Signing of the “Letter of Agreement” between NFRDI and UPLB-SESAM represented by Dr. Lilian Garcia, executive director of DA-NFRDI and Dr. Rico Ancog, dean of UPLB-SESAM.

The DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), through the Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center (FFRDC), conducted a workshop training on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on April 17-18, 2023 in Tagaytay City.

Conducted in partnership with the University of the Philippines Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management (UPLB-SESAM), the two-day workshop training aimed to review and discuss the methodologies of the NFRDI-funded project, “Impact Assessment of Mariculture in the Philippines” and to capacitate the participants on the conduct of EIA.

Dr. Maria Theresa Mutia, Scientist I and FFRDC chief, welcomed the resource persons and participants from NFRDI, DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and UPLB-SESAM. Meanwhile, Dr. Lilian Garcia, NFRDI executive director, emphasized the importance of mariculture in achieving food security and poverty alleviation.

Also sharing their insights on the importance of this collaboration for the fisheries sector were Dr. Rico Ancog, dean of UPLB-SESAM; and Demosthenes Togonon of the BFAR-Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Division (BFAR-IFAD).

One of the highlights of the activity was the signing of the “Letter of Agreement” between NFRDI and UPLB-SESAM represented by Dr. Garcia and Dr. Ancog to solidify the collaboration for the project.

Dr. Mutia presented the overview of the project, while Myleen L. Magistrado, FFRDC senior science research specialist lectured on the status of mariculture parks in the Philippines. Dr. Ancog also delivered a lecture on the EIA Process.

The group composed of various technical divisions from NFRDI, BFAR, and UPLB-SESAM discussed and analyzed project methodologies for assessing the social and economic impacts. They also discussed project methodologies for ecological data collection and analysis. Additionally, they presented and reviewed the project work plan, timetable of activities, roles of project members and collaborators, project deliverables, and identified ways forward.

The workshop provided valuable insights and expertise that can help strengthen collaboration between NFRDI, BFAR, and UPLB-SESAM. These insights will be used to develop methodologies for evaluating the mariculture industry in the country. ### (Mylene Magistrado)