Last September 6-7, 2022, the CCEF team through the SEAS the Future Project with Wildlife Conservation Society conducted a simultaneous MPA MEAT in six (6) identified learning sites for the project. Catigucan MPA, Siquijor, Maite MPA, San Juan, Siquijor, Lower Cabangcalan MPA, Lazi, Cangbagsa MPA, Larena, Olang MPA, Maria, Siquijor, Tulapos MPA, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor.
The MPA MEAT is a harmonized version of the MPA Report Guide of the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Inc. (CCEF,White et al. 2004) as modified by the Philippine Environmental Governance Project 2 (EcoGov2), (Arceo et al. in prep), facilitated by the MPA Support Network (MSN) through the CTI (Coral Triangle Initiative) Support Partnership or CTSP. The MPA MEAT is used as a rating system to gauge and highlight important threshold indicators and processes that help promote and achieve MPA management effectiveness outputs and outcome.Today, the MEAT is regularly monitored by the Philippine CTI National Coordinating Committee and UP MSI for the Para El Mar MPA Awards.
Out of the six learning sites selected for the project, only two, Caticugan Marine Sanctuary in Siquijor and Olang Marine Sanctuary in Maria were able to achieve MPA MEAT level 3 “Sustained” meanwhile others were at MPA MEAT level 0. Out of the four that received level 0, Tulapos and Maite MPAs were able to receive high scores during the MPA MEAT in terms of regular enforcement and financing, however both MPAs do not have updated MPA management plans and documents on their official MPA management bodies which are considered important thresholds in establishing an MPA. On the other hand, MPAs Lower Cabancalan in Lazi and Cangbagsa in Larena are in need for more comprehensive MPA planning. Both are currently considered non-fuctioning MPAs, as there is no MPA management body, ordinance or regular enforcement taking place.
SEAS the Future aims to use the six (6) learning sites as a representative model in scaling-up the island’s efforts in enforcement, coastal resource management and MPA networking. Using data from the MPA MEAT, CCEF hopes to work together with LGUs in improving Marine Protected areas in Siquijor and creating opportunities for conservation and participatory management among stakeholders.