I'm KM Reyes, a Nat Geo Explorer working to save the remaining 3% of pristine rainforest in the Philippines—AMA on World Wildlife Day!
EDIT: Thank you everyone for your important questions, I had a great time answering them! :) I’m dialling in from very remote field work here in Palawan, so it’s time for me to race off to meet our indigenous communities now. If you want to keep following our efforts, or you have more Qs, don’t hesitate to look me up IG/Twitter @karinamay_reyes, FB page @reyes.karinamay. Happy World Wildlife Day, & Power to the Forest! 🍃🌳
Hi! I’m KM, a conservation lobbyist, National Geographic Explorer, and Co-Founder of the Centre for Sustainability PH (CS). We’re a women-led, youth, environmental nonprofit on Palawan island, known as the Philippines’ Last Ecological Frontier. Our Mission is to conserve our country’s last remaining 3% of pristine rainforest through establishment of national parks. We achieve this through community organizing, scientific research, and political lobbying.
Our biggest achievement was spearheading the legal establishment of the Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat in 2017. At 41,350 hectares, it is now the Philippines’ biggest critical habitat, or nearly 2.5 times’ Washington DC! It is the highest mountain and largest watershed of Palawan’s capital, Puerto Princesa City, the ancestral domain of the last 200 members of the disappearing indigenous Batak tribe, and home to countless endemic and threatened flora and fauna, including the #1 poached animal globally, the Pangolin.
We’re now working to establish our SECOND national park in southern Palawan, called Kensad, home to the indigenous Tagbanua tribe who have protected this swathe of pristine rainforest since time immemorial.
I am passionate about professionalizing conservation, improving gender equality, and the recognition of indigenous land rights. For more information about our work, follow us on social media @centreforsustainabilityph and @karinamay_reyes.