Protection of the Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Philippines Experience

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1 Protection of the Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Philippines Experience Presented during the EAS Congress 2015 On 18 November 2015 in Danang, Vietnam

2 Presentation Outline I. Philippines SSME II. Issues and Challenges III. The SSME Collaborative Efforts IV. Benefits on the Regional Cooperation

3 THE SULU-SULAWESI MARINE ECOREGION Coral species diversity (Map provided by Veron, November 2001.)

4 THE PHILIPPINES SSME - Encompasses 13 out of 18 regions in the country. - 55% of the 45M people distributed along the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas are in the Philippines. - Estimated cover of coral reef area in the Philippines within Sulu- Sulawesi: Region Area % of total area Sulu Sea 1, Celebes Sea Visayas Region 3, TOTAL 5, (Source: Ong et al., 2002, Nañola et al., 2011) - Palawan, and Mindanao having one of the largest intact mangrove forests in Sulu-Sulawesi - Batangas, Mindoro, and Palawan are among the high diversity areas (10 spp) of seagrasses in the region.

5 PROTECTION OF THE SULU SULAWESI MARINE ECOREGION THE PHILIPPINES SSME The protection of the Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion supports Goal No.1 of the CTI NPOA. At least 1,270 out of the 1800 (71%) MPAs in the Philippines are located in the SSME 21 NIPAS (nationally managed) At least 30 MPA Networks are in the SSME

6 Rationale for Large Scale Initiative: SSME - SSME as a biodiversity hotspot need for cooperation across boundaries - Globally economically-important e.g., fisheries, tourism - limited and scattered information to pursue transboundary management - shared resources and threats among three countries i.e., Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines - need for a transboundary governance mechanism to abate threats - lack of capacity for transboundary seascape management but with potential for complementation of available capacities

7 A Collaborative Effort The Sulu-Sulawesi Sea A common 50-year vision for biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of resources in the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) Signed MOU between the Gov ts. of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines Adoption the Conservation Plan for the SSME Formation of the Tri-National Committee for the SSME Entry into force of the SSME MOU; Creation of Three (3) Sub- Committees: MPA; Sustainable Fisheries; Threatened Species Launching of the first set of Action Plans of the Sub-Committees Published the Comprehensive Action Plans for Species Protection, MPAs and Networks, and Sustainable Fisheries. (ADB, 2011)

8 Governance Structure of the SSME SSME Tri-National Committee (Malaysia-Current Chair) Sub-Committee on Threatened, Charismatic, and Migratory Species (Indonesia) Sub-Committee on Sustainable Fisheries (Malaysia) Sub-Committee on Marine Protected Areas And Networks (Philippines) Source: Miclat and Trono, 2008

9 Benefits on the Regional Engagement: Verde Island Passage Management Corridor Executive Order (E.O.) No. 578 issued for the establishment of a national policy on biodiversity to be implemented throughout the country, particularly the Sulu-Sulawesi marine ecosystem. VIPMC MPA Network results from various MPA-related projects and research studies funded under the (CI Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape Project,2005 to 2008) were integrated to propose an MPA network design based on ecological criteria for each of the corridors. Source: Quibilan et., al., 2008

10 Benefits on the Regional Engagement: Verde Island Passage Management Corridor The Verde Framework was developed in response to the identified issues affecting the VIPMC. The MPA Enforcement Networks in VIP Batangas Network: 12 member Municipalities 36 MPA sites Or.Mindoro Network 8 member Municipalities (11) 18 MPAs (3) Occ.Mindoro 2 Municipalities 15 MPAs

11 Benefits on the Regional Engagement: Verde Island Passage Management Corridor MPA Network Management a sustained program of the Government Batangas Recognition Awards for Verde Outstanding Marine Protected Areas (BRAVO- MPAs) established to give incentives for outstanding Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Batangas highlighting good MPA governance practices and performance across members of the Verde Island Passage MPA Network in Batangas coastal cities and municipalities. Source: USAID, 2013

12 PROTECTION OF THE SULU SULAWESI MARINE ECOREGION Benefits on the Regional Engagement: Sea Turtle Marine Protected Area Network -Concept for establishing Philippine Sea Turtle MPA Network drafted.

13 Benefits on the Regional Engagement: Sea Turtle Marine Protected Area Network - Sea turtle research in the Philippines and Malaysia using the following methodologies: laparoscopy in Tubbataha, aerial surveys in Palawan, and sea turtle satellite tagging in TIHPA. (seaturtle.org) - Ongoing review of the marine turtle database management system for the Philippines sea turtle tagging information.

14 Benefits on the Regional Engagement: Sea Turtle Marine Protected Area Network - Balabac: On-going Capacity Building and MPA establishment through government partnership with ADB, GIZ, and CI-P; - Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary: Biophysical and socio-economic vulnerability assessments conducted; Hazard maps for preparation; - Across MPAs: Development of the enforcement strategy and action plan under discussion;

15 Summary The Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) Cooperation has provided the region a functioning networks of MPAs based on ecological connectivity (e.g., in the Verde Island Passage Corridor in the Philippines and in the tri-national Sea Turtle Corridor). The effective SSME cooperation drew support from development partners for Species conservation, MPA networks, and Sustainable Fisheries (e.g., CI, WWF, GEF, USAID, ADB, and GIZ) In terms of public relations, communication, and awareness-raising: - Improved international recognition (e.g., ASEAN, BIMP-EAGA, CTI-CFF) - Increased marketing strength of the SSME region The SSME has promoted interagency collaboration and developed national policies which translated into actions on the ground (e.g. Adopt-a-MPA, PNP Maritime Group)

16 Initiatives under the SSME Cooperation has been mainstreamed to the national and local programs of the government recognizing its benefits to our coastal and marine resources. By aligning the Coral Triangle Initiative goals to the output of the SSME, the sustainability of the cooperation has been addressed by the government. Thank you! Maraming Salamat!

17 Thank You!

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