To ensure extensive coverage of the whole Tolo area in the study, a stratified survey approached is adopted. The Tolo area is divided into four sections (A, B, C and D). In each Section, ecological surveys are conducted in these habitats/taxa:
To encompass temporal variations, quantitative surveys at chosen sites are conducted in both the dry (December to March) and the wet season (June to September). Such surveys are conducted for at least twice during each season.
Night-time surveys in two chosen sites are added for juvenile fish communities. Quantitative surveys will also be conducted during the transition periods for juvenile fish communities.
Additional qualitative surveys are conducted at selected sites during the wet season which include intensive search of intertidal habitats at low tide to detect as many species as possible.
Questionnaire surveys and face-to-face interviews were conducted in order to investigate socioeconomic value of the Tolo area.
To gain the understanding of traditional/local knowledge on the marine resources over the Tolo area, a series of interviews was conducted with selected community leaders, historians, residents, fishermen and clan lineages as well as naturalist and ecotourism practitioners who have had a long-term presence in the area.
To evaluate the economic value of ecosystem services, specific methods have been developed for assessing different types of ecosystem services. The valuation methods cover fisheries, tourism and recreation, and non-use value of biodiversity in the Tolo area. Surveys to visitors and local residents were conducted by using face-to-face interviews.
The entire study period of this project is three years, as it is important to document and account for year-to-year variations in marine biodiversity in the Tolo area. The project is separated into two phases, and each phase lasts for 18 months.