Establishing freshwater protected areas to protect biodiversity and improve food security in the Philippines

This paper describes the efforts to establish a network of community-conserved areas in the municipality of San Mariano on Luzon, with the dual aim to protect the Philippine crocodile and to improve inland fisheries. The necessary steps to establish a community-conserved area are summarized, and their sustainability assessed. The importance of local leadership and democratic decision-making processes in the design of community-based conservation measures is highlighted, and it is argued that implicit cultural values, such as hospitality and respect, are often a more important motivation for rural communities to protect aquatic resources than explicit concerns about food security and livelihoods.


van der Ploeg, J., Vermeersch, L., Rodriguez, D., Balbas, M., van Weerd, M. (2017)
In: Westlund, L. ; Charles, A. ; Garcia, S.M. ; Sanders, J. (eds.) Marine protected areas: Interactions with fishery livelihoods and food security. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, 603: 31-42 [open access]