/ ©: Jurgen Freund

Palawan

The province of Palawan is known as the final ecological frontier of the Philippines, and a haven for wildlife. But a 15 MW coal fired power plant threatens to disrupt the delicate balance.


An iconic landscape

This 425 km long and 40 km wide island is endowed with beautiful landscapes which are a mix of long coastlines, rolling hills, tropical rainforests, tall mountain ranges and winding rivers.

The islands have received international recognition from the tourism industry as one of the best islands on Earth.

Up to 20% of the Philippines’ floral species are found only on this island. The famous Tubbataha Reefs at the center of the Sulu Sea host over 600 reef fish and 380 hard coral species.

Palawan is sparsely populated with most of its people deriving their livelihood from its natural resources via tourism, agriculture and fisheries.
 / ©: WWF
© WWF

Threats

Palawan is a region of rich natural resources and immense biodiversity. Despite its ecological importance to the planet, Palawan is fighting a battle against a proposal to set up a 15 MW coal fired power plant in the heart of the island, which might jeopardized its status as UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Recently, the proposal received the approval from the village council, but is yet to be cleared by the municipality and province. If approved, the project will irreparably damage this pristine ecosystem, affecting all iconic and endangered species of the region as well as its terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

What you can do

WWF is strongly opposing the construction of this coal fired power plant in Palawan. We need your support in making our voice heard and build a people’s movement to save Palawan. Pledge your support to the Seize Your Power campaign to let the government know, you do not want dirty energy at the cost of losing one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Impact

There are currently two proposed sites for the coal plant in Palawan.

The first site is directly in front of the Rasa Wildlife Sanctuary in the municipality of Narra.

This sanctuary supports the largest nesting and breeding population of the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo along with the threatened grey imperial pigeon, several marine turtle species, and the dugong. The tall structures and wires will increase risks of collision and electrocution, resulting in a serious decline in the breeding population. This site also lies just 100 metres away from the fishermen’s fish drying spot on the beach, and coal ash from the plant would affect the quality of their produce.

The second site in Aborlan, directly across the Malunao fish sanctuary, is a mangrove area where locals live and rely primarily on fishing for livelihood.

The polluted thermal waste water would directly be discharged into seas and other water bodies, heavily impacting marine and freshwater ecosystems. Also, transporting the coal to Palawan would expose a much larger marine area to risks such as ship groundings and spills.

Palawan currently has two proposed power projects; coal and hydro power, with the island currently being powered primarily by diesel. The hydropower project is expected to generate three times more jobs per MW than the other projects. It will also save an estimated 750 million pesos in fossil fuel costs and mitigate 26,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The island also has potential for wind, solar and biomass projects in the region. Despite such high potential for clean energy, if the coal power plant proposal is approved, it would block out future energy projects in the province, making it reliant almost exclusively on fossil fuel.

There is good news. Palawan has an opportunity to make the right energy choice today to secure a sustainable future dependant on clean energy, and set an example for the entire country of Philippines, which has more than 4000 MW of coal projects awaiting approval despite being a country that is poor in fossil fuel resources but rich in clean, indigenous renewable energy resources.
 / ©: Gregg Yan / WWF
© Gregg Yan / WWF
 / ©: Gregg Yan / WWF
Anthias and damselfish, Palawan
© Gregg Yan / WWF

Protecting Palawan

WWF is engaged with the Department of Energy to conduct a province-wide Energy Development Plan that will explore all least-cost, indigenous, renewable energy options in Palawan before considering fossil fuel projects.

There is a possibility that Palawan becomes 100% powered by renewable energy in the near future, eliminating requirements for fossil fuel projects and all the economic, social and environmental risks associated with it.

Seize Your Power ~

We believe our future can, and should, be powered by nature. Read the pledge.

Count me in People taking action






Palawan at risk rel=
Palawan at risk
© WWF

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  • 23% of all species found in the Philippines, live in Palawan.

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  • 50% of the world’s coral species are found in Palawan.

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