Participants of the 6th Meeting of the SuluSulawesi Marine Ecoregion Sub-Committee on Sustainable Fisheries held on March 19-20, 2012 in Tawau, Malaysia
CI Philippines successfully presented the full draft of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) of the Sulu-Celebes Large Marine Ecosystem (SC LME) to the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) Sub-committee on Sustainable Fisheries (SCSF) during its 6th Meeting on March 19-20, 2012 in Tawau, Malaysia.
CI Philippines was contracted in 2011 by the United Nations Office for Project Services, the executing agency of the Global Environment Facility-funded Sulu-Celebes Sea Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SCS-SFMP), to facilitate the process and formulation of the TDA among the three SSME member countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Technical task teams from the three SCS countries, composed of experts in the fields of fisheries, environment, socio-economics and legal, institutions and governance, were formed to draft the TDA, with strong support and assistance from the SCS-SFMP Project Management Office (PMO) and the National Coordination Units (NCUs) of the three countries. The main purpose of the TDA is to identify and prioritize the environmental transboundary problems in the SC LME and find out the root causes, through a process called causal chain analysis (CCA). Results of this analysis will be used to develop appropriate and targeted interventions that can later on be discussed and agreed upon, by consensus, by the three member states bordering the said LME. The SCS-SFMP is the first ever tri-national project of the SSME Program.
According to CI Philippines Project Manager Samuel Resma, the six prioritized TPs are: 1) unsustainable exploitation of fish; 2) habitat and community modification; 3) climate change; 4) marine pollution; 5) freshwater shortage; and, 6) alien and invasive species. Various root causes were identified after the causal chain analysis process, most of which are related to socio-economics and governance. The current findings in the TDA for the SC LME updates those identified in the Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA 56) conducted in 2002.
The SCSF members will review the TDA draft, which will be finalized by May 2012. The SCSF will then submit and endorse the TDA document to the SSME Tri-national Committee in June 2012. The PMO and CI Philippines will eventualy publish the full TDA report later this year.
“This TDA report is a major milestone of the SSME Program,” remarked Rayner Stuel Galid, Director of the Department of Fisheries (DOF)-Sabah and Chairperson of the SCSF, under whose leadership the project was conceived and born.
“This is a product of hard work and teamwork by Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines which we all can be proud of,” said Romeo Trono, CIP Country Executive Director, and one of the original visionaries and founders of the SSME Program.
More importantly, the SCSF further gave the go-signal for CIP to proceed immediately with the preparations and conduct of the bridging work from TDA to the Strategic Action Program (SAP). The meeting agreed that the first SAP regional workshop will be conducted in mid-June.
The SCS LME is at the heart of the Coral Triangle - the center of the world’s diversity of marine flora and fauna. The SCS-SFMP is the first ever tri-national project of the SSME Program since its inception in 2000. It has five components: 1) TDA for SC LME; 2) regional and national legal, policy and institutional reforms for improved fisheries management (or Strategic Action Program for SC LME); 3) introduction of institutional reforms to catalyze implementation of policies on regional cooperation in reducing overfishing and improving fisheries management in the SCS and strengthening national fisheries laws and policies; 4) demonstration of best fisheries management practices in critical sites of the SCS; and, 5) knowledge management and replication of lessons learned.