buoys.
- Started the development of a web portal connecting end-user investment in blue carbon with community groups planting mangrove trees.
- Created a direct live webportal to the MCP data repository, to empower stakeholder to view present and historic developments on their marine resources, to see trendlines, error bars and create their reports and imagery for varied purposes.
- Redirected scientific efforts and manpower to help combat COVID19 in the community through SoMe informational campaigns and computer simulations on viral spread, and donated and organised fundraisers in four goes to purchase food for Zamboanguita. (7200 kg donated in total)
- Created a management action recommendation plan and status report for the MPAs of Siaton, with latest data from December 2019 to February 2020.
- Financially augmented the local chapter of the Bantay Dagat.
- Disseminated a comprehensive report with management recommendation on biomass and coral cover development in all Zamboanguita MPAs from June 2018 to August 2019.
- Conducted a large Mangrove planting event in Siit Bay of large saplings (Sonneratia alba, Avicennia marina) in coordination with community group PAPSIMCO.
- In line with our environmental stance on food issues, we launched a campaign website www.veggioke.com to help promote vegetarianism and “flexitarianism.” in the Philippines.
- Conducted a three day expedition to Bais, to help catalogue and assess the Capiñahan MPA.
- Organized a three-day MCP SeaCamp for local youth, developing understanding of critical local environmental issues.
- Presented at the Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, PAMS and twice at the UN.
- Conducted four large Mangrove planting events in Siit Bay of large saplings (Sonneratia alba, Avicennia marina) in coordination with community group PAPSIMCO.
- Helped restore and repopulate the PAPSIMCO mangrove nursery after above planting events.
- Explored and photographed the fledgling MPA resources in Basay.
- Provided consultation and funding for construction of a 550 metre mangrove boardwalk to support alternate livelihoods through mangrove eco-tourism for the PAPSIMCO community group in Siit, Siaton.
- Through the DENR adoption of MCP methodology, and supported by PADI , instructors taught scuba diving to a dozen employees from the municipalities of San Jose, Bais and Zamboanguita. The training is ongoing, and over Q1 and Q2 2020, they will be trained to conduct marine assessment surveys.
- Over a series of dives, MCP technical divers removed a total estimated 350 kg of discarded ghostnets from mesophotic reefs in the Municipality of Bacong.
- Conducted eight Green Fins assessments in Dauin and Zamboanguita in first and third quarter, thereby helping dive resort reduce their environmental impact.
- Assessed the 18 month progress of the Andulay Marine Reserve and provided that information to the Andulay Fisherfolk Association, enhancing their understanding and management capacity.
- Conducted a series of deep mesophotic surveys in the municipality of Bacong, (video) in preparation for the deployment of a large artificial reef.
- Developed data validation protocols and tools to ensure that our volunteer collected data is high accuracy and precision for use in management plans and scientific papers.
- Completed and disseminated the coastal resource management reports for Local Government Units in Dauin, Zamboanguita and Siaton, focussing of MPA effectiveness and coral reef resilience.
- Signed agreements for mangrove conservation in Siaton and Bais.
- Reviewed the organisational vision to better communicate our goal and frame the conservation work that we conduct.
- Reviewed a number of common mesophytic monitoring strategies to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each, with the aim to develop guidelines on best practices and identify or develop a method usable by NGOs and academic institutions.
- Identified a corallivore outbreak in Andulay MPA and coordinated a united response alongside the local government and the local community.
- Designed and launched a new mobile-friendly website to better recruit volunteers and disseminate information
- Became part of the provincial team implementing the United Nations initiative, Green Fins, alongside The Reef World Foundation and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in order to reduce the environmental impact of the diving industry.
- Partnered with the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and Natural Resources Division to redesign 24 MPA management plans alongside the local governments of Siaton, Dauin, Zamboanguita, and Dumaguete.
- Partnered with Silliman University and Bacong Local Government Unit in order to enhance the protection and management of the marine environment.
- Began a process of coordination with the regional government in order to review current monitoring practices for best practice.
- Recognising the role of meat production in habitat and biodiversity loss MCP is role modelling reduced consumption, as well as sustainable organic production in our own vegetable gardens.
- Research and compiled a document to inform local government units about the threats of artificial reef implementation and a set of guidelines to ensure best practices are available.
- Launched an extensive livelihood project in Siaton with the community group, PAPSIMCO, including beekeeping, mangrove conservation, soap production and tourism.
- Developed a strategy for the use of deployed temperature and salinity sensors and their integration into the current MCP monitoring program.
- Assessed the efficiency of the DENR’s fish aggregation devices at building local fish biomass to aid their coastal and marine ecosystem management program.
- Assessed the threat to sea turtles posed by local fishing practices in Tambobo Bay.
- Funded and constructed a two-story guardhouse for the Bantay Dagat, Sea Rangers at the Lutoban MPA.
- Helped the Municipality of Bacong in surveying marine assets, and published guidelines for establishing MPAs in the Philippines. Download guidelines here.
- Initiated a postcard design competition in 55 local schools to highlight biodiversity issues. The competition reached an estimated 20.000 students.
- Provided logistical support to the Synoptic investigations on Human Impact on Nearshore Environments (SHINE) : Coral Reefs funded by Dept of Science and Technology (DOST).
