Message of UNDP Country Director, Mr. Toshihiro Tanaka

14 Jan 2014

Project Steering Committee Meeting, Sulu Celebes Seas Sustainable Fisheries Management Project
Richmonde Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Atty. Asis Perez, Director, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Philippines)
Prof. Dr. Hari Eko Ridianto,
Director-Research Center for Fisheries Management and Conservation, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (Indonesia)
Mr. Godfrey Kissey, Section Head of Marine Development, Department of Fisheries (Sabah, Malaysia)

Mr. Kirk Bayabos, UNOPS
Mr. Jose Padilla, UNDP RBAP
Mr. Rex Montebon, Conservation International
Other delegates from Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia
Project Management Unit

Good morning! Happy New Year!

Welcome to this Special Project Steering Committee Meeting for the Sulu Celebes Seas Sustainable Fisheries Management Project.

We all know the importance of the Sulu-Celebes Sea (SCS) for the three
countries– Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines–and this project has made significant steps to  contribute to the sustainability of fisheries in the SCS by improving the conservation and management of their marine habitat, including its biodiversity and ecological processes to the benefit of the region's coastal communities to restore and sustain the economically and ecologically important small pelagic fisheries in the SCS, primarily for the benefit of communities that are dependent on these resources for livelihood. The improvement of the condition of fisheries and their habitats in the SCS through an integrated, collaborative and participatory management at the local, national and tri-national levels is at the forefront of this project.

I, on behalf of UNDP, wish to congratulate all three countries in the achievement of the objectives of the project; most notably the updating of the Trans boundary Diagnostic Analysis and recently, the acceptance of the Regional Strategic Action Plan for improved fisheries conservation in the area. We also wish to congratulate the Conservation International, who did the unenviable task of putting the SAP all together.

As the project winds down to its last year of implementation, the demonstration site activities such as the preparation and implementation of the integrated fisheries management plans (FMPs) demonstration site must push through with the modest goal of rebuilding fish stocks and improving fishers income.

The purpose of this PSC is not only to map out the remaining activities for project completion but also to serve as a venue in initiating preparatory actions each country must do for the succeeding implementation of the adopted SAP.

Wishing you all the best and may we have a productive two day meeting.