El Nido Resorts awarded world’s 1st Sea Turtle Friendly Tourism Certification

HSBC Philippines
El Nido Sea Turtle Friendly
A hatchling safely released at Lio Beach. Photo courtesy of Jamie Dichaves via WFEN.

El Nido Resorts and Lio Tourism Estate in the Philippines have become the first in the world to be awarded the Sea Turtle Friendly™ Tourism Certification by the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN).

El Nido, a group of private island resorts in Palawan province, and Lio Tourism Estate, Ayala Land’s first tourism estate in the Philippines, together supervised by the Ten Knots Group, earned WFEN’s “global distinction for their dedication to the conservation of marine turtles through nesting beach protection, reduction of lighting impacts, visitor education efforts”.

El Nido and Lio Tourism satisfied The Sea Turtle Friendly™ standards criteria to receive the certification announced by WFEN on February 19, 2020:

  • Nesting beach management
  • Conservation of foraging habitat
  • Beachfront lighting
  • Guidelines for visitor behavior near sea turtles
  • Monitoring
  • Community involvement
  • Education and outreach
El Nido’s 4 Luxury Resorts are certified Sea Turtle Friendly

El Nido Resorts is a group of eco-resorts located in the municipalities of El Nido and Taytay in Palawan, Philippines. The group is currently comprised of Miniloc, Lagen and Pangulasian Island Resorts in El Nido, and Apulit Island Resort in Taytay Bay. These 4 resort properties have met the requirements for mitigating key threats to sea turtles and their survival through their Be G.R.E.E.N. (Guard, Respect, Educate El Nido) program.

Lio Tourism Estate is also known as Lio Beach, an integrated resort community with hotels and resorts, commercial establishments, residential communities, amenities and facilities for eco-adventure and leisure travelers. Watch this preview and see how beautiful Lio Beach is!

The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network conserves threatened wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities. WFEN’s mission is to protect wildlife in wild places, and on agricultural lands in-between, by certifying enterprises that assure people and nature coexist and thrive.

With El Nido Resort and Lio Tourism Estate working with WFEN since 2017, both have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability and the protection of biodiversity including critical mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef ecosystems which have been named a top pick in the Most Instagrammable Places in the world.

Turtle rescues and rehabilitation in and around the bay are always done under strict guidance and supervision of wildlife veterinarians. Photo courtesy of ENR Be GREEN via WFEN.

All marine turtles found in the waters of El Nido and Taytay are endangered. El Nido also hosts 5 out of 7 marine turtle species in their waters; their beaches are important nesting habitat for 3 sea turtles including the endangered Green, the critically endangered Hawksbill, and the vulnerable Olive Ridley sea turtle. El Nido Resorts champions the conservation of endangered sea turtles, with tag-and-release programs in cooperation with the Protected Area Office, and hatchling releases from nests safeguarded by resort staff.

“This certification comes at an opportune time as Ten Knots celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. It validates our efforts, showing us how we are on the right track when it comes to preserving the environment,” says Ten Knots Group Director for Marketing Joey Bernardino.

“We are proud to add Ten Knots as part of the global Wildlife Friendly™ family of brands. They are a model we hope other resorts around the world will be inspired by to protect our fragile marine resources through tourism that advances conservation outcomes for species like sea turtles,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and Co-founder of WFEN.

So if you don’t have plans this summer yet and are looking for the hottest travel destination, then maybe visiting Palawan is for you! Don’t forget to be kind to the sea turtles!

If you want to visit places with the bluest waters, then El Nido Resorts and Lio Beach are for you!

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the people behind the sea-turtle-friendly resorts of El Nido and Lio Tourism!

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Aleeyah Jowen Peñafiel
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