As part of their partnership to improve the conservation and management of Santa Cruz Island as a protected area, the local government of Zamboanga City and USAID’s Protect Wildlife project held a cleanup on Great Santa Cruz Island in time for Earth Month.
On April 28, 2018, volunteers from the city government, local units of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local media, and project partners collected around 60 kilos of trash that washed ashore on the island’s famous pink sand beach. The cleanup was a move to promote reduction of marine litter and to encourage responsible ecotourism practices in protected areas such as Santa Cruz.
The Protected Area Management Unit (PAMU) of Santa Cruz also opened to the local media a portion of the proposed eco-trekking trail in the island’s mangrove area to give a sneak peek of new low-impact ecotourism activities that Santa Cruz has to offer.
Aside from helping the PAMU and local partners enhance the management plan for Santa Cruz to ensure its wildlife habitats are protected, Protect Wildlife project is also assisting a campaign to promote positive behaviors for conservation among tourists who visit Santa Cruz. While the protected area is the city’s prime tourist destination, Santa Cruz is also a nesting site for marine turtles and its coral reefs and mangroves are a home to various marine wildlife. (PWP/ Lawrence San Diego)