The Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan

Known as a comprehensive frame-work for the sustainable development of Palawan compatible with protecting and enhancing the natural resources and endangered environment of the province.  It shall serve to guide the local government of Palawan and the government agencies concerned in the formulation and implementation of plans, programs affecting the environment and natural resources of Palawan. 

SEP as its general philosophy, the sustainable development of Palawan, which is the improvement in the quality of life of its people in the present and future generations through the use of complementary activities of development and conservation that protect life-support ecosystems and rehabilitate exploited areas to allow upcoming generations to sustain development growth. 

It shall have the following features: (1) Ecological viabiltiy which determine the physical and biological cycles that maintain the productivity of natural ecosystems must always be kept intact; (2) Social acceptability which the people themselves, through participatory processes should be fully committed to support sustainability development activities by fostering equity in access to resources and the benefits derived from them; and (3) Integrated approach which allows for a holistic view of problems and issues obtaining in the environmental as well as opportunities for coordination and sharing that will eventually provide the resources and political will to actually implement and sustain SEP activities. 

SEP has established a graded system of protection and development control over the whole of Palawan, including its tribal lands, forests, mines, agricultural areas, settlement areas, small islands, mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds and the surrounding sea.  which as known as the Environmental Critical Areas Network (ECAN) and shall serve as the main strategy of the SEP.

The ECAN shall ensure the following: (1) Forest conservation and protection through the imposition of a total commercial logging ban in all areas of maximum protection and in such other restricted use zones as the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development as hereinafter created may provide; (2) Protection of watersheds; (3) Preservation of biological diversity; (4) Protection of tribal people and the preservation of their culture; (5) Maintenance of sustainable yield; (6) Protection of the rare and endangered species and their habitat; (7) Provision of areas for environmental and ecological research, education and training; and (8) Provision of areas for tourist and recreation.

The areas covered by ECAN shall be classified into the following (3) main components to further reclassifications and rezoning based on actual surveys or scientific studies and after due consideration of other existing laws similar to or complimentary with the RA 7611 such as RA 7586, otherwise known as “National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992.” (1) Terrestrial component which consist of the mountainous as well as ecologically important low hills and lowland areas of the whole province.  It may be further subdivided into smaller management components (2) Coastal/marine area which includes the whole coastline up to the open sea.  This is characterized by active fisheries and tourism activities; and (3) Tribal ancestral lands which are traditionally occupied by the cultural communities.

Management Scheme and Zonation of terrestrial component may be further subdivided into smaller management components for a more efficient supervision into the following zones:

(1) Area of maximum protection or core Zone which shall be fully and strictly protected and maintained free of human disruption.  It includes all type of natural forest to which include first growth forest, residual forest and edges of intact forest, areas above one thousand (1,000) meters elevation, peaks of mountains or other areas with very steep gradients, and endangered habitats and habitats of endangered and rare species.  Exceptions, however, may be granted to traditional uses of tribal communities of these areas for minimal and soft impact gathering of forest species for ceremonial and medicinal purposes.

(2) Buffer zone which permits regulated use and may be further subdivided into three (3) sub-zones: a) Restricted use area.  Generally surrounds the core zone and provides a protective barrier, limited and nonconsumptive activities may be allowed in this area; b) Controlled use area which encircles and provides the outer barrier to the core and restricted use area.  Controlled forest extraction like collecting of minor forest products, and strictly controlled logging and mining may be allowed; and c) Traditional use area.  Edges of intact forests where traditional land use is already stabilized or is being carried out with the other supporting programs of the SEP.

(3) Multiple/manipulative use area.  This area where the landscape has been modified for different forms of land use such as intentive timber extraction, grazing and pastures, agricultural and infrastructure development.  Control and management shall be strictly integrated with other supporting programs of the SEP and other similar programs of the Government. 



  1. Ephrime Metillo said,

    August 27, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Hello PNNI,

    I am a marine biologist at the Department of Biological Sciences, Mindanao State University, Iligan City. I am preparing a research proposal on water quality of estuaries and I thought of making Palawan as a research sampling site considering the threats from mining activities to the coastal waters off Palawan.

    Would studying the water quality of estuaries near mining sites in Palawan be a productive research endeavor? Or someone has already done such study in the past.

    Your response would be much appreciated.


    • pnni said,

      May 7, 2009 at 9:56 am

      Hi Sir Ephrime,

      Thanks for visiting this site. We apologize for this late response to your letter. You may contact us at our new e-mail adress regarding your concern.


      PNNI Secretariat

  2. June 21, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Palawan Environmental has been surveying the northern coastline of Palawan and Calamean Islands for potential Cruise Ship Destinations.

