Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos (5th from left, 2nd row) and Francisco Torres, Jr. (2nd from right, first row) represented DA-NFRDI in the “Workshop on the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan Framework of the CTI-CFF Regional Plan of Action 2.0” on Feb. 7-10, 2023.

To develop sustainable solutions through mutual cooperation in protecting and conserving the highly diverse marine life in the Coral Triangle, a “Workshop on the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Plan Framework of the CTI-CFF Regional Plan of Action 2.0” was conducted on February 7-10, 2023, in Clark City, Pampanga.

Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos, Scientist IV and chief of the Training Division, together with Francisco Torres, Jr., National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) co-project coordinator, represented the Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) in the activity.

The four-day workshop aimed to complete the data needs and sources for the M&E Plan Framework and to start the development of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) National Plan of Action (NPOA) 2.0.

One key discussion point and agreement was to consider existing tools, frameworks, and plans in crafting output indicators for the M&E Plan Framework and NPOA to avoid duplication of work and confusion in the data needs. In addition, there should be an emphasis on the science, evidence, and risk-informed establishment of activities for the NPOA.

The Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) 2.0, 2021-2030 is the basis for making the NPOA in the Philippines.

The Coral Triangle is a marine site with a rich diversity of about 600 reef-building corals spanning the waters of Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Solomon Islands in the Western Pacific Ocean. The region also supports high-value industries on commercially important populations of Tuna.

This rich congregation of coral reefs in the region and considering the threats imposed by climate change, unsustainable fishing methods, and marine litter pollution prompted the creation of the CTI for Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF). The group is composed of the six countries (CT6) mentioned above and partners such as Word Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Conservation International (CI), and Coral Triangle Center (CTC), among many others.

In the Philippines, the signing of the Executive Order, series of 2009 by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo fortified the country’s bond by adopting the NPOA. ### (Cyrenes Moncawe)