THE AQUOS FOUNDATION
‘To nurture and protect biodiversity, threatened species, fragile ecosystems and the community’
As evening falls across the thick green canopy of the garden forest on Banwa Private Island, a pair of chubby Mantanani Scops Owls contemplate their next meal. A line of Hawksbill Turtles shuffle lazily across the hot white sand, headed back to the cool clear sea after a busy day burying their eggs. Tabon Birds stab their hopeful beaks into the thick undergrowth searching for a tasty dinner of seeds, shoots and hapless insects. Around the island, the reef teems with life. Trevally, grouper, and cuttlefish dance hungrily above beds of giant clams. Angelfish, parrot fish and clownfish, try to avoid becoming prey. Darting through the coral, they become colourful playthings for a nursery of black-tipped reef sharks. As the sun dips its toes into the turquoise waters for the last hurrah of the day; life is good in northeastern Palawan.
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.
Beyond luxurious accommodation and exquisite service, the Aquos Foundation is an NGO that ensures Palawan remains “the last frontier of biodiversity” for future generations. It is the Foundation’s commitment to the environment that sets Banwa Private Island apart. The mission is simple: to conserve and nurture the rich biodiversity in and around the island’s protected marine reserve.
We look forward to sharing more sustainability success stories with you soon.
WHO WE ARE
The Aquos Foundation is a non-profit organisation. It was established to nurture and protect biodiversity, threatened species, and fragile ecosystems on and around Banwa Private Island and the surrounding Tumarbong Marine Protected Area. We also aim to improve the lives of the local community by providing education, equipment, training, medical assistance, water tanks and filtration systems.
WHAT WE DO
We have initiated many conservation projects to restore and protect the environment on land and sea. The island, reforested with native and ornamental trees and shrubs, has become a safe home for endangered native birds such as the Mantanani Scops Owl and the Tabon Bird, as well as a safe place for endangered migrating birds, such as the Eurasian Curlew, the Japanese Paradise Flycatcher and the Great Knot. The reef has been regrown from the rubble with reef balls and now supports a healthy ecosystem including a natural nursery for sharks and formerly endangered Hawksbill Turtle now shuffle about on the white sand.
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