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I am in Malapascua as an intern for People and the Sea (also known as PepSea). PepSea is an NGO promoting marine conservation on the island while developing community-based programs. Their main objective is to reduce the negative impacts that consumption habits may have on the marine natural resources. In Philippines lots of fishermen still use dynamite, a method which is not really efficient and destroys marine habitats. Moreover, the island has issues with dealing with its solid waste, as inhabitants often do not segregate their garbage and dispose of them by burying or burning them.
Pepsea seeks to develop environmental awareness on the island. They try to initiate the community in waste management initiatives by developing compost, plantation of mangroves, introducing gardens and waste segregation, giving lectures at school on marine sciences or organizing beach clean-ups and summer camps for kids.
They work with local fishermen to find sustainable methods of fishing which will both preserve the environment and offer more fish. This is a long work because it implies an important shift of their behavior, more than practicing those new methods, they must understand why they use them and feel the benefits.
PepSea also receives volunteers who participate in a marine research program, learning how to identify and count underwater species and conduct actual survey dives. Every morning those volunteers dive and in the afternoon they update/input data or participate in a variety if ongoing community programs.