A Timor-Leste contingent recently participated in a hands-on field training session on marine protected areas (MPAs) management held in two coastal towns in the province of Cebu in the Philippines on August 19-28, 2013.
The field training and learning visit was part of Timor-Leste’s Coral Triangle Initiative National Plan of Action on marine protected areas. The Timor-Leste team visited the towns of Argao and Boljoon in Cebu and interacted with local government officials and Philippine experts who conducted most of the field training sessions.
Timor-Leste is seeking to gain valuable learning experiences out of the training which it will in turn implement in its two MPAs, namely Atauro and Batugade, which are being established to become part of a fully functional regionwide Coral Triangle MPA System.
The 9-day training served as an introduction to principles and practices in MPA management. The training also included orientations on coastal habitats, marine resources, human activities, and natural perturbations impacting the coastal zone, processes and arrangements required in establishing and managing MPAs, benefits of MPAs, and learning facilitation skills on MPA management planning.
Aside from the protection of marine areas, one of the goals of the training was to give participants insights on identifying MPA sites, delineation, and zoning. A highlight of the field training was the interaction of the Timor-Leste team with Filipino fish wardens who are members of the “Bantay Dagat” initiative of the Philippines.
Additionally, the participants were also expected to share the Timor-Leste coastal resource management experiences with training participants, facilitators, and Philippine counterparts. The training was implemented by the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Inc. and was supported by the Asian Development Bank.
Download the training report from this link.