Home to the most diverse marine ecosystem in the world, the Philippines has been tagged as one of seven biodiversity hotspots across the planet. This means that a high number of endemic or endangered species are found in these tropical isles, which are now a conservation priority region due to the threat of severe habitat loss. Add to this the adverse effects of climate change, and a variety of destructive practices that impact our rich coastal areas, and one could say that our much-touted aquatic biodiversity is constantly imperiled.
Fortunately, the Philippines’ coastal communities are relentlessly pushing for sustainable practices that are primed to help preserve our marine rersources. One such community, Hamilo Coast, is unwavering in its campaign to protect and preserve its picturesque sanctuary located in Nasugbu, Batangas.
A 40-hectare premier leisure resort complex, Hamilo Coast is only an hour and a half commute from Mall of Asia via the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) and Ternate-Nasugbu road. A development of Costa Del Hamilo, Inc. (CDHI), a duly recognized SM Prime company, Hamilo Coast is a masterplanned community that features the idyllic Pico De Loro Cove, which integrates residential, resort, leisure, commercial, and institutional land uses.
Stepping up its game to protect and nurture the incredibly rich and breathtaking marine life surrounding it, Hamilo Coast recently renewed its partnership with the World Wide Fund of Nature Philippines (WWF). The collaboration will continue to expand and enhance the scope of its sustainability initiatives that have covered coastal resource management, ridge-to-reef management, solid waste management, mangrove reforestation, the use of renewable energy sources, and environmental awareness since the year 2007.
“Hamilo Coast has always made an effort to preserve our marine resources, as it is not only a responsibility but a privilege to do so. Our partnership with WWF manifests our resolve to ensure that our community remains a safe haven for marine life, and that we continue to be a model for sustainable coastal development in the Philippines,” shares Ms. Imee G. Francisco, Vice President and Head of CDHI Projects and Operations.
Hamilo Coast has gone beyond expectations to ensure that its slice of paradise remains pristine for the years to come. To fulfill this advocacy, Hamilo Coast currently engages in several marine and environmental activities in partnership with the local government and non-government organizations (NGOs).
Leading such efforts is its collaboration with the University of the Philippines Bolinao Marine Lab, which provides training in the culture and ocean rearing of giant clams through the Giant Clams Restocking and Spawning Program. This activity is a conservation strategy that aims to improve the biodiversity and productivity of stressed coral reef habitats.
Next, with Hamilo Coast’s beautiful and well-kept beach fronts as favorite nesting grounds of Olive Ridley Turtles, the community regularly implements the Marine Turtle Conservation Program. In this undertaking, Hamilo Coast’s Estate and Sustainability teams proactively monitor and protect the turtle nests until the eggs hatch, after which the hatchlings are immediately released to the ocean.
Hamilo Coast also continues to hold the annual Coastal Clean-Up Program, a highly effective collaboration between the management and employees of Costa Del Hamilo Inc. and the local government. The volunteers collect trash and debris from Pico Beach and neighboring coves, identify the sources of the litter, help change behaviors that cause pollution, and raise awareness on the extent of the marine debris problem.
“As we strive to create a more sustainable future, we are proud of what we have accomplished and continue to do here at Hamilo Coast,” Francisco relates. “While we are very excited to do even more to preserve our aquatic biodiversity, we hope that we may also inspire other communities to do the same.”
For more information on Hamilo Coast, its marine conservation efforts, and its other sustainability initiatives, you may check out the Hamilo Coast official Facebook page, website , and Instagram (@hamilocoastph).