Philippines Placeholder

Developing financial sustainability mechanisms to improve marine protected area management

About the Implementing organization

Name: Kadagatan Ampingan Pagmata Katawhan (KAAMPAKA)

Country: Philippines

Year of establishment: 1999

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization


Initiatives in marine protected area management often hinge on financing the annual plans. Without this mechanism, the initiative usually stops after two to three years. By creating an MPA business plan that identified funded (i.e. local government funds) and unfunded activities they were able to continue their initiative in the next three years. Most of the MPA management bodies of the Philippines do have increased participation of women but often do not have a detailed business plan that identifies the 'unfunded' part and the mechanism/s to fund it.

This would not be possible without the engagement of it women members. Published and unpublished research identifies women, at least in Southeast Asia, having a bigger role in managing finances and planning. With their rabbitfish social enterprise and their conservation livelihood agreement, they were able to fund the 'unfunded' part of their MPA business plan. This also brought the attention of the local officers of national government agencies by providing their technical assistance for free. Without a diversified income source for livelihoods and MPA management MPA management initiatives in the Philippine often fail.

Nature Element


Type of Action

Protection / Sustainable use / Mainstreaming into sectors

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Disaster risk reduction / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

The initiative created a conservation livelihood agreement that ensured that the rabbitfishes, and other fishes, are harvested in a sustainable manner. KAAMPAKA members ensure that rabbitfishes with a minimum of 14 centimeters standard length are only caught and only outside of the closure timelines. A maximum of 10 kilos per day for rabbitfishes is allowed by KAAMPAKA in order to maintain fish stocks. Their initiative along with the maintenance of the MPA has increased the fish catch per day per fish from 3 kilos to 5 kilos. This also reduced the number of violations of fishing within the MPA and use of fine mesh nets by as much as 42% over a span of 4 years.

Sustainable Development Impacts

KAAMPAKA's initiatives address Goals 5, 12 and 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The women members of KAAMPAKA have increased household incomes from PhP 130 per day to PhP 250 through the establishment of the rabbitfish social enterprise. This also ensured their inclusion in KAAMPAKA's management structure. Through sustainable harvest KAAMPAKA members only rabbitfishes with a minimum of 14 centimeters standard length and only outside of the closure timelines. This ensured that there are enough fish stocks for the community. By maintaining the health of the seagrass and coral reef ecosystem, KAAMPAKA ensures that carbon and other greenhouse gases are absorbed by these ecosystems, reducing the amount in the atmosphere. Their action also ensures that structures and properties are not damaged by strong waves and storm surges.


The initiative can be scaled to a national level as this will increase the financial sustainability of larger locally-managed MPAs (i.e. >250 hectares) and MPAs managed by the national government. This initiative will help to expand the revenue sources of these MPAs and reduce dependence on government funds. This will also ensure that the action will increase financial sustainability of the MPA.


This initiative can apply to the 1,619 locally-managed MPA in the Philippines. By establishing a social enterprise that is integrated into MPA business plan help to increase the sustainability of MPA management actions. The other MPAs will be able to identify funded and unfunded activities and mechanisms to look for funds. This will also further increase participation of women in MPA management. These locally managed MPAs have the same plan components and have a community-based organization managing them.

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