Promote Tawi-Tawi as Eco-dive Site
Tawi-Tawi is one of our country’s last bastions of marine biodiversity. It is home to several endemic species of flora and fauna, most of which are considered endangered including the Tawtawi brown dove.
The island closest to the marine protected area is Simunul, home to the first Muslim mosque in the Philippines. Muslims and Christians live peacefully together in the island with zero crime rate. Unfortunately, since its residents only rely on fishing as a reliable source of income, the risk of overfishing and resource depletion has become a serious threat to the island.
To address the issue of unemployment and low economic activity in Simunul, ILOVE Foundation aims to promote Tawi-Tawi as a sustainable eco-dive tourism site. We will do this in partnership with the Mindanao State University (MSU) - Tawi Tawi, which won as first place in our ‘Quest for Love’ initiative in 2018.
Through an ecotourism program, MSU - Tawi-Tawi aims to provide an alternative source of livelihood for the fisher folks, the Bajao tribes, and other locals while lessening the negative effects on marine resources. The program includes tour packages which would allow visitors to relax at the white sand beach, dive and snorkel at the marine protected area, trek mountains, and visit cultural sites.
Before we can implement this program, one of the main problems of the area that we need to address is the lack of electricity. Simunul has only one generator that runs for 12 hours at night so by morning, they have little power.
We are working with Solar Philippines and Solar Para Sa Bayan to install solar panels in three barangays: Tonggosong, Tubig Indangan, and Bakong. This would allow communities to have electricity 24/7 and be able to accommodate tourists.
Once the solar panels are installed, ILOVE Foundation and MSU - Tawi-Tawi will use the funds generated through this campaign in providing the facilities and equipment for the ecotourism program and training the Bajao and other locals as boatmen, tour guides, dive instructors, cooks, and other service providers. We will also market Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines and abroad as a beautiful and safe eco-dive site.
Help ILOVE Foundation and MSU - Tawi-Tawi protect the marine biodiversity in the province and provide a sustainable livelihood for its residents. Support this campaign by clicking the Give Now button. Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family. Plan a trip with them to dive in the clear waters of Tawi-Tawi together!