FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The first Certified Wildlife Friendly® Enterprise in the Philippines
Palawan, Philippines – July 17, 2014 – The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to supporting products that conserve threatened wildlife and contribute to economic vitality in rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly® Certification to Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour Guide Association Inc. located in Sabang, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
The old growth mangrove forests of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) are one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines. Mangroves are highly significant in supporting the rich marine life in the St. Paul Bay where smaller fish feed and reproduce. The mangroves are home to reptiles (Phyton sp., Mangrove snake (Bioga dendrophila), and Water Monitor lizard (Varanus palawanensis), as well as breeding site for endangered avian species such as the Palawan Peacock Pheasant (Polyplectron emphanum), White-collared Kingfisher (Halcyon chloris), Stork-billed Kingfisher (Halcoyn capensis), Eastern Reef Egret (Egretta sacra), and Pale Spiderhunter (Arachnothera dilutior).
Sabang Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour provides a unique eco-tourism experience by hosting guided canoe trips and boardwalk access to this unique, centuries old forest and its wildlife. But they also take an active role in protecting its wildlife and educating Filipinos and visitors about the importance of conserving this important ecosystem and the endangered species that need the mangroves to breed, migrate through and call home.
Human pressures on coastal ecosystem of Palawan are high, with land competition for aquaculture, agriculture, infrastructure, and tourism. The delicate balance of the mangrove ecosystem is vital to the health and vitality of the mangrove itself and the overall biodiversity of marine, freshwater and terrestrial endangered species.
“Our product is the beauty and service of the mangroves to the environment; protection of wildlife in the area is very much our concern” – notes Sabang community member and paddle boat guide, Crisanto. The Mangrove Paddle Boat Tours have increased community and visitors’ awareness on the significance the mangrove ecosystem and serve as patrols to protect the wildlife and habitat.
“WFEN is thrilled to have our first Certified Wildlife Friendly® enterprise in the Philippines. The Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour Guide Association is doing such wonderful work to protect endangered species and the unique Mangrove habitat of Palawan. The eco-tourism product they provide is truly an experience that visitors will remember for a lifetime.” says says Ann Koontz, WFEN board, vice president who was on hand in Palawan to award the association their Wildlife Friendly Certification. Continue reading