Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services (CCRES)
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Edition 01 | April 2014

Challenges, experiences, excitement

Welcome, everyone, to the first edition of the CCRES newsletter.

This quarterly e–news will keep you updated on the experiences, challenges and excitement as CCRES works in the Philippines and Indonesia during the next five years (2014-2018).

After months of planning and obtaining approvals, we have just held our inception workshop in beautiful El Nido, Palawan, in the Philippines – exploring the issues, meeting with partners and stakeholders and generally planning out our schedule of activities and research. The Philippines is a wonderful country to kick-start the project and we have been warmly welcomed. 

Whilst in the Philippines I was privileged to be a participant in two regional workshops - the GEF IW Regional Workshop for Asia and the Pacific on ‘Transforming Good Practices 2nd from Demonstration Projects into Scaled-Up Investments and Financing in IWRM and ICM” and the PEMSEA Inception workshop for the “Applying knowledge management to scale up partnership investments for sustainable development of large marine ecosystems of East Asia and their coasts”.

The focus was on replication and scaling up of results from projects through the development of knowledge management platforms. Whilst the CCRES Project has pilot sites in Indonesia and the Philippines, its whole premise is about creating tools, models and information which can be utilised across the East Asia-Pacific region and even globally in environments with similar conditions. Thus, the ability to ensure the replication or scaling up of project outputs is core to our mandate.

We believe that a key component to achieving this will be in the partnerships and relationships we develop with governments, business and communities across the global, regional and national spheres - and with like-minded projects and organisations, such as IW Learn and PEMSEA, which focus on building the knowledge management platforms on which we can share insights.

As we commence the full implementation of CCRES, we will work with our partners, collaborators and stakeholders to ensure the tools, models and information generated have involved the stakeholders as end-users in the process to ensure it is demand-driven and therefore, coming that one step closer to replication and scaling up across geographical zones. 

Once again, welcome to the CCRES newsletter. We look forward to sharing with you.

Melanie King,
Project Director

Pilot site: El Nido, The Philippines

El Nido is bustling.

Progress has arrived in the tiny municipality on the northern-most tip of the island of Palawan, bordering the South China Sea, 620km south-east of Manila in the Philippines.

Historically, fishing and agriculture have been the main industries in El Nido, a municipality comprising 18 baranguys and covering 465 square kilometres. The main town of El Nido is a hub of activity.

Tourist numbers are doubling every five years, population is growing 4.6% per annum, inflation is the major worry and there is not enough food to feed everyone year-round.

Keep Reading
CCRES presents to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.

CCRES welcomes ‘in-country’ partners

Three influential stakeholders - representing local, provincial and national levels of government - have joined CCRES as ‘in-country’ partners for the Philippines.

Our new partners are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through the Biodiversity Management Bureau; the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, and the El Nido Local Government.

We welcome their experience and the contributions they will bring to the project.

Meet the team: Miledel (‘Mags’) Quibilan

“My happy place” is how Miledel Christine (Mags) Quibilan describes El Nido, a municipality in Palawan selected as a pilot site in the Philippines for the CCRES project. 

A coral reef ecologist by trade, Mags has worked among the coral reefs of Palawan for almost 20 years researching and monitoring the effects of coral bleaching, infestations by Crown-of-Thorns starfish and local disturbances, such as higher boat traffic and pollution caused by the increasing number of tourists coming to El Nido. Over the years, she has seen a significant change in the health of the reefs and a reduction in the abundance of sea life. 

Keep Reading
El Nido is nestled in a unique, protected landscape.

CCRES gets ‘tick of approval’

CCRES has been endorsed by the Protected Areas Management Board which governs the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, one of 10 priority conservation sites in the Philippines.

The endorsement is a milestone in the implementation of CCRES in the Philippines.

The El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area covers over 36,000 hectares of land and 54,000 hectare of marine waters in north-eastern Palawan. It contains towering limestone cliffs, beaches, mangroves, clear waters, unique forests over limestone and neat farmlands. The region is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic or found nowhere else on earth

Feedback loops, systems thinking

What makes CCRES different? Well, the answer may depend on who among the CCRES team you ask.

Carl Smith will tell you it’s how CCRES will bring a ‘whole of system’ business thinking to the way in which coastal communities manage their natural capital assets to support sustainable livelihoods.

Keep Reading

CCRES opens Manila office

CCRES has ‘set up shop’ in a new office in the Philippines, provided by the University of Philippines (UP) Marine Science Institute (MSI) at UP’s Dillman campus in Quezon City, Manila.

UP MSI is a partner in the project and was a Centre of Excellence for the Coral Reef Targeted Research and Capacity Building for Management Project.  It is also the Regional Center of Excellence (RCoE) on Coral Reef Research and Marine Protected Areas for Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA).

Mags Quibilan (left) with Irma and Lloyd from ENF and Gabrielle Sheehan, CCRES.

Relationships; it’s who you know

The fortunes of CCRES will depend in no small part on the partnerships the project forms with groups from the private, public and non-profit sectors in the Philippines and Indonesia.

As part of the Inception Meeting in the Philippines during February, the project team met stakeholders in El Nido, the pilot site, Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, and Manila, the nation’s capital.

These included the El Nido Foundation (ENF), a community organization which presented at the Inception Meeting, the El Nido Local Government Unit, Palawan State University, and De La Salle University.

A pilot site in Indonesia will be chosen following preliminary site inspections and stakeholder meetings next month. The site will be confirmed at an Inception meeting in Indonesia in July 2014.

Visit us at

The CCRES web site is 'live'.  It's early days and there's lots more to come on the web site, yet already you can learn more about what we do, who we are and where we will work. 

Don't miss a visit to the 'Resources' section where you will find Guides, manuals and tools and check out the Image gallery, too.

What we like

This time lapse cinematography by Daniel Stoupin exposes the beautiful, yet achingly slow movements of corals and sponges at a speed which matches our senses.

Don’t forget

World Oceans Day
June 8, 2014


Did you know?

It’s estimated more than 450 million people in the East Asia-Pacific region live below the poverty line.

Coming events

World Oceans Conference
May 11-15, 2014
Manado, Indonesia

World Coral Reef Conference
May 14, 2014 
Manado, Indonesia

Asia-Pacific Coral Reefs Symposium
June 23-27, 2014
Pingtung, Taiwan 

UN Conference on Small Island Developing States
September 1 -4, 2014 
Apia, Samoa

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