Tag Archives: biodiversity.

Mantangale: One of Asia’s best house reefs

BusineesWeek Mindanao
By Joe Palabao

THE Mantangale of Misamis Oriental, which boasts of a view south of the Bohol sea and Camiguin island right across, has one of Asia’s best house reefs.

These house reefs are within the 1.6 million square kilometers stretch land area of the BIMP-EAGA equator asia which is claimed to be “mother’s earth true center of biodiversity.”

Mantangale is now considered as a “swing destination” of Northern Mindanao for scuba diving, wreck diving, cavern diving and underwater breathtaking world experience where tourists can take pictures and view the marine trove of coral gardens.

Catering to the needs of the domestic and foreign tourist dive enthusiasts is the Mantangale Alibuag Dive Resort.

Established since 1994, Mantangale Resort has world class amenities for domestic and foreign tourists. They have licensed dive instructors to cater the needs for basic scuba diving and many other related underwater activities and underwater photography.

Mantangale Alibuag Dive Resort of Misamis Oriental, Camiguin Island, Misamis Occidental Aqua Marine Park, (MOAP) of Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental, Cagayan de Oro River Rafting, Pikalawag Beach Resort, of Sultan Naga Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, Lake Apo of Guinoroyan, Valencia City and Pulangi River of Bukidnon are among the best seven Swing Destinations in Mindanao for domestic and foreign tourist to enjoy and are within the BIMP-EAGA 1.6 million square kilometers land area branded as Equator Asia-The Heart of Biodiversity.

In these destinations are found vast marine treasure trove coral gardens, calm crystal water, white sand and turquoise blue waters, best house reefs, marine farm consisting of mangroves, hatcheries, fishpens, hotel facilities, swimming with the dolphins.

Lakes that display grandeur and tranquility amidst its mossy green surrounding. The River System that maintains its ecological biodiversity amidst being tapped to supply power and white water rafting while seeing the striking beautiful panoramic view of the river’s rocky walls.

In a recently concluded Mindanao-Palawan Subregion BIMP-EAGA Joint Tourism Development Cluster Strategic Planning held in Kota Kinabalu these Swing Destinations of Region X along with Regions 1X and X111 will be the next target for eco-tourism biodiversity development for 2012.

The development of these Swing Destinations is to invigorate the support of Tourism Ministers of the member nations focused areas of BIMP-EAGA to include the eco-tourism development of Mindanao and Palawan, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia (Province of Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and Irian Java), Malaysia (Sarawak and Federal Territory of Labuan} and State of Sabah.

Eco-tourism development in the BIMP-EAGA sub region is aimed to facilitate and strengthen global promotions and marketing efforts in establishing and making BIMP-EAGA as the leading ecotourism destination in Southeast Asia.

These eco-tourism destinations of BIMP-EAGA are within the 1.6 million square kilometers land area branded as Equator Asia-The Heart of Biodiversity.

Philippine forest among world’s 10 most threatened

Abigail Kwok
Posted 02/02/2011

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is among the 10 areas in the world with the most at-risk forest areas, posing a danger to endemic species and could affect the livelihood of local residents, the group Conservation International said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the group identified the other areas as Indo-Burma, New Zealand, Sundaland, Atlantic Forest, Mountains of Southwest China, Cape Floristic Province, Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa, Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands and Eastern Afromontane.

These areas, each harboring at least 1,500 endemic plant species, have lost 90 percent or more of their forest cover.

“If these forests are lost, those endemic species are also lost forever,” the conservation group said in a statement.

The list was released to commemorate the International Year of Forests as the group underscored the need to protect the world’s forests and make sure that their pivotal role on biodiversity conservation, climate stabilization and economic development is not undervalued.

“Forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate to give room to pastures, agricultural land, mineral exploitation and sprawling urban areas, but by doing so we are destroying our own capacity to survive,” said Olivier Langrand, CI’s international policy chief.

Forests, which now cover only 30 percent of the planet’s surface, are home to 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. About 1.6 billion people directly depend on healthy forests for livelihood.