- Taught modules on plastic pollution, coral reefs and biodiversity at 11 different elementary and secondary school in Southern Negros, reaching 2342 local children.
- Formed a partnership with DENR on facilitating the CMEMP program, through training DENR personel in statistics, scuba diving and marine monitoring.
- Constructed a mangrove nursery at MCP and led further mangrove reforestation efforts along the shores of Siit Bay. (Nursery relocated to intertidal mangrove zone, early 2018)
- Based on a pilot study funded by the Rufford Foundation, MCP has initiated an alternative livehood program on mangrove honey. We have secured funds to spread the program to the whole SE Negros coast, establishing 20 api-culture groups, and the program is expected to create 100 alternate livelihoods through 2017-2018.
- Initiated a program, through which the the Zamboanguita chapter of the Bantay Dagat is augmented financially to make a decent living, through the contributions of international MCP volunteers.
- MCP divemasters took community groups of Barangay Lutoban, Barangay Andulay and Foundation university on discover scuba experiences on local coral reefs.
- Published numerous scientific white paper and reports. Find them under publications.
- Carried out an assessment of windowpane oysters,placuna placenta, populations in Siit Bay. Read blog article here. Download findings here.
- Helped deploy different artificial reefs, and wrote a guideline on Factors and principles to consider when establishing Artificial Reefs. Download guidelines here.
- Created coastal zoning plan for expansion of the Lutoban Marine Protected Area. Expansion has passed public hearing, and new tri-habitat sanctuary is 80 ha. A massive feat in comparison to the 15 ha. of the average size of MPAs in the Philippines.
- Taught marine biology to 22 international high school students on a field trip to the Philippines. (Read more here)
- Completed baseline survey on fish populations initiated in 2015. Fish family surveys completed in 2016 were goatfishes and wrasses. Read about the finished study. or download the report.
- Participated in mangrove reforestation efforts along the shores of Siit Bay.
- Did a workshop on plastic pollution at Little Children of the Philippines, a nearby orphanage. Volunteers and children collected 120 kg of plastic along the shores of Dauin in a single day.
- Organised 51 Coastal Clean-ups, roughly one a week, collecting tons of litter from reefs and beaches.
- Arranged for a permanent financial augmentation of the Zamboanguita chapter of the Bantay Dagat.
- Secured a grant allowing MCP to build a guardhouse for the Lutoban MPA
- Secured a grant to procure operational assets such a compressor and RHIB, rigid hull inflatable boat to further conservation activities along the eastern shore of Negros.
- Committed to various outreach work and activities ranging from sponsoring local sport events and teams, to doing roadwork and maintenance.
- Mapped extensive seagrass meadows, and completed substrate mapping of ten select sites, to provide truthing data for digital, automated coastal mapping using broad spectrum remote sensing.
- Helped curb a Crown of Thorn outbreak threatening the South West side of Siquijor. Read more about how MCP volunteers helped.
- Continued cooperation with environmental organisation Zoox and helped facilitate training of Green Fins assessors twice (February and June) during their Zoox Educational Programme (ZEP).Learn about the program here.)
- Organised two oceanography days at Foundation University in Dumaguete.
- Initiated a baseline survey spanning around 50 kilometres, ranging from the municipality of Dauin to Siaton. Finished study will cover invertebrates, substrate and fish. Notable fish family surveys completed: Pomacanthidae (angelfish); Chaetodontidae (butterfly fish); Serranidae, (groupers); Scaridae, (parrotfish); Siganidae (rabbitfish); Haemulidae (sweetlips); Lutjanidae (snappers); Acanthuridae (surgeon fish); Ostraciidae (boxfishes); Tetraodontidae (puffers); Ballistidae (triggerfish); Scaevius (breams); Monocanthidae (filefish); Caesionidae (fusiliers); Lethinidae (emperors)
- Taught marine biology to 35 international high school students on a field trip to the Philippines (Read more here)
- Cooperated with the Zamboanguita Science High Club on environmental education (Read more here)
- Under the auspices of JICA and in cooperation with SUAKCREM conducted an expedition primarily for biological assessment of the submerged parts of Hinagdanan Cave, Panglao, Bohol. (Read brief info, see video or read complete paper)
- Created Educational material for high school students (Read more here)
- Provided consultancy and assessment to Thalatta resort on the construction of an artificial reef and biological feasibility of local MPA creation.
- Successfully campaigned online to get Mandaue restaurant Oyster Bay Seafood to release the reef sharks they held in captivity inside restaurant.
- Hosted environmental organisation Zoox and helped facilitate training of Green Fins assessors. (Read more here and here.)
- Helped place initial buoys at Dalakit MPA in Zamboanguita and help repair broken markation buoys. (Read more)
- Reinstalled demarkation buoys at Basak MPA, Zamboanguita
- Removed discarded fishing nets (ghostnets) from local MPAs on several occasions, freeing trapped fish and invertebrates (See video here)
- Conducted numerous beach clean-ups, collecting – and if possible recycling – plastic, clothing, glass, metals and other manmade ocean debris.
- Helped install “reef balls” in Poblacion, Dauin in a municipality-wide drive to create artificial reefs. (See video here)
- Developed three complete modules (sharks, plastic pollution and coral reefs) with six lessons each for teaching at high school levels.