Located in one of the world's most biodiverse marine regions and considered one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world, the Philippines is considered to be a global priority for marine conservation. Both international and local steps are being taken to protect its marine wealth, and the country has become a leader in the Coral Triangle in creating Marine Protected Areas.
As of 2012, the Philippines has over 1,500 marine protected areas (MSN-MSI Unpublished Database). Of the total number, 29 have been nationally designated through the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 while the rest have been established by local municipalities through various national laws and ordinances.
Recognizing that creating more marine protected areas does not necessarily equate to good conservation or management practices, the Philippines has also pioneered the assessment of management effectiveness in the Coral Triangle region through several methodologies such as the Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness Assessment Tool (MEAT). The Philippines' CTI National Coordinating Committee uses the MEAT as a tool in measuring progress towards achieving its CTI National Plan of Action goal; assess the effectiveness of existing marine protected areas in the country; and recognize local governments who are successful in managing their marine protected areas.
MEAT was developed by USAID's Coral Triangle Support Partnership through WWF-Philippines and Conservation International in collaboration with various organizations in the MPA Support Network. This comprehensive approach to creating and improving protection measures for the Philippines is conserving the coastal and marine resources on which the nation's people rely for food and income.
Marine Area (km2)
MPA Area (km2)
Number of MPA
Coral Reef Area (km2)
Mangrove Area (km2)