ssme reg planning franca sprongMs. Franca Sprong, Project Director for GIZ-SSS Project, gave her welcome message and project updatesBatangas City -- A two-day regional planning meeting for the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project (formerly SSME Project) was held on May 24 - 25, 2016 to align the respective work plans of the partner countries Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to the new Outputs, Outcomes and Indicators (OOI). Thirty participants from the projects’ government agency partners: Indonesia (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries), Malaysia (Department of Fisheries Sabah, Sabah Parks, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation) and the Philippines (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau), GIZ and Conservation International as well as ADB RETA 7813 and WWF Indonesia gathered to set a strategic direction and agree on future bilateral, tri-national and regional activities and collaboration, and identify next steps for implementation.

With the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) as the new umbrella organization of the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project, the Regional Secretariat underscored the project’s links with its Regional Plan of Action and how it feeds into the 5 Goals of the CTI-CFF. Conservation International on the other hand, presented the strategy for management of SSS based on the development of the framework and design for transboundary sea turtle MPAs.

The Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project country representatives shared the status of implementation in their respective countries and provided current updates on their Marine Protected Area Network (MPAN) and Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) work plans. The Philippines reported on recent accomplishments in its MPAN (El Nido/Taytay, Tubbataha, Balabac and Turtle Islands) and EAFM sites (Turtle Islands and Balabac). Indonesia gave updates on its priority (Berau and Sebatik) and supported sites (Minahasa and Tarakan) and shared the news on the establishment of its project implementation team through a ministry directive, research plans addressing fisheries management and bycatch mitigation and the dissemination of best practices. Malaysia emphasized on their report that the focus of implementation is on the conservation of the newly gazetted Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) and replication of EAFM demonstration sites based on the success of its pilot site in Semporna. The project partners tackled their work plans for capacity development, research and sharing of experiences to identify regional and joint activities.

ssme reg planning phl indonesiaPartners from Indonesia and Philippines engaged in brainstorming exercises in the two-day planning meetingThe participants were brought to the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape for a short learning visit with the community. The trip also introduced some nuances of managing protected landscapes at the local level in a transboundary manner.

A regional meeting was slated next year to track the project’s work progress, share knowledge, ideas and experiences emerging from implementation. #








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