• logo linkedin
  • logo email
052-sulubaai-SRP-reef ©Corinne Bourbeillon
Situated in the Philippines, Palawan is regarded as the most important among the top ten coral reef biodiversity hotspots in the world, being both the richest and the most threatened site on the planet. In order to restore Shark Fin Bay’s reefs and rebuild its fish stocks, the FFEM – the French Facility for Global Environment – is supporting the innovative actions being taken by the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation.

In the Philippines, slash-and-burn agriculture, over-fishing, and some fishing methods are destroying reefs and preventing the natural restoration of habitats. The resulting drastic decline in fish stocks is threatening food security.
To restore the reefs, the FFEM is supporting the privately-run Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation (SEF). After acquiring and restoring the terrestrial environment of Pagatalan island, the SEF has established a protected marine area in Shark Fin Bay in which it is implementing an innovative local restoration technique: Sulu-Reef prostheses. These provide very effective support for natural recolonisation, enabling the natural propagation of corals and creation of new habitats. The SEF is associating these restoration activities with community-based environmental conservation actions, education and knowledge-sharing.


The project has four components:
•    Leading local populations towards sustainable fishing practices through the creation and management of three protected community marine areas
•    Restoring biodiversity and resources by promoting alternatives to destructive fishing practices
•    Strengthening education and training activities at the Sulubaaï Foundation Sea Academy, aimed at a variety of audiences
•    Encouraging the capitalising on and transfer of experience at national and international scale


•    Restoration of the abundance and diversity of reef resources in at least four sites in the bay
•    Elimination of non-sustainable fishing practices
•    Improving the socio-economic benefits to local communities through better fish yields

Exemplary and innovative characteristic

Through this public-private partnership project, the SEF is linking ecosystem protection and local development. The exemplary nature of the Pangatalan island project led to its being awarded the first “SMILO Sustainable Small Island” accreditation in 2018.

Shark Fin Bay is designed as an innovation laboratory as much technically (scientific monitoring systems, restoration methods) and methodologically (participative implementation by local communities). Rigorous scientific monitoring, involving Filipino and French universities and research centres, facilitates both capitalising upon experience, and replicability on other sites in the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia.


Project start date
Project end date
Project grant date
3,5 years
Duration of funding
Shark Fin Bay, Palawan Island
Financing Tool
1 757 800 EUR
Amount of the program
527 000
Amount of FFEM funding
In progress
Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation INC
Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition
Institution responsible
Prince Albert II Foundation