A champion of ocean conservation, Monaco’s Prince Albert II visited the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in 2016

A photo exhibition launched on October 7 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in France features photographs of the Philippines’ Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

The photo exhibition entitled  “Protecting UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage through scientific research” was prepared in collaboration with the Monaco Explorations Campaign in the framework of a partnership agreement between UNESCO, through its World Heritage Marine Programme, and the Principality of Monaco.

The current exhibit is being held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France and will run until October 30.

The exhibit features photographs taken by the Monaco Explorations during a scientific exploration in UNESCO World Heritage marine sites, which includes the Philippines’ Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the center of the Sulu Sea and covers the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs.

Home to a great diversity of marine life, including whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and Napoleon wrasse, the reef ecosystems support over 360 species of corals and almost 700 species of fish. The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is part of the Coral Triangle, center of global marine biological diversity in the world. The 970 sq.km. natural park is the largest marine protected area in the Philippines, comprising over 50 percent of all no-take zones in the country.

Tubbataha was inscribed in the World Heritage list in December 1993 because of its exceptional natural beauty, its role in on-going ecological and biological processes, and its significance to in situ conservation. Studies have shown that fish and coral larvae from Tubbataha enrich fisheries in the surrounding areas.  This ecological function is vital to the food security of the Philippines.

In 2016, Monaco’s Prince Albert II, who champions ocean conservation and the safeguarding of Earth’s ecosystem, visited the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

Other marine sites featured in the photo exhibit are Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary in Colombia, Rock Islands Southern Lagoon in Palau, and Lagoons of New Caledonia.