Quezon City, Philippines — Initial analysis of projects and programs being undertaken in the Philippines that are contributing to the objectives and targets of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) reveals over a billion dollars of investment. The largest proportion of investments is being utilized for multi-focal projects, such as capacity enhancement in disaster management, habitat restoration and management and fisheries management.
This Philippine information was presented to the 2nd EAS Partnership Council in July 2008, as a demonstration of a systematic process for identifying Country and Non-Country Partners' initiatives contributing to the objectives and targets of the SDS-SEA. PEMSEA has been working on its "Framework of Partnership Programmes (FoPP)" for about six months, with the objective of improving the coordination and synergies among the Partners.The FoPP template was tested in the Philippines with the cooperation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippines. The output was a comprehensive listing of SDS-SEA related initiatives that are ongoing in the Philippines, including budgetary allocations. The process also provided an opportunity for greater interaction among the various DENR bureaus and regional offices and other concerned departments, on coastal and marine matters. As a consequence of the interagency interaction, a document entitled Framework for the Implementation of Executive Order No. 533, Adopting Integrated Coastal Management as a National Strategy (June 2008) was developed. The Framework contains recommended approaches for strengthening institutional mechanisms at the national and local levels for ICM scaling up, including a national interagency coordinating mechanism. Furthermore, the document contains a work programme targeting priority sites/areas and sustainable development issues, as well as actions designed to improve coordination and address gaps and needs of managers and practitioners throughout the country. The draft document is currently undergoing review within DENR.Both Country and Non-Country Partners welcomed the FoPP as a tool to avoid duplication and promote collaboration on subregional transboundary projects.