19 Oct 5th Para El MAR to award country’s most outstanding marine protected area in General Santos City

The Para El MAR: Marine Protected Area Awards and Recognition returns for a fifth time to celebrate exemplary coastal and marine governance across the country. Over 200 marine protected areas (MPA), as well as a growing number of MPA networks, participated in the search for the Most Outstanding Marine Protected Area in the Philippines. The winners will be revealed during the awards night,* which will be held this year in General Santos City at the Greenleaf Hotel on 24 October 2015.

The 2015 Para El MAR is organized by the MPA Support Network (MSN), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DABFAR), the UP Marine Science Institute and other supporting partners.

For the sea

Marine protected areas are clearly delineated coastal and marine spaces that are managed through legal or similar effective instruments. Effectively managed MPAs should be able to yield multiple ecological (e.g. healthy ecosystem functions) and socio-economic (e.g. food security, livelihood) benefits. For example, local communities might aim to sustain healthy coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses to enhance fisheries or tourism in their areas.

The MPA Support Network, an assisting group of government agencies, non-government organizations, and academic institutions, convenes the Para El MAR every two years to highlight best practices in MPA management across the country. The Para El MAR is part of a performance-based incentive mechanism that seeks to reinforce effective management and good, science-based governance. Municipalities with MPAs are encouraged to submit MPA management effectiveness score cards to participate in the award nominations, as well as for regular reporting. “Regularly tracking MPA effectiveness over time improves management performance and strengthens the learning network,” says MSN coordinator Dr. Perry Aliño. This year, there were a total 191 submissions for MPAs and 14 for MPA networks.

Most Outstanding MPAs and MPA networks

An objective panel of evaluators from different marine science institutions in the Philippines ratesthe MPAs according to three major criteria: management effectiveness (35%); biophysical and ecological impacts (32%); and social and economic benefits (33%).

This year, there are 12 Outstanding MPA finalists, four each from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.


  1. San Salvador Marine Sanctuary and Reservation Area- Masinloc, Zambales
  2. AgCa Integrated Marine and Coastal Wetland Sanctuary- Tinambac, Camarines Sur
  3. Agsalin Fish Sanctuary- Gloria, Oriental Mindoro
  4. Buntod Marine Sanctuary- Masbate City, Masbate


  1. St. John Reef- San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
  2. Iniban Marine Protected Area- Ayungon, Negros Oriental
  3. Mantalip Marine Reserve- Bindoy, Negros Oriental
  4. Sta. Cruz-Molopolo Marine Park Bird and Fish Sanctuary- Macrohon, Southern Leyte


  1. Buluan Island Marine Sanctuary- Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay
  2. Lanuza Marine Park and Sanctuary- Lanuza, Surigao del Sur
  3. Uba Marine Protected Area- Cortes, Surigao del Sur
  4. Kamanga Marine Ecotourism Park and Sanctuary- Maasim, Sarangani

This year’s Para el MAR will also recognize three MPA networks: model examples of scaled-up, collaborative management efforts.

  1. Batangas Marine Protected Area and Bantay Dagat Network- Batangas
  2. Central Negros Council for Coastal Resources Development- Negros Occidental
  3. Lanuza Bay Development Alliance- Surigao del Sur

Prizes await the winners, as well as all the finalists.

*The Linking of Champions Night

The 2015 Para El MAR winners will be awarded on “The Linking of Champions (TLC) Night” where coastal managers and practitioners from different governance levels will be able to exchange and showcase their best practices. This year, it will be held as a concluding activity to the 13th National Symposium in Marine Science, the biennial gathering of the Philippine Association of Marine Science (PAMS).

For more information

MSN Coordinator


Coral Community Ecology Lab, The UP Marine Science Institute
UP Diliman, Quezon City
Email: mpa.support.network@gmail.com
Telefax: +632 433 1806

Follow live updates on the Marine Protected Area Support Network Facebook page!

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