The Support to the Implementation of the Tri-National Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Comprehensive Action Plan (GIZ-SSME) Project together with its Philippine partners recently conducted a writeshop for the harmonization of the SSME project work plan.

At least 30 representatives from the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and Conservation International (CI) came together for the project work planning held at the GIZ-SSME Office in Quezon City. The activity aimed to establish ways forward to effectively beat the implementing challenges for the SSME project in the future.

ssme writeshop largeDiscussion during the SSME writeshopThe writeshop sessions gave the participants the opportunity to update the work plans of each respective component, including updates on existing projects within the sea turtle MPA network (ST-MPAN) particularly in Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary (TIWS) in Tawi-tawi, Balabac in Palawan, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) and El Nido Managed Resource Protected Area (ENMRPA). The activity also gave an avenue for them to clarify their roles and implementing mechanisms, and identify significant issues affecting project implementation to further optimize synergies among the partners in the Philippines.

Mr. Berthold Schirm, GIZ-SSME Principal Adviser and Program Coordinator, emphasized the importance of the activity for GIZ to find areas for further support and collaboration towards the sustainable management of the SSME. He also expressed his gratitude to the continued support of the partners and said that this is the most opportune time to get all their acts together to overcome challenges in the implementation.

Equipped with a clear work plan, SSME’s Philippine partners are again ready to move ahead with their activities, such as the development of the sea turtle MPA network and safe guarding their habitats through connectivity researches and promoting ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management.

Capacity-building programs are also programmed within 2015, with topics ranging from vulnerability assessment, livelihood development, to sea turtle research and ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM). #

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