Integrated coastal management (ICM) in the Philippines has evolved as a result of initiatives that established community-based marine protected areas (MPAs) since the 1970s. Since then, the development of both ICM and MPAs have benefited from a number of factors that include devolution of management authority to local government, continued active engagement of local non-government organizations, strong support from the national government and from marine science academic and research institutions, and the influx of donor-assisted marine conservation programs in the past two decades. ICM and MPA programs in the Philippines implement a variety of components that include community organizing, participatory planning, alternative livelihood development, public education, research, regulating resource uses, and policy development that address various marine conservation issues. The unabated degradation of the marine environment and its resources continue to motivate efforts to improve the existing paradigm of community-based resource management and MPA establishment, which are carried out in various adaptations depending on the issues addressed and the socio-political context in which the initiatives are taking place. A number of recommendations are put forth in addressing the problems and obstacles faced by ICM and MPA initiatives and in improving their effectiveness for consideration by local practitioners and decision-makers.
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