The island of Pala’wan, which is located west of the main chain of the Philippines, is one of the country’s largest national protected areas; its biodiversity is also one of the most vulnerable. Pala’wan is also recognized internationally by the United Nations and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as a conservation hotspot. Through national legislation in 1992, Pala’wan is governed within a comprehensive environmental protection and sustainable development framework. The Strategic Environmental Plan for Pala’ wan (hereafter referred as the Pala’ wan Plan) is a novel framework that attracted significant donor support and buy-in from the local government and general public despite the challenging implications of its implementation. *