The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – Philippines has been a crucial partner in the conservation and protection of the Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP) since 2004, by helping establish the Philippines Marine and Apo Reef Law Enforcement for Nature (MARLEN) task force.

WWF-Philippines has been committed to safeguarding this rich marine ecosystem by assisting with the management of the park and the rigorous enforcement activities that have resulted in a drastic reduction in illegal fishing activities within the ARNP. These activities have allowed the reef to recover from the stresses of overfishing and have resulted in a notable increase in fish stocks and diversity. Through these, the reef has stabilized, with a biomass significantly larger than other Philippine reefs.

To better enhance the integrity of marine habitats and biodiversity in the reef, WWF-Philippines works alongside the coastal communities of Mindoro in promoting sustainable fishing practices and introducing alternative livelihoods.

Looking to the future, WWF-Philippines continues to bolster ARNP’s resilience to environmental threats. The Mindoro oil spill in early 2023 exemplifies the need for increased vigilance and preparedness for marine threats. Through WWF-Philippines Sustainable Tuna Program in Mindoro, with funding from the European Union’s SWITCH-Asia programme, multiple oil spill preparedness tools, including oil spill booms, will be turned over to the local government of Sablayan and the ARNP. These tools will enhance the park’s preparedness for marine-related accidents, safeguarding both Apo Reef and the Sablayan Municipality.

Through persistent efforts in collaboration, research, and preparedness, WWF-Philippines remains dedicated to preserving the ecological integrity of Apo Reef Natural Park for future generations.