Sabang Mangrove Forest is perfect choice for side trip if you are going to famous Puerto Princesa Underground River protected site by UNESCO or if you staying on of the many resorts or hotels along Sabang beach. The best option to visit this site is to search for Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour Guide Association, Inc. as they are orgnizer of this tour. For only 200 pesos or $4 (price might be changed) their paddle boat will takes you deep into 47 hectare Sabang Mangrove Forest.
Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour Guide Association is located at the end of Sabanag beach, east side.
If you are coming from Puerto Princesa it is easy to book in some tourist agency, usually they offer package for both Sabang Mangrove Forest and Underground River.
If you are going with your car or motorcycle, search in navigation for Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour Guide Association. It will take around 2 hours to reach destination.
There is four species of mangrove in this forest.
The mangrove trees rising high up to 45 meters and most of them are more than 300 years old.
Fauna is very rich there, various kind of fish, bird, snakes, crabes and lizards found their home there (yes, you will see them)
One of the best sites in Palawan for bird watchers
Possible to take jungle trail through forest (come early and ask guide for more info)
At the end of tour you will hear mangrove song.
Importance of mangrove forests
Mangroves are essential to maintaining water quality. With their dense network of roots and surrounding vegetation, they filter and trap sediments, heavy metals, and other pollutants. This ability to retain sediments flowing from upstream prevents contamination of downstream waterways and protects sensitive habitat like coral reefs and sea grass beds below. Source: A World Without Mangroves?
Home to an incredible array of species, mangroves are biodiversity hotspots. They provide nesting and breeding habitat for fish and shellfish, migratory birds, and sea turtles. An estimated 80% of the global fish catch relies on mangrove forests either directly or indirectly.
Mangroves are the first line of defense for coastal communities. They stabilize shorelines by slowing erosion and provide natural barriers protecting coastal communities from increased storm surge, flooding, and hurricanes. In 2003, it was estimated that a quarter of the world's population lived within 100 kilometers of the coast and at 100 meters of sea level. Robust mangrove forests are natural protection for communities vulnerable both to sea level rise and the more intense and frequent weather events caused by climate change.
Carbon storage. Mangroves sequester carbon at a rate two to four times greater than mature tropical forests and store three to five times more carbon per equivalent area than tropical forests like the Amazon rainforest. The Philippines originally had around 450,000 hectares of mangrove forest, but it is unfortunate that despite their importance, the country has lost more than half of this area. The leading causes of this loss are the conversion into fishponds and excessive logging of mangrove trees for the production of charcoal, firewood, and timber.
Pacific Islanders are at the forefront of climate change; experiencing its varying impacts on coastlines, biodiversity, economy and most importantly on livelihoods. The conservation of mangroves and associated ecosystems is a key natural adaptation strategy and mitigation measure to climate change. Mangrove ecosystems provide goods and services highly valued by the people of the Pacific. However, this unique ecosystem faces continuing threats from overharvesting, degradation and land reclamation.