For travelers who want an experience of paradise while supporting a worthy cause, Danjugan Island is my top recommendation. Danjugan is not just a wild, unspoiled paradise – it is a paradise consciously and painstakingly maintained by a group of committed environmentalists, the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI), and volunteers.
During my stay in this beautiful island in Negros Occidental, I was honored to see its staff and volunteers working to preserve the island as well as raising awareness on environmental concerns. Here are some of Danjugan’s practices which I believe make it a model ecotourism destination:
1) Care for and preservation of the island. The PRRCFI had Danjugan and its surrounding seas recognized as a marine protected area, thus protecting it from fishing and other threats to marine life. Danjugan’s staff and volunteers ensure the protection of Danjugan’s 235 coral species (almost half of the species in the world), 70 bird species, more than 15 mangrove species, and more of Danjugan’s wildlife.
2) Environment-friendly facilities and practices. Solar panels power Danjugan’s minimal electricity, particularly for lights. Air conditioners are unheard of in Danjugan since guests sleep in open-air cabanas. Generators are rarely used, usually only for presentations during environmental awareness camps for kids. Fresh water, which is transported from the Negros mainland, is also sparingly consumed, and rainwater is collected as much as possible.
The island also has a compost toilet which recycles waste as food for plants. Mud houses built from mud and limestone, have just been recently offered as an alternative accommodation to the open-air cabanas.
3) Marine camps educating kids and teens on environmental conservation. Danjugan staff and volunteers regularly hold marine and wildlife camps for kids and teens to educate them about the importance of biodiversities of coral reefs and mangroves, show them the reality of climate change, and spark them to do what they can to help save the environment.
While there are camps for paying kids and teens, there are also sponsored camps for public elementary school students in Danjugan’s attempt to reach more kids, as part of Danjugan’s vision is for students to be stewards of the environment.
So for travelers looking for beautiful islands to explore in the Philippines, invest your travel budget in Danjugan Island. The money you pay will go to the island’s conservation efforts and education camps for kids and teens. Of course, you can also choose to donate or volunteer.
For more information about Danjugan Island, visit their website.
This is the second of the article series about Danjugan Island. Read the first article here.