Clement Benoit (MSc Thesis 2015)
Restoration plan in Padre Burgos, Philippines
|Supervisor: Jean Francois Marailhac (NGO Scaph Pro Artificial Reef France)
|Since the last decades, the marine resources are highly under pressure from anthropogenic activities. This situation is mainly due to strong growth of the world population. Today, over 50% of this population is living at less than 100km from the coast. The last prevision state that this number will be raise to 75% in 2035. The demographic increase coupled to environment proximity has an important role to play on the health of the coastal and littoral systems. The rising of anthropogenic activities threaten these inestimable ecosystems. They represent key habitats where are taking place important biological cycles for numerous species, which ensure the fishery sustainability around the world. Unfortunately, the degradation and overexploitation of these fragile habitats disturb this equilibrium. The Philippines, which are part of one of the six countries of the Coral Triangle, are not an exception of this worldwide situation. This country is known to possess the third largest coral reef in the world and to be the epicenter of the marine biodiversity. The resources deriving from these unique systems have historically centered and shaped the lifestyle of these islander populations. Nowadays, the link between this country and its marine resources is still heavy reliant. Indeed, around 40% of the Philippines population depends directly on the sea products. Unfortunately, this need is not without consequences. The access to marine resources on which the Philippines’s fishery is based lead to an out of control fishing. The overexploitation of these common goods drives inexorably, over the years, the decline of this unique richness. In the 1970-1980s, the waning of the fishery industries was clear. The Philippines Government realizing the danger hovering over the food security of the country turned to coastal management strategies. In 1974, the first marine protected area was established in Sumilon Island. Its objectives were to improve the state of fishery and coral assemblages while promoting eco-tourism. The results of profits on 10 years of this experience were an unprecedented success. This management tool has proven itself. The marine protected area of Sumilon Island was elevated to a status of model, which has been widely used across the country.