Over the course of 2017, Reef-World has been working hard with DENR to form a national structure for Green Fins Philippines assessors under the new Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP), or as it is known locally ‘Agos ng buhay’. This work has been supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

DENR is actively working on implementing measures to protect the marine environment, and it is through CMEMP that this is taking place. As Leanna M. Manubag, Ecosystems Management Specialist I and Green Fins National focal person, said: “We all have our own advocacies to protect the oceans, Green Fins is a tool that will help us make that happen.”

In August and November, that tool was put into use as 30 Green Fins coordinators were trained to run awareness raising sessions, and other forms of outreach with Green Fins members across three regions of the Philippines. Trainees got a taste of the assessment system and put together an action plan for each site in their region.

Since the training, the new coordinator teams have distributed posters and materials, conducted awareness raising presentations, workshops and orientations for local DENR and local government unit offices reaching a total of 157 people by the end of 2017.

Reef-World would like to congratulate the Coordinators on this success, and is looking forward to 2018 where we hope to be further building the capacity of the coordinators to become assessors!