“Forests must be seen as more than just a group of trees. Forests give us vital benefits. They already play an enormous economic role in the development of many countries as a source of timber, food, shelter and recreation, and have an even greater potential that needs to be realized in terms of water provision, erosion prevention and carbon sequestration,” Langrand said.

Asia’s first underwater resort hotel to be built off Philippine island

PH yahoo news
January 16, 2011

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) – The Philippines is all set to embrace a futuristic undersea project to rival those in Maldives, Dubai and Fiji, according to a Filipino team of developer and architects, which is set to build an underwater resort hotel in Palawan.

Dubbed as the Coral World Park, this multibillion-peso project will set the record as Asia’s first underwater resort development and the biggest undersea living in the world once the project is completed by 2013.

Picture this: You wake up to a picture perfect view of frivolously swimming manta rays and fishes or hold a meeting in a restaurant submerged in the pristine waters. Say what? All this isn’t science fiction according to an all-Filipino team behind the project.

Taking the helm is Singapore-based businessman Paul Monozca, who is known for his advocacies of helping Filipino sports teams and the overseas remittance business. Partnering with Monozca is renowned eco-architect Jose Pinggoy Manosa, who will take charge of the architectural design of the Coral World Park.

It’s high time we brought sustainable development underwater because there have been similar projects elsewhere in the world that have been proven successful,” Monozca told Inquirer Property in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

He cited global warming and the rising water levels as factors that pushed him to look into the possibility of exploring the readiness of the country for this kind of revolutionary development.

Pegged at some $150 million, the undersea structure takes pride in its 24 undersea suites or pods called Anemones,” which are submerged 60 feet below sea level with a fascinating 270-degree view of the sea. The 15-foot-high Anemones will be built by a US firm that specializes in submarines.

Several units of these Anemones will be open for public viewing at reasonable rates while majority are for ownership. Each 50-square-meter Anemone (the size of two-bedroom condo unit) can be customized per owners preference. It can be used as a private villa, a receiving or entertainment room that could cater to as many as 15 people.

Filipino ingenuity

How can one move from one pod/suite to another? The Coral World Park will be built with submarine technology. The mode of transport will be through glass bottom mini-submarines to be powered by the first mobile hydropower system, which generates up to 1 megawatt of electricity. This will use a patented water recycling and pressure chamber invented by an all-Filipino team of engineers, Monozca said.

The project will show to the world Filipino ingenuity as 80 percent of the project will be run and manned by Filipinos, from engineers to architects down to personnel,” Monozca said. When completed, the proposed underwater habitat will be the biggest in the world.

Also part of the futuristic project is a 50-bedroom onland boutique hotel complete with amenities like casinos, spa, business center and an underwater restaurant to be named Starfish,” which could seat as many as 200 people in its 600-square-meter dining area. A seahorse-shaped science center aptly called Seahorse Science Center will be built for tourists and will serve as the park’s marine observatory and conservation center showcasing the richness of marine life in the Philippines.

The project is expected to pour in billions of investments and will help create thousands of jobs for the people in Palawan and neighboring provinces.

Conservation tourism

Funding will come from Monozca’s Monaco-based group, which counts investors from the United States, the Middle East and Russia. As an aggressive venture in ecotourism business, the project also aims to replenish the coral reefs in the area and would advocate conservation tourism in the country.

Monozca related that everything has been in the planning stage since last year. He identified a group of islands in Coron as the site for development owing to its perfect geography, clear and cove-protected waters and rich marine life. The islands of Palawan hardly experience earthquakes and are not prone to visiting typhoons that occasionally hit the country.

The construction is set to start soon and will be completed in two years, according to Manosa, who said this would be my biggest project so far in my professional career.” Manosa is behind some of the biggest projects like the San Miguel Building constructed in the 1980s and the Brent International School.

I was overwhelmed myself when the project was offered to me. Even my family is excited about this; my grandchildren are asking when they could visit the underwater resort,” Manosa said.

The group dispelled fears of security as the whole resort will be tightly guarded. The proponents also envision a cashless system of transaction as everything will be made via specially issued bracelet cards similar to the function of a credit card.

The group promised strict adherence to protect the environment and the biodiversity of Palawan. They said no marine life will be harmed during the course of its construction to its operations.