Save Philippine Seas empowers young scientists, activists, and leaders as changemakers for the environment
The Philippines is the largest archipelago in the world, surrounded by oceans. It’s considered the centre of the Coral Triangle, the world’s most marine biodiverse region, with Philippine waters hosting 16,800 square kilometres of coral reef. The seas are vital to the country’s economy, tourism, food supply, and security, yet it faces numerous challenges, including illegal fishing and climate change impacts and severe marine degradation.
Some causes are plastic pollution, poor biodiversity conservation, and widespread apathy or ignorance regarding ocean health due to citizens’ lack of access to proper education and empowerment.
Save Philippine Seas is dedicated to protecting and conserving the coastal and marine resources of the Philippines, empowering individuals, or “seatizens,” to take collective action and change behaviour towards marine conservation.
A strong current driving Save Philippine Seas forward is the radical belief in the power of young changemakers, and it has created an action-oriented movement, establishing multiple programmes that empower everyone to be environmental changemakers – combining research, resource mobilisation, citizen science, online and educational campaigns and policy work.
The organisation focuses on three key areas: circular economy, shark conservation, and environmental education. It aims to make marine conservation relatable, engaging, and exciting, collaborating with corporations, government agencies, civil society organisations, and youth groups to address these topics and drive meaningful change.
In circular economy and waste management, Save Philippine Seas’ Waste Watch campaigns have prevented the disposal of millions of plastic bottles, straws, and single-use items. Through partnerships with corporations like Coca-Cola Philippines, they support local initiatives in waste management, contributing to a more sustainable future.
As a co-convener of the Save Sharks Network Philippines, the organisation has advocated for the protection of over 100 shark and ray species locally and globally. Their efforts have resulted in the complete protection of 45 shark species in the Philippines by 2023. Save Philippine Seas also played a pivotal role in establishing the country’s first shark sanctuary through legislation and capacity-building initiatives.
It has also provided environmental education and mentorship to over 600 emerging leaders for marine conservation across Southeast Asia and supported 130 youth-led, community-based projects through grants and guidance. It collaborates with educators to integrate eco-friendly practices into the curriculum and provides training for formal and informal educators.
By empowering seatizens and nurturing the next generation of environmental changemakers, Save Philippine Seas envisions a future where the Philippines’ seas are healthy, thriving, and cherished by all.
During Dela, the programme will support Save Philippine Seas to continue scaling its impact and promoting innovative strategies. It will have the opportunity to learn new approaches to measure its impact effectively and expand its partnerships beyond its existing network.