Around 30 officers and members of Mampang Seaweeds Planters Association (MASEPLA) in Zamboanga City attended a workshop to develop a three-year Strategic Framework and Management Plan for conserving mangrove forests in Barangay Mampang and its adjoining coastal communities.
Organized and facilitated by the USAID Protect Wildlife project, the workshop helped the seaweed farmers to map out a resource conservation plan and to develop a viable enterprise plan for marine-based products, such as seaweed pickle processing. The activity also sought to improve the project management skills of MASEPLA leaders.
The members of MASEPLA have been actively involved in many conservation initiatives. They lacked, however, a strategic plan that articulates a communal view of opportunities, threats, challenges and emerging trends in coastal and marine ecosystem management and that outlines concrete steps to improve the socioeconomic conditions of seaweed farmers.
“This technical assistance has given us a clear direction and has helped identify our priorities, which will pave the way for us to gain access to more funding opportunities for our seaweed enterprise,” says MASEPLA President Edgardo Ramos.
The Protect Wildlife project works with community-based organizations such as MASEPLA to pursue biodiversity-friendly enterprises and other appropriate livelihood projects to uplift the well-being of communities in conservation sites. (PWP/ Meg Yandoc)