    Our rapid surveys have included:

    –Evaluating anchorage sites including tidal and weather patterns for new generation cruise ships (2000-4000 pax).

    –Examining regional environmental and cultural impact issues, positive and negative.

    –Evaluating economic and human resources infrastructures, availability and cultural impact.

    –Surveying regional esthetics and the availability of eco, ethno and adventure tourist attractions, access and impact.

    Palawan Environmental’s approach to site development and future use is in keeping with all International Cruise Line Mandates which include minimizing impact on environments, communities and cultures while offering positive influence on regional economies, environmental sustainability and legal conventions.

    As we proceed with this project we hope to forge a progressive working relationship with the interests of Palawan’s “Strategic Environmental Plan” (SEP) and we encourage any questions regarding our process and progress.

    Caril Ridley
    PEMS Founder
    Cultural Anthropologist
    Environmental Planner

    2009 update: During January, february and March a second rapid survey of the Calamean Group was conducted and in july, august and september our survey team will be, more closely, examine areas north of Tay Tay and El Nido to Buswanga…

  3. uchiram said,

    October 3, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    the last frontier,come and visit now.

  4. Caril Ridley said,

    January 2, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Palawan Environmental in association with Environmental 3 (ecologic, economic and social) has initiated first contact, and a relationship with the Tagbanua of Calibangbangan, a tribal island sanctuary west of Linapacan. Two potential anchorage sites have been located in the Linapacan region and introductory plans are underway to explore the use of selected islands as an international cruise destination. Other sites in northern Palawan and the Calamean are being considered.

  5. April 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

    […] are being permitted to operate in areas that are supposed to be protected by laws like the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan. Here, the government has put together a loophole to give mining operations "the comfortable green […]

  6. mia mendoza said,

    July 10, 2010 at 11:15 am


    hi PNNI! i am Mia Mendoza, MS Environmental Science student from De La Salle University Manila.
    we will have a field research in Palawan as requirement in our applied ecology subject.
    our group decided to research on water quality of underground river as well as other river/s nearby, may we ask for your assistance of some details:

    1. if there was a previous studies or any related studies on the said topic?
    2. do you have any suggestions of specific site to conduct the sampling..especially near the underground river area?

    we will also conduct underground water/resources quality, specifically in a certain community near a tourist spots and/or near industry, can you help us of the following:

    1. do you have any suggestions where we can conduct the sampling.. specifically a community with deep-well lines as their sources of water?
    2. do you have any suggestions of any community sites where there has never been a study on water quality analysis?
    3. can we ask for any contact person to interview, or any persons near the prospect sites to assist us on this study, and whom we can coordinate with as we visit palawan?

    we already have a schedule of field works on July29-Aug1, 2010… so we would appreciate the most of your urgent response regarding this matter, and your information handed will be a great help for the success of this research studies!

    i may give you my contact #s for our convenient transactions, just email back if needed. thanks so much for your affirmative response! Godbless!

    thanks a lot,

  7. January 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    […] are being permitted to operate in areas that are supposed to be protected by laws like the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan (SEP). III […]

  8. Manny Paterno said,

    April 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    The SEP fails to recognize the value of the Northern Palawan shelf that used to be the “fish bowl” of the Philippines until the mid ’90’s when unsustainable fishing practically decimated the fish stocks. The shelf bounded by the Calamianes in the North, the Cuyo West Pass in the East and the Dumaran Is. and the Malampaya Sound in the south, is the largest insular shelf in the Philippines and by far was the most productive among the Philippine insular shelves and possibly the most biologically diverse …….

  9. Caril Ridley said,

    October 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Sustainable fishing no longer; illegal over-fishing has decimated regional catches to the extent that Indigenous fisher-folk populations struggling to survive have been forced into illegal operations themselves, further decimating by cyanide the only reefs remaining. One fisherman will spend all day with a hand line catching enough to feed his hungry family when fifteen years ago he could feed the entire villager in several hours. Remote, less educated peoples struggle without understanding or political voice when NCIP engages in convenient ego enhancements ignoring those critical issues left unseen, ignored and special-interest-bribed out-of-sight!

  10. April 25, 2018 at 1:46 am

    […] che la salvaguardia di Palawan è affidata a un piano di gestione ambientale molto complesso, lo ‘Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP)’ che ha ricevuto un importante sostegno – anche finanziario – dall’Unione Europea. […]

  11. April 25, 2018 at 2:08 am

    […] che la salvaguardia di Palawan è affidata a un piano di gestione ambientale molto complesso, lo ‘Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP)’ che ha ricevuto un importante sostegno – anche finanziario – dall’Unione Europea. […]

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