Batangas fishers and women keep plastic out of the ocean through sustainable entrepreneurship

SMARTSeas PH Remelizza Sacra
Publicado: 16 Agosto 2019
Última edición: 25 Marzo 2021
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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the support from the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and in partnership with Conservation International, initiated the SMARTSeas PH Project in Verde Island Passage (VIP) in 2016, one of the project's five sites established to strengthen the protection, conservation, and management of marine biodiversity in the area. SMARTSeas is working with the people's organizations in Batangas to train VIP citizens on how to upcycle plastics and other rich resources of the area.


Sudeste Asiático
Scale of implementation
Arrecifes coralinos
Buildings and facilities
Ecosistema urbano
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Comunicación y divulgación
Medios de vida sostenibles
Salud y bienestar humano
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
City management, governance and finance
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Cosecha insostenible, incluida la sobrepesca
Falta de oportunidades de ingresos alternativos
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Sustainable development goals
ODS 3 - Salud y bienestar
ODS 8 - Trabajo decente y crecimiento económico
ODS 9 - Industria, innovacióne e infraestructura
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 12 - Producción y consumo responsables
ODS 14 - Vida submarina
ODS 17 - Alianzas para lograr los objetivos
Aichi targets
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 4: Producción y consumo sostenibles
Meta 17: Estrategias y planes de acción para la biodiversidad


Batangas, Philippines


The citizens of VIP are highly dependent on the passage’s resources for their livelihood and meal source. Among the five provinces, Batangas contributed the most out of the annual 40-47 thousand metric tons of marine fish production in VIP. However, threats continue to arise in the passage as the number of fishers in the area increase. The result is overfishing as the municipal waters are unable to support more than 50% of the fishers. Hence, the fishers and their families need to have an alternative means of income and resources.


Environment Challenge: Unsustainable harvesting, including overfishing

Social Challenge: Lack of public and decision maker's awareness


Economic Challenge: Lack of alternative income opportunities



  • VIP fishers, women, and families
  • Samahan ng mga Mangingisda ng San Teodoro (SMST; Fisher's Organization of San Teodoro)
  • Samahan ng mga Mangingisda ng Barangay Bagalangit (SMBB; Fisher's Organization of Barangay Bagalangit)
  • Marine wildlife and ecosystem

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

In the early stages of the project, it is vital that stakeholders develop partnerships and collaboration with local government units (LGUs). These LGUs must have input in the planning process since they will be the direct beneficiaries of the project with the sustainable livelihoods that will be provided. 


Environmental Impacts:

  • Reduced the possibility of more than a thousand plastic sachets thrown into the ocean.
  • Overfishing caused by illegal fishing is lessened because fishers were able to find alternative livelihoods aside from fishing.
  • No net decrease in the sighting of large marine vertebrates.



Social and Economic Impacts:

  • More than 50% of the fishers in VIP were able to find an alternative source of income.
  • A sustainable livelihood center was constructed as space for the citizens to conduct training and business operations. The center is also made out of eco-bricks. 
  • In the fourth year of the project since the implementation, the management effectiveness and financial sustainability of the marine protected area (MPA) and MPA Networks have improved over the years by more than 10% with the establishment of VIP marine protected area network framework plan.


Contribuido por

Imagen de naomi.maraviles_37293

Naomi Maraviles United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Other contributors

Catrina Mae Manalese
UNDP Philippines