Imagine a super ship: grand in size, cut out for extreme conditions, and focused on a mission. A ship that has – since 2003 – embarked on 11 expeditions around the world and is set to travel a total of ~450,000 km by September 2018.

Her name is TARA – a research ship that sails across the globe to study and understand the impact of climate change and the ecological crisis on our oceans. And she’s coming to Palawan (Taytay, El Nido, and here in our very own Pangatalan Island) on January 29 – February 7, 2018. Palawan is one of the 70 stopovers across 40 countries during the two-year Tara Pacific 2016-2018 Expedition.


The mission?

To study in a thorough and innovative way the evolution of coral reefs in response to climate change and the pressure of human activities. Tara will journey across the Pacific Ocean, from east to west and from north to south. Tara sails across the globe to study and understand the impact of climate change and the ecological crisis on our oceans.

By now, you might be wondering, how is it that a prestigious ocean expedition is coming to Palawan? It all started with an invitation… No one is more excited to have the Tara expedition here in Palawan than us at Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation (SEF). And it’s not just because we’ll be hosting them… but because their mission to study coral reefs diversity and climate change is perfectly aligned with what our Foundation stands for.


Why coral reefs and why the Pacific Ocean?

Since our Foundation started in 2011, we’ve had several coral reef initiatives, including designing our own Sulu Reef Prosthesis concrete modules and working with the  Coral Triangle Initiative-Southeast Asia (CTI-SEA).

The Tara Pacific expedition is unique because it will cover a massive area – the Pacific Ocean – where more than 40% of the world’s coral reefs are found. Culminating in the “Coral Triangle” of Southeast Asia, a study of this scale is said to have never been accomplished before.


Tara Pacific will study the evolution of coral reefs in response to climate change and the pressure of human activities. With 70 scientists from 8 countries on board, Tara Pacific will analyse 40 archipelagos and collect a total of 40,000 samples in 2 years. Even if coral reefs cover only 0.08% to 0.16% of the ocean’s surface, they include nearly 25% of marine diversity and can greatly affect populations who depend on the ocean’s good health. We need the ocean that brings us livelihood, food on the table, and life. It’s our responsibility to protect our coral reefs which have been disappearing in recent years.

The fruits of this expedition will provide new data to the scientific community, such as understanding the still-unknown role of biological, chemical, and physical parameters in the life of coral colonies and their ability to adapt to their environmental change. The information gathered can also help shape political and business decisions in addressing the world’s environmental problems.

To make sure you don’t miss our updates and activities with Tara, follow us on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

For more details visit TARA PACIFIC Website.


Did you know that eight of the 11 giant clam species in the world are found in the Philippines? In fact, two of the world’s largest natural giant clam pearls (14 pounds & 75 pounds) were found in Palawan.

Like coral reefs that need to be restored, we also aim to protect Palawan’s endangered giant clams. Soon, 1.2 hectares of Pangatalan Island’s marine protected area will be devoted to this – giant clam gardening and coral restoration.

Last August 20, 2017, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Coral Triangle Initiative-Southeast Asia (CTI-SEA), a regional project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Global Environment Facility.

Together with CTI-SEA, Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation (SEF) will co-manage the project, with the support of the local government and fishermen of Taytay.

Restore Reefs, Save the Giants

We will survey the health and growth of giant clams in the area, and group some of them to help facilitate reproduction. Saving giant clams is important because they help form the coral reef structure, and serve as home to some corals and fish. They also help recycle nutrients, filter the water, and provide food for other organisms.

As for restoring the reefs, we will be using our very own Sulu Reef Prosthesis (SRP) – the durable reinforced concrete modules we designed that support weak coral reef structures. We will only focus on broken or unstable reef colonies, and help these regrow by attaching them to the SRP. This way, we will restore damaged parts of the reef while keeping healthy and stable colonies undisturbed.

The said project will help restore damaged reefs in Taytay Bay and protect them from illegal fishing. Earlier in May 2017, the Municipality of Taytay accredited Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation – recognizing our commitment to protect Palawan waters and help its local communities.

Want to volunteer for this project? We welcome extra hands and generous support. Email us at to know how you can help.

Some species of giant clams can grow up to four feet in length, weigh up to 500 pounds, and live in the wild for more than 100 years.  Here is Tridacna maxima.

Clockwise, from left to right: Perfecto Dolliente, president, Pinagsama-samang Lakas ng Samahang Mangingisda ng Taytay, Palawan, Inc. (PILAKSAMA); Thomas Pavy, conservation project manager, Sulubaai Environmental Foundation; Chan Lee de Luna, president, Taytay Tourism Council; Joie Matillano, officer, Taytay Tourism Council; Dr. Lope A. Calanog, sustainable finance specialist, Pacific Rim Innovation and Management Exponents (PRIMEX); Frederic Tardieu, founder, Sulubaai Environmental Foundation.

Last July 27, we officially launch our project and Coral Restoration Method with the help of our two devoted ambassadors, Guillaume Néry (Freediving World Champion) and Odessa Bugarin (Freediver, Mermaid and active conservationist). The event took place on Pangatalan Island with the collaboration of the Municipality of Taytay, Freediving Planet, the Department of Tourism and Studio H2O. Check our website for more information about our global project. We developed and Designed our SRP Method (SuluReef Prosthesis) in order to fit our needs for the coral reefs restoration in the area. But for sure it can be useful in other places too. Feel free to contact us for details. The sustainable project is based on financial autonomy, ecosystems restoration, social development and eco-friendly life style. Thanks to all our partners for making it possible and sharing it! Studio H2O made an awesome job filming and editing this video! Thanks guys. It is just the beginning of a long and passionate adventure!! Let’s keep up the good work and spread the word for the preservation of Philippines ecosystems.

One of the main component of our project is the financial sustainability. We are really proud of being a private initiative acting for the benefits of all without depending of third parties donations.

It is for us a great news to obtain this important authorization from le local government unit of Taytay. It allows us to run the project in complete legality.

We are now open for booking of the Villa. It is a high standing accommodation comprising 3 bedrooms, large living room and infinity pool.

We look forward taking care of our guests and share with them all the different aspects of Pangatalan Island and our project.


In May 2017 we participated to the worldwide festival Celebrate Islands. It aims to act for ecosystems conservation and life quality improvement for every people living on islands around the world.

In this occasion Sulubaaï Foundation decided to organize 3 Coastal Clean Up in 3 different villages. Depla, Silanga and Sandoval.

With the help of the inhabitants and local politics we removed from the shore approximately 2 500 kg of garbage.

We were really impressed by the number of inhabitants that joined the move and really glad to see all the kids participating actively.

We would like to thanks every participants.