The Ocean Governance project has, among its objectives, the aim to “strengthen knowledge exchange between Atlantic and South East Asian marine and Coastal Regions”. The first step towards this direction was taken the first week of November 2021, when we celebrated the first Virtual Learning Exchange (VLE) between the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI-CFF) and the EU Ocean Governance project.
The exchanges, which took place from 3-5 November 2021, pivoted through two level of exchanges: Sessions around technical MPA management topics; and sessions about strategic regional topics for consideration. Held in English, Bahasa Indonesia, Spanish and French, it allowed a wide participation with more than 160 participants registered.
Networks of Managers and International Cooperation were topics very present in the agenda. Concretely, there were two sessions dedicated to “supporting MPA Management at Regional and National Scale. Institutional Supporting Cooperation between countries” who gathered the experiences from North America, South America and Mediterranean regions. The Atlantic networks twinning project partners presented their governance models, databases, capacity building and training programmes, as well as their linkages with other regional structures. On the other side, from the CTI area, we learnt about the new MPA network in Arafura Timor Sea.
The presentations also addressed the challenges and strategies to mobilize funds for MPA management and MPA networking by sharing the Atlantic networks’ experience and strategies for fundraising and resource mobilization.
The Virtual Learning Exchange also tackled technical topics, such as the presentation of the tools for Coastal Resilience and Marine Mammals; exchanges around the protection of marine turtles and their habitats and restoration of marine and coastal habitats in MPAs.
Collaboration with CTI-CFF
This event was the first joint initiative between CTI-CFF and the Ocean Governance Project. Initially the CTI-CFF Marine Protected areas Working Group (MPA-WG) planned its 9th MPA regional exchange and working group in Papua New Guinea. Cancelled because of the covid-19 pandemic, the CTI-CFF members accepted the proposal of the EU Ocean Governance project (presented by WWF) to organize this first virtual learning exchange that could contributed to maintain the regional exchanges around MPAs, and at the same time, to learn about the experiences in the Atlantic area.
This first exchange gathered 34 different speakers from the whole Atlantic, the Coral Triangle and the Pacific. As previously mentioned we had 160 registered participants and an average attendance of 75 participants per session (8 in total). They came from 28 different countries. The most valuable experiences of the VLE were “the opportunity of learning about the Coral Triangle Area experiences” and “the opportunity of learning about the translational experiences”.
All the sessions can be watch again in the project’s YouTube Channel