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The Philippines
Jacinto, G.S.; Aliño, P.M.; Villanoy, C.L.; Talaue-McManus, L.; Gomez, E.D. (2000). The Philippines, in: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. pp. 405-423
In: Sheppard, C.R.C. (Ed.) (2000). Seas at the millennium: an environmental evaluation: 2. Regional chapters: The Indian Ocean to The Pacific. Pergamon: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-08-043207-7. XXI, 920 pp., more

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Document type: Review


Authors  Top 
  • Jacinto, G.S.
  • Aliño, P.M.
  • Villanoy, C.L.
  • Talaue-McManus, L.
  • Gomez, E.D.

    The 7150 islands of the Philippines form one of the largest island groups in the world, which lie near the centre of marine biodiversity. The region experiences distinct seasons which are predominantly associated with the Asian Monsoon System, and an average of 19 typhoons pass through every year. The archipelago is also in a geologically active and volcanic zone. Several of its marine habitats are the most extensively surveyed in the South East Asian region; fringing reefs are among the most prominent features of the coastal areas, especially in the Palawan and Visayas groups and Sulu archipelago. Mangrove forests are also important, but of an estimated 500,000 ha of mangrove cover in 1918, there are now only about 139,725 ha, and around a third of the country's seagrass areas is also estimated to have been damaged. Seaweed resources have a good economic potential. Offshore surface waters are extremely poor in nutrients, though important upwelling occurs, especially about 100 km off northwest Luzon. The Philippines is an important fish producer, producing 2.766 million tonnes in 1997. It is a populous country of 68 million people, and its growth rate of 2.3% will, if unabated, cause the population to double by 2025. Utilization of upland areas has been very extensive; about 14 million ha are classified as severely or moderately eroded. Pesticide sales grew tremendously until integrated pest management was introduced. Forest cover has been reduced from more than 50% in 1948 to less than 20% in 1996, and siltation is the most important factor influencing conditions in coral reefs, mostly in reef areas near rivers. Many reefs are also overfished, resulting in changes to fish populations. However, the Philippines is perhaps one of the most advanced countries in the East Asian region with respect to its appreciation and practice of coastal management. Numerous initiatives on the management of the country's coastal areas and resources have been undertaken since the 1980s. There have been at least 45 coastal management programs and projects involving about 150 sites, carried out by various institutions and groups, which it is hoped will greatly improve the situation.

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