Enthusiast participants at CCRES’s closure event at El Nido, the Philippines (Photo: G. Sheehan).

Farewell to El Nido

In late November, CCRES farewelled the El Nido pilot site at our project closing event. We were delighted to report on the project’s achievements to local stakeholders who were so integral to delivery.

Representatives from our partner organisations including Palawan State University (PSU), the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, El Nido Local Government and the El Nido Foundation attended the event which was held at Lio Beach. Project partners were joined by representatives from local institutions and the community, as well as the Ten Knots Development Corporation (TKDC) which played an important role in project rollout.

RJ de la Calzada from the El Nido local government opened the event with a brief overview of the project and its implementation in El Nido. CCRES presented a formal Site Report to stakeholders, and team members shared information on key aspects of the project. 

Dr Carl Smith, The University of Queensland, gave a preview of the latest version of SESAMME which will soon be available for Android devices. Dr Vera Horigue, Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines Diliman, gave an overview of the Fish SPACE tool which is used to support and communicate relevant actions for marine reserve and fisheries management planning and decision-making.

Mariglo Laririt, TKDC, explained how the behaviour change tool My Future, My Oceans was rolled out in El Nido to help reduced plastic use.

Eva Ponce de Leon, PSU, explained the results of the EcoBiz Challenge. Two winners of the Challenge were also in attendance.

Gianina Decano, PSU, also gave a summary of research conducted with El Nido households, businesses and tourists which informed the development of the tools.

We also heard from local stakeholders as they shared their impressions of CCRES and the various tools they have been involved with.

“The content of SYSTORY is really impressive,” said Elaine Saniel, TKDC. “It’s five years of real and raw data from El Nido so imagine how much that data can give us in terms of predicting trends in the future.”

Andy Kagawad, from Barangy Bebeladan, recognized the benefits which can be derived locally from Fish SPACE. “It’s really good because the people in our community realized the need to take care of the corals so they need not go far when they go out to catch fish,” he said.

To close the day, CCRES Project Manager Dr Liz Izquierdo, The University of Queensland, outlined key results of the project and thanked all project partners and the people of El Nido for their contribution.    

“We hope that the work done at the pilot site of El Nido by our local, national and international partners — with the support and participation of the El Nido community — creates a lasting legacy for El Nido, other coastal communities in the Philippines and beyond,” said Liz.

Congratulations to all involved in the event and a special thank you to Noreen M Follosco, CCRES Philippines Country Coordinator and our Master of Ceremonies for the day.