Tools training in Tagaytay, Philippines

As part of our final year focus on sharing knowledge and building expertise, workshops to train users in the CCRES tools were held in Tagaytay, the Philippines, during April 2018.

Attracting around 70 local marine planning experts and coastal managers, the workshops covered four themes: behavioural change, marine planning, systems analysis, and business development.

National Scientist for the Philippines and leading coral reef researcher Professor Edgardo Gomez opened the workshops giving a rich historical account of the Philippines’ engagement in coral reef research and management.

“We’re an island nation and our islands are surrounded by coral reefs, but many of those reefs have been stressed,” said Gomez.

He reminded participants of the wealth of resources available, including from the project preceding CCRES – the Coral Reef Targeted Research & Capacity Building for Management (CRTR) Program 2005-2010 – and encouraged everyone to keep learning and sharing.

“Coral reefs are such complex ecosystems – we have so much to learn about them and, once you have an appreciation for some of the information, the question is how to use it and how to manage the people and how to maximise the benefits,” he added.

CCRES Project Manager Dr Liz Izquierdo also spoke in the opening session and explained that CCRES is now aiming to maximise uptake of the tools and make CCRES resources widely available.

“An important aim for CCRES now is to try to be more effective and more collaborative with organisations who will be champions in using the tools – the most important outcome for CCRES is that the tools are used,” she said.

Workshop participants came from national and local government agencies, NGOs, businesses in El Nido, universities and research institutes, and beyond.

Feedback from participants showed that the quality of the workshops was highly regarded, with around 94% indicating they would use the CCRES tools in their work.

Videos capturing participants’ experiences, an explanation of the tools, and perspectives from project partners in the Philippines are now available on the CCRES YouTube channel.

Many thanks to Ms Noreen Marie (Kubi) Follosco and Ms Romelyn (Lyn) Riveral for all their support in coordinating the workshops.