The history of Danjugan is an amazing story of how an island was saved through the vision of Gerry Ledesma and partner organisations to become the best example of a community managed marine reserve in the world.
This was achieved through considerable voluntary effort, local support, international partnerships and kindness.
Danjugan is now a protected paradise where many people from different nations have come together to play their part and continue to serve today.
It is from these friendships and our shared experiences that the idea of PRRCE came into being.
We feel there are many like minded people and organisations who wish to directly support local conservation efforts in the Philippines.
In addition, there are many people who simply remember the fun and experience of being part of Danjugan’s rich history and wish to stay connected.
PPRCE is here to help us all play a part again today.
Our current focus is supporting Danjugan Island where the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation (PRRCFI) is making the marine reserve and sanctuary a leading self sustaining eco tourism and educational destination.
Other PRRCE objectives we currently support include establishing a chain of community managed marine reserves along the entire Southern Negros coastline, supporting local expertise in marine sciences and helping PRRCFI with funding grants and donor applications.
THE JEWEL OF THE SULU SEA
Resting 3 kilometres South west off the coast of Negros Occidental, Danjugan is a lush, 43-hectare island rich in marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
The island, about 1.5 kilometres long and 0.5 kilometres at its widest point, is covered with limestone forests and has 5 lagoons. It is fringed with turtle-nesting beaches and surrounded by diverse coral reefs.
Danjugan has now been recognised as a Philippine Gem and one of the top ten destinations to visit in the country;
Saved from development, Danjugan island has been carefully protected for future generations, to become a shining example of community based marine conservation.
Today, the island serves as an outdoor classroom for students and a haven for eco tourists eager to experience tropical island nature at its purest….
VOLUNTARY SERVICE AND KINDNESS
In 1992, Gerry Ledesma, a Filipino conservationist advised by the late William Oliver, contacted World Land Trust (WLT) to see if the Trust could fund the purchase of Danjugan Island, which was under threat from developers to turn it into a resort.
As a result, WLT, supported by David Bellamy, launched an appeal to raise £250,000 and purchased the island for community driven conservation and to establish a marine reserve for Danjugan’s future instead.
In partnership with Coral Cay Conservation Ltd (CCC), a UK based pioneer of citizen science and other international and national partners, volunteers surveyed, mapped and analysed the amazing diversity of life around Danjugan.
By 2000 the loan had been repaid and a marine reserve and sanctuary has been established, serving as a testament to the foresight and considerable efforts of all involved.
CONSERVATION IN ACTION
The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI) is a non-stock, nonprofit corporation established in 1994 to manage the conservation programs based on Danjugan Island.
These have since expanded to include Southern Negros Occidental by establishing 3 further marine reserves.
Conservation in the Philippines remains an uphill climb as its agenda is often found in the bottom of the priority pile of most politicians and local chief executives.
Though beset with many challenges, Danjugan island is an example of how conservation ought to be done in this country when, in a microcosm, a small jewel in the Sulu Sea can be saved for future generations while benefiting the local community.
GERRY LEDESMA, PRRCFI President
WE WISH TO HEAR FROM YOU….
In addition to helping PRRCFI achieve its aims, we are currently creating a Friends of Danjugan network to bring together all the people who have played a part in the marine reserves development.
PRRCE will also be organising events and talks in the coming months and can help with placements for scientists and qualified staff in the Philippines.
Please help us connect with everyone involved in Danjugan’s history so we can showcase this incredible story as a timeline feature, allowing us to document the island’s change through photos and stories of past and present.
So if you have been part of WLT, CCC, PRRCFI or connected to the island, even if you know of someone who has or wish to be, please contact us below and help us to share and document this valuable story for all…
The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI) is a non-stock, nonprofit corporation duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Philippines.
Account for Donations:
Bank of Commerce – Lacson Branch
Savings Account No.: 025-00-001069-6
Account Name : Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc.
We are currently looking for ex CCC staff members, especially scientists who may be interested to visit the Philippines and help train local marine scientists through PRRCFI.
We are also looking for SCUBA instructors who may already be in SE ASIA and willing to help train local divers to manage the science survey programs required to establish the Southern Negros Marine Reserves.
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