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Philippines is one of the 8 founding countries of ICRI. The Philippine Archipelago is composed of about 7,107 islands with a total coastline length of about 36,289 km. The territorial sea of the country is more than twice the total land area estimated at about 679,000 km2 and more than a third of this comprise coastal waters (226,000 km2). The total area of the marine environment of the country including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Benham Rise is more than 2.35 M km2. Beneath these waters are vast marine resources teeming with species of corals, reef fishes, other marine organisms, seagrass, and mangroves forming a genetic pool of immense economic and medical potential. Known globally as the center of marine biodiversity, the Philippines is the only country whose entire territorial waters are part and parcel of the Coral Triangle, a refuge for countless forms of marine life. Its estimated coral reef area of 27,000 km2 is considered the second largest in Southeast Asia.

The Philippines is represented at ICRI meetings through Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (formerly Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau). It is the primary agency responsible for the conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources.

Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez
Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB)
Director, Biodiversity Management Bureau
Marlynn M. Mendoza
Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB)
Chief, Coastal and Marine division
Background Information
Surface of Coral Reefs: 

Phillipines is one of the 8 founding countries of ICRI.

MPA Information
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Number of MPAs: 1,823 national and locally-managed (as of October, 2016) (

Ramsar Sites
Ramsar sites with coral reefs: 
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Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a 97,030-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Palawan, the westernmost Philippine province. It is located 150km southeast of Puerto Princesa City, at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity. Tubbataha is composed of two huge coral atolls – the north atoll and the south atoll – and the Jessie Beazley Reef, a smaller coral structure about 20 kilometres north of the atolls.

The park contains roughly 10,000 hectares of coral reef. Scientists have been visiting these reefs since the 1980s, and their research has shown that Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to no less than:

  • 600 species of fish
  • 360 species of corals (about half of all coral species in the world)
  • 11 species of sharks
  • 13 species of dolphins & whales
  • 100 species of birds
  • nesting site of Hawksbill & Green sea turtles.

Tubbataha is a strictly ‘no-take’ zone and is the largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Philippines. For more information, go to:

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a Ramsar Site and also a World Heritage Site.

World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites with Coral Reefs: 
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See above

Additional Information

Last Updated: 28 November 2018