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Coron Island Natural Biotic Area

Date of Submission: 16/05/2006
Criteria: (iii)(ix)(x)
Category: Mixed
Submitted by:
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau
State, Province or Region:
Coron, Palawan
Coordinates: N11 48 to 12 00 E120 11 to 120 19
Ref.: 5035

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Coron Island is roughly equidistant from Manila and Puerto Princessa City.  The Island has a rugged topography, generally mountainous and its terrain marked by steep rock and ravines. Almost 70% of the area made up of rocky cliffs, 25% is rolling hills and 5% relatively flat. Out of the total area, approximately 18% is occupied by the Tagbanua as residential and agricultural lands, as rock formations almost dominate the entire area. Large area is composed of Karst formations where swiftlets dwell and build their nest (birds nest). There are vertical limestone cliffs that reach up to 600 meters above sea level and eight (8) brackish lakes and three (3) smaller one's that have underground connections to the sea.

Coron Island comprises two barangays, Banuang Daan and Cabugao, all of them belong to the Indigenous Cultural Communities. There are 373 households with a population of 2,028 individuals of Tagbanua in the Island. The primary users of the resources of the island are the residents of these two settlements. Majority of the residents of the two barangays are seldom seen in the mountains except for the gatherers of edible bird's nests on towering cliffs that serve as the major source of income for Indigenous people in the island. Coron Island is wedge-shaped limestone island, dominated by Permian Limestone of Jurassic origin, with few of its coastal areas being covered by mangrove forests. It is situated in the Calamianes group of Islands and belongs to the Municipality of Coron.

Some of the rare places not found in the regions are the fantastic and legendary lagoons which are wide, deep and with very clear water, interestingly nestled in one huge and rocky island popularly known as the Coron Islands. Encircled by giant walls of limestone cliffs, this jewel of a mountain, boarders the beautiful and wide Coron harbor, where more wonders of nature abide.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

Consequently, on June 5, 1998 Coron Island was recognized as an ancestral domain with the issuance of CADC No. 134 to the Tagbanua. The claim which includes the Tagbanua ancestral fishing grounds, covered 22,248 has., operated via a framework management plan prepared by the aforementioned IP's.

Located in North Palawan in the Philippines, the entire island and associated offshore waters have been designated as Ancestral Domain (R04-CADC-134).

With the assistance of PAFID, the Tagbanua Foundation of Coron (TFCI) has produced its own Ancestral Domain Management Plan (ADMP).

Owing to the unique ecological features of Coron island, piling legal instruments have been issued purposely to protect this valuable resource. The island including its surrounding islets was first declared a National Reserve by virtue of Proclamation # 219 on July 2, 1967. In 1978, another proclamation # 1801 declared the island a Tourist Zone and Marine Reserve. This facilitated the transfer of the management to the Philippine Tourism Authority. This proclamation was followed by Proclamation 2152, declaring the entire province a Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve.Likewise, in 1990, a Community Forest Stewardship Agreement (CFSA) was issued by DENR to the Tagbanua Foundation of Coron Island which covered about 7,748 has. Finally, with the passage of NIPAS Act in 1992, it was listed part of the priority protected areas.

Comparison with other similar properties

Coron Island compared to Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park has several unique features being the habitat of the Philippine Cockatoo, the edible bird's nest, the clean and sacred lakes and rock formations while Mts. Iglit-Baco NP has its Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) as its flagship species. While in Mt. Iglit, it is the Mangyan people who integrate with the local endemic tamaraw population, in Coron it is the Tagbanwa whose culture is intertwined with that of the swallows with their nests in the caves. Such edible birds nest caves are "owned" and maintained by in dividual families.