Description of the Organization

The Marine Environment and Resources Foundation, Inc. (MERF or the Foundation) is a non‐political, non‐stock, and non‐profit organization registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 1991. 

MERF was formed:

To promote the development of the marine sciences in the country;

To contribute to the conservation and rational development of the country’s marine resources; and

More specifically,


To enhance the capability of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) in the execution of its mandates.


MERF pursues these goals through the implementation of research, development, and extension programs, which are funded by various local and international funding agencies.

Mission Statement and Programs

MERF is a science-based non-profit organization dedicated to marine research, development and extension, education, and conservation.

It is uniquely positioned as a support organization of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute – to assist at the local, national and regional scales – to expand the scientific foundation for research, conservation, advancing environmental literacy, developing tools for assessment and evaluation, promoting grassroot conservation actions, and overall broadening of different stakeholders’ engagement for the protection of marine ecosystems and resources.

It works with partners from all sectors and levels – from collaborating with the Government Organizations, Local Government Units, and private corporations, empowering local communities to liaising with international initiatives.

Our Mission And Vision

A leading science foundation that conducts marine science research, training, and extension activities to manage and conserve the marine environment for a sustainable planet.

Our Values

Integrity, Accountability, Excellence, Teamwork,

Environmental Stewardship, Passion for the Sea

Our Strategic Goals

The MERF, Inc. has the strategic goal of creating an internationally recognized research foundation in marine sciences, tropical marine ecosystems management and biodiversity, to constitute a major resource for knowledge generation and its communication to the public, and for the capacity building of new scientists and practitioners, and for communication of the theoretical and methodological knowledge of marine sciences to apply to real-world education and practice. 

Specific Goals:

  • Promote knowledge uptake of marine sciences and sustainable marine ecosystems and biodiversity management research into the realms of protection and conservation, practice, and policy.

  • Advance the Foundation’s mission by collaborating with stakeholders and organizations that have the opportunity and responsibility to improve marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

  • Ensure that our grantmaking programs are structured to support research that directly leads to a positive impact on marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

  • Identify and support promising experts, researchers, and organizations whose work encompasses principles of knowledge uptake.

  • Build networks and collaborations for innovative ideas related to the projects.

Founding Members

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Olivia Ryan

Chief Executive Officer

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Tess Anderson

Finance Director

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Dan Mitchell

Head of Divisions

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Noah Patterson

Managing Director