Philippines — "ICM is about changing the mindset." This was the focus of the presentation by Dr. Luky Adrianto of Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia, during the ICM Level 1 Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop held in Manila and Batangas, Philippines, last 21-29 October 2008. Dr. Adrianto stressed to his co-participants, coming from different coastal and ocean management-related backgrounds, that one has to have an open mind and the readiness to change the mindset about ICM if the different "brands" of coastal and ocean management are to be harmonized under one management framework.
Twenty-five participants representing academic and research institutions and government agencies involved in coastal management programs in five countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, participated in the ICM model course. The training course is part of PEMSEA's strategic approach to an integrated coastal management (ICM) capacity development program in support of the countries' commitment to place 20 percent of the region's coastline under an ICM program by 2015.The nine-day training workshop was designed to: 1. Enhance the participants' knowledge and skills on the ICM concept, process, practices and application; 2. Familiarize the participants with the Framework for Sustainable Development of Coastal Areas (SDCA); 3. Develop a core team of ICM trainers using the newly developed ICM model courses of PEMSEA; and 4. Explore mechanisms to further strengthen ICM capacity development in the region. The agenda for the workshop included classroom sessions, micro-teaching sessions by the participants, and field visits to various coastal activities within the Batangas ICM site, which also served as a vehicle for facilitating interactions between the participants and local stakeholders and implementers from the provincial, municipal, and village-level government units, the private sector, the community and people's organizations. Visits to a community-managed marine protected area, a village-level waste management program, and First Gas Power Corporation, a company that has been actively participating in environmental management programs, concretized the ICM concept and principles presented in the classroom.The diverse backgrounds, experiences, knowledge and skills of the participants helped enrich discussions and enhance the ICM model course. The participants, who now form part of PEMSEA's network of trainers, will be tapped to conduct ICM training courses in their respective countries.The representatives from the academic and research institutions as well as those coming from ICM sites discussed next steps in pushing the capacity-building initiatives forward. Of the 11 participating institutions, 2 have already signed Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) with PEMSEA as partners in ICM capacity development. These are the Xavier University and De La Salle-Lipa of the Philippines. The representatives from the nine other academic and research institutions from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam expressed interest and identified strategies for the establishment and strengthening of ICM Learning Centers in their respective areas. The establishment of networks of learning centers at the national and regional levels was also discussed.The representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines also came up with recommendations on scaling-up initiatives in the Philippines. Discussions focused on the implementation of Executive Order 533, which adopts ICM as a national strategy for the sustainable development of the country's coastal and marine environment and strengthening the national ICM work program for Philippines.The training course indeed broadened, if not changed the mindset of the participants and the trainers themselves about how ICM may be applied to the spectrum of coastal and marine management programs and frameworks and how ICM principles are being applied in our daily lives, without being conscious of it. As Dr. Huming Yu, one of the main resource persons, simply puts it "ICM is a way of life."The recently concluded Regional Training of Trainers Course is the first in a series of ICM training courses in the region using the new ICM model training course developed by PEMSEA. National ICM Training courses will be conducted starting 2009.