Over the last five years, PSFI has provided financial resources to enable the effective management of the Park by supporting capability development among its managers. It has also supported information and education initiatives in communities and in the areas where illegal fishers in Tubbataha originate, widening the reach of Tubbataha, thereby increasing understanding and fostering stewardship among the public.
“Through the partnership between PSFI and TMO, we educate coastal communities on the importance of protecting Tubbataha so that its beauty and bounty may continue to abound for present and future generations," said Simbulan.
“Before Shell, there were many things TMO couldn’t afford. Most of Tubbataha’s financial support comes from its fees. They get minimal support from the government,” said Marvi Trudeau, PSFI Programme Manager. “After the business plan was made, Shell has provided a grant mainly used for research; and information, education, and communication campaigns.”
The Tubbataha Youth Ambassador Programme is one of the most valuable products of the grant. It has involved youth, who are passionate about marine conservation efforts, to disseminate information and educate the public about the socioeconomic and ecological value of Tubbataha.
“The youth feels that the work they do keep the reefs healthy. They connect with kids through relevant skits, games, and the like,” said Trudeau. “Getting the youth involved ensures consciousness of sustainable development into the next generations.”
The area is managed under a “no-take” policy with tourism and research being the only activities allowed within it. Enforcement is difficult in a park as vast as Tubbataha. Wide support for voluntary compliance is needed.