As an archipelagic nation, the Philippines has one of the longest coastlines and the second largest coral reef area in world. It is the most diverse, but also the most threatened by human activities and impacts of climate change.
Given the enormity of what needs to be learned and the urgency to protect and conserve this fragile marine ecosystem, we need more eyes in the water. We are encouraging Filipino citizens to ‘patrol’ their coral reefs, take photos, and report!
Who we are
In 2010, a small group of volunteers from the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) created an on-line Facebook discussion group to report coral bleaching events in the Philippines and monitor its aftermath. Members share their observations by uploading photos and/or videos of coral bleaching in the country. Currently it has 595 members - composed of mainly of marine scientists, coral reef researchers, conservationists, divers, and students.
In May 2016, a Facebook page was launched to serve as a platform to educate the general public about coral bleaching events in the Philippines. Its audience is regularly informed of possible bleaching based on NOAA. The public checks out the reef themselves and submits coral bleaching (or no bleaching) incident reports using an on-line survey form. Announcement of events such as special screenings of the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral are posted on this page. This on-line community is now 2,000 strong and still growing.
Aims and objectives
Our primary aim is to identify and monitor reefs that were impacted (or not) by coral bleaching events in the Philippines. By reporting occurrence of coral bleaching, coral reef scientists will be able to find map out where and when bleaching occurred, and more importantly, monitor recovery.
All data and information generated from these reports will be used primarily for scientific and educational purposes. When possible, this can also be used to inform conservation and management interventions at local scales and to develop strategies that will ensure Philippine coral reefs thrive and persist amidst local and global threats.