About Us

“Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation (SEF) is a Philippine-based non-profit organization dedicated to conserve, protect, and restore the natural resources of Palawan through environmentally sustainable practices and active ecosystems restoration. It is a private initiative funded by eco-tourism.”

In 2011, Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation was born out of a common love for the ocean and desire to help the local communities of Palawan.

We decided to implement the first project site on Pangatalan Island. At that time, we found the island in various states of damage so our first task was to prevent further negative impact.

In March 2016, we started focusing our efforts on a 45-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) surrounding Pangatalan island. Our development model comprises people, environment, and the economy hinged on a sustainable strategy.

With complete financial autonomy, our goal is to develop and implement sustainable operations that benefit people and the environment.  We financially support our projects through  eco-tourism on the island. (Fred, President)

We’re a team of ocean lovers who decided to unite our passions and skills to establish Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation.
Fred and Chris, founders of the foundation, are in charge of general management, financial planning, and construction activities on the island.
Thom, an expert in marine ecosystems preservation and management, is the main contact and project manager for the foundation’s activities.

At least 20 staff members, who are locals from nearby villages, contribute daily  to housekeeping, maintenance, and warm hospitality on the island.

With an area of 4.5 hectares, Pangatalan Island is located on the northeast coast of Palawan (Philippines) within Shark Fin Bay.

Since March 2016, the island has been surrounded by a 45-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) established by Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation, the barangays of Depla and Silanga, and the municipality of Taytay.
Connected to Palawan Island via a shallow reef, the MPA boasts a marine-rich environment where at least 13 ecosystems have been identified.



Our projects

In 2016, the Pangatalan Island Marine Protected Area (PIMPA) was created and implemented. Today, there are 12 ecosystems in the area, a highly diversified environment.

The Marine Protected Area is defined as a “No-Take Zone”, an area where no form of extractive activity such as fishing, hunting, logging, mining, and drilling is allowed.

As we measure the efficiency of our methods and the Marine Protected Area, we use photo-transect surveys and post-analysis to evaluate the state of degradation and health of the reefs. We are committed to improving the resilience of ecosystems (e.g. coral reefs) and increasing fish stock in the area.

Coral reefs are homes and breeding grounds to fish and other marine creatures. They cover 11.3 hectares (or 24%) of PIMPA, where an estimated 67% of the area had been degraded.

It is our priority to protect and restore them.  Some parts of the reefs had suffered damages that led to extremely low coral cover and structure loss, causing resiliency to be very low or even inexistent.

To accelerate and facilitate resiliency, we use two (2) methods of active restoration depending on the conditions of the reef (see Pavement Attachment below). In any case, we only collect and fix unstable or broken fragments, which means healthy colonies remain undisturbed and no fragments are collected from them.  


Pavement Attachment
If solid structures are available, we use nails and steel wire to attach corals on pavements. We choose a pavement where only turf algae or sponge are present, so young colonies, tunicates or any other organisms are not affected. Implanting coral fragment on a clean support will help the regrowth of the coral on the pavement.

Some genus or species such as Acropora sp. or Seriatopora sp. have a branching morphology and require special attention as they are extremely fragile and breakable.

Our first test showed tissues overgrowth on the steel wire after 1 to 2 months and a skeleton overgrowth after 2 to 4 months depending on type, species, and environmental conditions. 


Sulu Reef Prosthesis – SRP

The Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation (SEF) designed and engineered the SRP modules in 2016. These are durable modules made of reinforced concrete that aid in natural reefs resiliency and coral regrowth.

The SRP modules serve as structural prostheses on coral reefs, where mortality is high and structural strength was lost. We only focus on broken or unstable reef colonies, and help these regrow by attaching them to the SRP.  This way, we are able to restore damaged parts of the reef while keeping healthy and stable colonies undisturbed.

We have three (3) SRP models of different sizes. We manufacture all our SRPs on Pangatalan Island by using a unique and durable steel moulder. Produced in two pieces, the SRP has steel bar supports placed on the sides and tops to facilitate the fixation of coral fragments. Assembling is then made underwater.

 Mangroves are not only home to marine life; they also prevent sediment runoff and increase shore stability.

When we first took over the island, we found some areas in a deplorable state with 33% (or 0.85% of 2.5% hectares) of the mangroves within PIMPA depleted.

Today, our mangroves on Pangatalan Island are diversified with 12 species of plants. They contribute to regenerating the fish population as we regularly observe juveniles from various species: parrot fish, snappers, wrasses, cardinals, and others.

To facilitate mangrove regrowth, we collect propagules around the island and plant them in suitable areas to restore. To date, 6,000 units have been planted from different species such as Rhisophora sp. and Sonneratia sp.


Before 2011, many of the island’s trees were cut down to make wood or burn charcoal. The deforestation caused soil erosions and displaced birds and insects. These animals rely on plants and trees for food, shelter, and breeding grounds.

Over the years, we have already planted 39,000 plants from 52 species. This is an ongoing effort to ensure the healthy growth of vegetation and restructuring of soil.

Our mission to conserve, protect, and restore the natural resources of Palawan means we don’t just raise awareness; we initiate and lead the change. We organise meetings and events that promote environmental awareness and sustainable change in Taytay, in Palawan, and in the Philippines.

  • Visitors:   We share our values and knowledge with all our guests, so they can understand and contribute to our mission.
  • Team members:   We work with partners and volunteers to implement our activities and spread the word in their social groups.
  • Community:   We collaborate with different groups to share and bring awareness to a wider audience (schools, diver centers, etc.).
  • Institutional support:   We work with authorities as part of the Marine Environmental Protection (MAREP) squadron and with Pangatalan Island as a Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary base.


100% Solar-Powered:   Our solar power system has a 20-kilowatt capacity that generates enough electricity for household appliances, water heaters, and equipment for our projects.  
Resource-Friendly Buildings:   Our buildings are made of concrete and traditional roof materials. Made on the island, all our wooden furniture were designed and created using recycled materials from old dismantled buildings.  
 Eco-Friendly Water System:   A gravity flow pipe supplies water to the whole island. We keep water consumption to a minimum, and waste water is treated by a septic tank before hitting the ground.
 Organic Farm:   We grow what we eat! We have a 1.2-hectare farm that gives us a fresh supply of fruits, vegetables, poultry, and livestock.


Be part of it

For three (3) months each year, Pangatalan Island is open for exclusive rent. Guests can enjoy a secluded island holiday while making a positive contribution to the environment and local community.

We proudly offer high-end service focused on health and wellness – from the fresh food you eat, the organic products you use, and the many activities you can enjoy. During your stay, you can also observe or participate in the Foundation’s projects.

Everyone is welcome to join and volunteer in our projects. You will live a simple and healthy life while learning about marine conservation and sustainable development.

Our days usually start with breakfast at 7am and end at around 5pm. You can choose to participate in our available programs. Or if you have a particular area of interest, let us know and we’ll try our best to accommodate a customized project for you.


Contact us

If you’d like to know more about our projects or wish to get involved, we would love to hear from you.
Contact details :
Pangatalan Island, Depla Barangay, 5312, Palawan, Philippines.

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