Under Construction:
The Making of a Coast-wise Nation

The Philippines, one of the world's hottest biodiversity hotspots, is a natural major player in the global effort to reverse environmental decline. As an archipelago, the country offers particularly valuable lessons in coastal resource management.

In 9 segments (see list and descriptions below), this documentary provides an eye-opening glimpse of the practices and attitudes in coastal resource use and management in the Philippines as they evolved over time, and a testimony to the country's groundbreaking efforts to recast itself as a 'coast-wise nation'.

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EVOLUTION. Changes in practices and attitudes in the last half century shaped coastal resource use and management in the Philippines. Today, the country is pushing hard to control the direction of change in favor of sustainable use and development.

MODELING THE WAY. The road to sustainable development in the Philippines is paved with the country's rich and still growing experience in coastal resource management and governance. This chapter includes seven case studies that represent some of the most important lessons from such experience.
On Common Ground. The people of Banacon Island in Getafe, Bohol shared a common aspiration when they started what is now Asia's biggest man-made mangrove forest: to maximize the economic benefits they could get from the sea.
The Better Alternative. Hingotanan Island in Bien Unido. Bohol, once a haven of dynamite fishers, is now a thriving community of seaweed farmers.
The Community Factor. Although initially resistant to 'giving up' their fishing ground to a marine sanctuary, the small island community of Apo in Dauin, Negros Oriental is the model that inspired the adoption of community-based resource management approaches in the Philippines.
On The Threshold. The Philippine government's move toward decentralization in the 1990s created new challenges in coastal resource governance -- and a rare opportunity to catalyze coastal management to a threshold of sustainability.
Networking Works. Lack of resources and an increasing demand for coastal law enforcement services spurred the provincial government of Bohol to develop a scheme that allows local governments, national government agencies and other concerned sectors to effectively work together to combat illegal fishing.
If You Build It... The municipality of Cordova in Cebu does not have to spend for the upkeep of the Gilutongan Island Marine Sanctuary -- a user fee system has allowed the sanctuary to pay for itself, and contribute to the development of the entire island.
Becoming. The city of Masbate is investing in non-formal education to build a society steeped in environmental ethics, practicing responsible resource use, and embracing environmental stewardship as a way of life.
GETTING THERE. Despite the gains, what lies ahead remains daunting. There is much left to do to ensure that this road, still under construction, will take the Philippines where it needs to go in coastal management and stewardship of its coastal resources.

This website was made possible through support provided by the USAID under the terms of Contract No. AID 492-0444-C-00-6028-00. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID. Articles may be quoted or reproduced in any form for non-commercial, non-profit purposes to advance the cause of marine environmental management and conservation as long as proper reference is made to the source.