The Philippines’ Apo Reef Natural Park has been named Outstanding Marine Protected Area by Marine Conservation Institute at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
The country’s largest atoll-like reef in Occidental Mindoro was one of the three awardees of the platinum-level Blue Park Award given to marine protected areas for exceptional marine wildlife conservation.
The second largest contiguous reef in the world found in the Philippines was awarded on July 1, 2022, along with Raja Ampat Islands Marine Conservation Area in Indonesia and Old Providence McBean Lagoon National Park in Colombia.
The three Blue Parks Awardees join a growing network of 24 awarded Blue Parks around the global ocean that have met the highest science-based standards for conservation effectiveness.
The newly awarded Blue Parks have a total area of 13,834 sq. km (5,342 sq. mi.), bringing the Blue Park systems to a total of 1,834,171 sq. km (708,177 sq. mi) of ocean effectively protected in the waters of 20 countries.
Apo Reef Natural Park is the second Blue Park in the Philippines – next to Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.
“This Blue Park Award is a testament to the more than two decades of hard work of different sectors for the conservation and protection of Apo Reef Natural Park,” said Krystal Villanada, Director of Apo Reef Natural Park in the Blue Parks Awards report.
Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Celia Anna Feria who joined Villanada in accepting the award highlighted the vital contributions of the Park Rangers and Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of Apo Reef Natural Park, Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Biodiversity Management Bureau and DENR MIMAROPA Region, Local Government Unit of the Municipality of Sablayan and Province of Occidental Mindoro, Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Incorporated, World Wildlife Fund – Philippines, and the UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative, among others.
Apo Reef’s endangered sea turtles doubled in numbers amid the COVID-19 lockdown that stopped tourism and other regular activities around the island.
Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. TELL US your good news story tips by messaging GoodNewsPilipinas.com on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or e-mail email@example.com and WATCH Good News Pilipinas TV YouTube & Good News Pilipinas TikTok for more Filipino Pride stories!