The USAID Protect Wildlife project joined the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in commemorating its 30th year since its proclamation as the Philippines’ first national marine protected area. The national marine park celebrated this milestone with a weeklong program at SM City Puerto Princesa featuring various activities for the public, including a photo exhibit, 360° virtual reality videos, film showing, arts and crafts, and storytelling and games for children.
Tubbataha’s anniversary highlighted the significance of protecting the 97,000-hectare park in the middle of the Sulu Sea in Palawan as a no-take zone and preserving it as an important center of marine biodiversity in the world.
The project’s active participation in the celebration, with the theme “Reefs for Keeps”, was part of its thrust to strengthen Tubbataha’s conservation campaigns and messages. Protect Wildlife has trained and assisted Tubbataha staff in crafting behavior change messages that seek to address negative and destructive behaviors of dive boat managers, divers and tourists who visit the park during open dive season. (Protect Wildlife)