Research Department

Atlas of Community-based Marine Protected Areas in the Philippines

Atlas of Community-based Marine Protected Areas in the Philippines

This book is a product of decades of experiences with community-based coastal resources management (CBCRM) efforts in which marine protected areas (MPAs) are popular and an important component.

The Atlas highlights 55 marine protected areas (MPAs) also known as marine reserves, fish sanctuaries, or marine sanctuaries in the Philippines that are also managed or co-managed primarily by fisher communities and people’s organizations (POs).

A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is: an identified portion of land and water set aside by reason of their unique physical and biological significance, managed to enhance biological diversity and protected against destructive human exploitation (Pajaro et al. 1999).

MPAs are reported to have been successful at increasing fish production, stabilizing coral cover and enhancing community capacity to manage their own resources.

55 MPAs are described in this book: 27 found in the Visayas, 12 in Luzon, and 16 in Mindanao. MPAs constitute only a small percentage of large marine territory (for coral reefs only about 10% of the total reef area). Not only should we work to ensure the protection of MPAs already established, but also increase the area covered by protection and management efforts to reach the ideal 30%, the proportion of protected area that would sustain long-term fishery harvests and preservation of marine biodiversity.

This Atlas is:

  1. A resource management tool and contributes to sustained livelihoods;
  2. Contributes to community organizing and environmental education;
  3. Provides for preferential access rights and corresponding duties to local communities; and
  4. Facilitates and institutionalizes community participation in local governance.

The Atlas is free and a scanned copy can be downloaded at this link (500 mb):

For a hard copy for a minimal donation that will shoulder shipping and other administrative costs, please visit our office or call: 421-1209

Book description here derived from the Forwards of Angel C. Alcala, Ph. D and Prof. Elmer M. Ferrer.

Recommended citation: Lavides, MN, Pajaro GM, Nozawa CM (Eds.). 2005. Atlas of Community based Marine Protected Areas in the Philippines (in English and Filipino). Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources and Pamana Ka sa Pilipinas, Quezon City Philippines, 497pp.


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