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Integrating marine biodiversity through Philippine local development plans

Mark Edison Raquino (Daluhay Inc, Baler, the Philippines)
Marivic Pajaro (Daluhay Inc, Baler, the Philippines)
Paul Watts (Daluhay Inc, Baler, the Philippines)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to highlight how data from marine protected area (MPA) surveys can be used to facilitate the development of systematic approaches to monitoring biodiversity within local government development plans and across marine bioregions.


The study focussed on coastal Barangays of the Municipality of San Luis, Aurora Philippines. A Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment (PCRA) was conducted to gather information on corals and reef fishery resources. Resultant Simpson’s biodiversity indices were calculated and compared to other MPA sites. Linkages to enhanced marine curriculum in a San Luis high school were evaluated by utilizing cultural consensus theory (CCT) on previously reported local student perception surveys as a further effort on defining pathways for localized transformation.


San Luis MPA biodiversity indices ranged from 0.56-0.8 on a scale of 0-1. This initial analysis demonstrates how local monitoring can be connected to resource assessment through biodiversity considerations and in developing local plans for site improvement linked to local economies. Results are used to demonstrate the potential for further development of an integrated approach to biodiversity monitoring across and between bioregions as a step forward in strengthening science for MPAs and biodiversity conservation for the Philippines.

Practical implications

The study could be used to pilot study strengthening of coastal resource management (CRM) at Municipal and Barangay levels and as well through application of CCT to the topics. The results will be used to reinforce the formulation of San Luis local development plans to better consider marine resource assessment.


This paper provides a new perspective on the use of quantitative measures of biodiversity to assist with local development plans. Projecting integrated biodiversity monitoring across and between bioregions is considered as a potential tool for facilitating climate change mitigation.



The research was supported by a grant from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and in part by USAID and the National Academies. NAS Sub-Grant Award No. PGA-2000001992 Sponsor Grant Award Number: AID-OAA-A-11-0002. This paper also acknowledge the efforts of Daluhay staff Gian Edgardo Valenzuela, Joy Ojano, Jaycelle Ampa, and Leonardo Tasong, and the Aurora Marine Research and Development Institute staff Kristine Doringo, Jestonee Bitong and Angela Zerrudo.


Raquino, M.E., Pajaro, M. and Watts, P. (2015), "Integrating marine biodiversity through Philippine local development plans", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 159-171.



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