Melanie King with Technical Steering Committee member Professor Al Edwards (photo G Sheehan)

Challenges, experiences, excitement

‘Challenges, experiences and excitement’ was the title of our first CCRES newsletter back in April 2014.  Today, this headline remains central to the project’s ethos.  

Technical assistance projects that seek to strengthen the management of ecosystems present many challenges, but through them all, the sense of shared experience and excitement remains. This is particularly so as the successes, however small, start to reveal themselves.

It was with such a sense of excitement that we held our first tools showcases at El Nido and Manila during May. The showcases marked completion of the project’s first phase of tool development, and the start of the ‘tool uptake’ phase planned for the next 12 months.  These 12 months are critical to the project’s success: during this time the longevity, usability, accessibility and replicability of the 17 tools will be determined for the benefit of managers, policy makers and decision-makers in coastal and marine planning.  

At El Nido and Manila, team members and participants discussed how the tools could assist with their work, as well as ways to integrate them for better responding to the complex challenges facing coastal planners and managers.  The feedback gathered during these sessions will also help finalise the interfaces and packaging, and inform how audiences will be trained to use the tools during the next 12 months.  

These roll-out sessions and training events will take place both in the Philippines and Indonesia, and across the region. The next showcases will be held in Jakarta and Selayar in late July.  We hope to engage with you during the year to discuss the tools and their value to you.  

This is my last newsletter as the Project Director for CCRES. I would like to thank you all for your interest and ongoing support of our work. For me, the project is a legacy of which I am proud, and I believe we have achieved an incredible amount in a short space of time. Central to this has been the teamwork, partnerships and collaborations during the past four years. These interactions have created a strong culture of innovation and cooperation that I’m confident will continue to provide the platform for a rewarding final phase for everyone involved.

Melanie King