Lifestyle, Travel

Sustainability Adventures from a Tropical Island

The Aquos Foundation

‘To nurture and protect biodiversity, threatened species, fragile ecosystems and the community’

A pair of fat Mantanani Scops Owls consider their next meal as dusk settles over the lush green canopy of the garden forest on Banwa Private Island. Following a busy day burying their eggs, a line of Hawksbill Turtles amble lazily through the scorching, white sand on their way back to the cool, clear water. Tabon Birds poke their beaks into the dense underbrush in the hopes of finding appetizing meals of seeds, shoots, and helpless insects. The reef is alive all around the island. Above beds of enormous clams, trevally, grouper, and cuttlefish dance ravenously. Clownfish, parrotfish, and angelfish all make an effort to avoid becoming prey. They are transformed into colorful diversions for a nursery of black-tipped reef sharks as they dart through the coral. Life is wonderful in northern Palawan as the sun dips its toes into the clear seas for its final hurrah of the day.

But it was not always this way…  

Banwa Private island is remote but not removed from the heavy hand humanity has had on nature. Banwa Private Island’s Aquos Foundation was established to turn this around. Aquos Foundation Guardian, Bernard Bonares says: “In 2016, when Palawan was supposed to have the best coral in the Philippines, I saw was rubble covered in algae, a few lonely fish looking hopeless, and a hungry Hawksbill Turtle picking at a sponge. I was heartbroken.” Something had to be done, so the Foundation was set up to restore and protect the environment. This has resulted in a growing list of now thriving (often endangered) wildlife, the lush habitat and also the island’s healthy surrounding reef. 

The Aquos Foundation is an NGO that works to ensure Palawan is preserved as “the last frontier of biodiversity” for future generations in addition to offering opulent lodging and first-rate service. The Foundation’s dedication to the environment is what distinguishes Banwa Private Island. The goal is to safeguard and enhance the diverse wildlife in and around the island’s marine reserve.

We hope to soon share with you more sustainability success stories.

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