The Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project Management Team from the three participating countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) readied itself to face the year 2017 through successful team building and planning exercises held in Palawan from January 17 to January 20, 2017. Among the activities planned for the year was the capacity needs assessment of vital agencies for the implementation of the Regional Plan of Action of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. The assessment would form the basis on which to formulate interventions for enhancing competencies of partner institutions in implementing activities in a coordinated manner in the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape countries as well as the entire Coral Triangle region.
The team also had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Angelique Songco, better known as “Mama Ranger.” Ms. Angelique is the park manager of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. She shared her lifelong experience in managing the marine protected area (MPA) and how the reef, through the Tubbataha Management Office, benefited from the support of the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project.
The four-day activity ended with a site visit to one of the locally managed MPAs in El Nido, Palawan and an engagement with the Protected Area Superintendent for a site orientation. The Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project would continue to support partners in securing and managing MPAs. (SSS/ Hannah Nera)