Saving Species

The Darwin Initiative Project

A collaboration between Newcastle University UK and Haribon Foundation
Duration: April 2012 to March 2016
Donor: Darwin Initiative through the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), United Kingdom


Responding to fish extirpations in the global marine biodiversity epicenter

To determine which fish species are threatened in five (5) key marine biodiversity areas (Lanuza Bay, Surigao del Sur; Danajon Bank, Bohol; Verde Island Passage, Polilio Island and Palawan; ascertain temporal abundance trends of fish species and groups; strengthen capacity in resource management in Lanuza Bay; reconcile conservation needs with sustainable livelihoods in Lanuza Bay; and, make policy recommendations at local, national and international levels.

2015 updates:

More updates in the following feature articles in the nationally-distributed Manila Times:

2014 Updates:

  • Haribon attends the 3rd Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium where 400 hundred participants learned how marine species were depleting and how to deter the losses moving forward. The Haribon Foundation shared its studies and accounts of marine conservation in the Philippines
  • View our “Are the reef fisheries baselines shifting at Lanuza Bay, Surigao del Sur?” poster here.
  • View our “Comparison of Fish Extirpations in Four Marine Key Biodiversity Areas in the Philippines…” poster here.
  • More updates in the following feature articles in the nationally-distributed Manila Times:
    “Haribon attends 3rd Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium.” Published August 25, 2014.
    “Haribon conducts research in Palawan via Darwin Initiative.” Published December 22, 2014.

2013 Updates:


  • Statistical modeling being done for fish extirpations of four marine Key Biodiversity Areas (mKBAs) Lanuza Bay, Danajon Bank, Verde Island Passage and Polilio Islands.
  • Paper oral presentations completed in 3 local and international scientific conference: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (BFAR-NFRDI) Scientific Conference in Manila Ocean Park, October, Philippine Association of Marine Science Symposium in University of the Philippines-Tacloban, and International Marine Protected Area Conference in Marseille, France.
  • Resource mobilizations being added on to research and policy work – for underwater visual census work; a proposal submitted to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and for policy work specifically for International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recommendations, a proposal to National Science Foundation – United States Agency for International Development Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (NSF-USAID PEER) Science is being drawn for submission together with Dr. Kent Carpenter of IUCN.
  • Further analysis and abstract drawing being done for abstract submission to Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium for Taipei, Taiwan in June.
  • Signing of printed copy of MOA between Haribon-Newcastle University and Palawan collaborators (Palawan State University, Western Philippines University and Puerto Princesa-LGU) ongoing.

Conservation-Sustainable Livelihood sub project

  • Two household surveys and FGDs completed to determine baselines and training needs analysis for conservation-sustainable livelihood sub project at Lanuza.
  • Statistical modeling being done to analyze correlation between and among fish depletion and socio-economic drivers for depletion.
  • More updates in the following feature articles in the nationally-distributed Manila Times:
    “The Darwin Project.” Published June 15, 2013.
    “A day in a life of . . . A researcher for the Darwin Initiative Project.” Published September 28, 2013.

2012 Updates:

  • UK’s Newcastle University and Haribon Foundation launched the four-year project to help maintain and improve the ecosystem in five key marine biodiversity areas around the Philippines: Verde Island Passage, Palawan, Danajon Bank, Bohol, Polilio Islands and Lanuza Bay with guests coming from the British Consulate and other project partners.
  • Project inception workshops with possible project partners governed.
  • Fishers’ ecological knowledge interviews at Lanuza Bay, Surigao del Sur and Danajon Bank, Bohol conducted.
  • Capacity building on statistical ecological modeling and database creation at Newcastle University UK organized.
  • Project details and future direction with Newcastle University staff discussed.

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