Through the Strengthening Marine Protected Areas To Conserve The Marine Key Biodiversity Areas In The Philippines – SMARTSeas PH Project, the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Support Network (MSN) conducted regional MPA forums in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao from February to March 2019, attended by a over 100 MPA managers and practitioners from national government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, and the academe. The forums were conducted to provide an orientation on the use of different tools as part the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system of MPAs and MPA networks, and allowed participants to share good practices in MPA management, and learn from each other’s experiences.
The forums marked the start of the 2019 Para el MAR (MPA Awards and Recognition), a biennial event which aims to showcase the country’s best performing MPAs and document best practices in MPA management. As part of a performance-based incentive mechanism to reinforce effective management and science-based governance, participants were encouraged to submit their latest MPA Management Effectiveness Assessment Tool (MEAT) results, which will not only serve as nominations for the Para el MAR but also contribute in updating the National MPA Database.
This effort is part of the convergence initiative between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR – BMB) and Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA – BFAR) in working together to sustain food security, protect and manage our natural resources, and foster resilience to meet the rapidly changing environment.
The SMARTSeas PH Project is implemented by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) and the DENR-BMB, funded by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The forums were held on the following dates and venues: Luzon – Quezon City (February 20-21), Visayas – Mandaue City (March 26-27), and Mindanao – Davao City (March 13-14).