Photo from PCSDS

The Marine Resource Initiative (MRI) team of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) recently participated in a series of meetings and planning workshops held in Australia.

The events were organized by Geoscience Australia and the University of Sydney in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The delegation from PCSDS included Glenda Cadigal, the District Management Division-South Manager, Engr. Madrono P. Cabrestante Jr., Chief of ECAN Monitoring and Evaluation Division (EMED), EnP. John Francisco Pontillas, Chief of ECAN Policy and Research Planning Division (EPRPD), EnP Cherry Lyn S. Jalover-Par from EPRPD, Dr. Arnica D. Mortillero from EMED, and Dr. Roger Dolorosa from the Western Philippines University.

The objective of these activities was to strengthen the implementation of MRI initiatives, particularly in the West Philippine Sea.

On June 23, a Project Progress Review was conducted at the DFAT and Geoscience Australia Office in Canberra. The review brought together key stakeholders such as Alex Oates, the Indo-Pacific Strategy and Regional Maritime Branch Director of Regional Maritime Engagement and Programs Section, Claire Birks, DFAT Program Officer, Simon Costello, Georegulation Director, Jonah Sullivan, Geospatial Advisor of Geoscience Australia, and Prof. Elaine Baker, the UNESCO Chair for Marine Science at the University of Sydney. During this review, the progress of the project, in partnership with PCSDS, was discussed.

The DFAT officials also shared the possibility of extending the project until June 2026, beyond its original timeline of June 2024.

In recognition of Palawan’s extensive marine and coastal environment, the PCSDS delegation also participated in the Blue Carbon Workshop organized by the University of Sydney from June 26 to 28.

The workshop, according to PCSDS, provided valuable insights into Palawan’s potential for blue carbon and blue carbon markets, as well as the associated strategies. Additionally, on June 29, a planning workshop for Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation (MESV) took place at the University of Sydney.

The objective of the workshop was to align the understanding between the University of Sydney, Geoscience Australia, and PCSDS regarding the strategies and methodologies for valuing coastal-marine resources and ecosystem services as part of the MRI activities funded by DFAT.

The activities concluded with a drone capability demonstration on June 30 at Great Mackerel Beach, located on the outskirts of Sydney. Associate Professor Eleanor Bruce and Jamie Simpson from the University of Sydney showcased the use of MicaSense RedEdge using the DJI Matrice 300 drone, while Dr. Mark Broomhal of Geoscience Australia demonstrated the Mavic 3 drone.

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