𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞 𝟐𝟑-𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞 𝟑𝟎, 𝐀𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐚- PCSDS MRI Team participated in the recently conducted series of meeting and planning-workshops, organized by Geoscience Australia and University of Sydney held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Geoscience Australia Office, Canberra, ACT and at the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia on June 23-June 30, 2023.
The delegation is composed of For. Glenda M. Cadigal (District Management Division-South Manager); Engr. Madrono P. Cabrestante, Jr. (ECAN Monitoring and Evaluation Division (EMED) Chief); EnP. John Francisco A. Pontillas (ECAN Policy and Research Planning Division (EPRPD) Chief); EnP Cherry Lyn S. Jalover-Par (EPRPD Staff); Dr. Arnica D. Mortillero (EMED Staff), and Dr. Roger Dolorosa of the Western Philippines University. Said activities were done to further strengthen the implementation of the MRI activities in the province, specifically in the West Philippines Sea.
A Project Progress Review was done on June 23 at the DFAT and Geoscience Australia Office, Canberra together with Mr. Alex Oates, Director, Regional Maritime Engagement and Programs Section, Indo-Pacific Strategy and Regional Maritime Branch and Ms. Claire Birks, Program Officer of DFAT; Mr. Simon Costello, Georegulation Director and Mr. Jonah Sullivan, Geospatial Advisor of Geoscience Australia; and Prof. Elaine Baker, UNESCO Chair in Marine Science at the University of Sydney. With the project’s progress in partnership with Palawan Council for Sustainable Development and its staff, DFAT officials informed on the possibility of extending the project until June 2026. It can be noted that the project’s timeline is only until June 2024.
Recognizing Palawan’s vast marine and coastal environment, the Palawan delegation also participated in the Blue Carbon Workshop organized by the University of Sydney on June 26-28, 2023. This undertaking enabled the PCSD Staff to better understand Palawan’s potential for blue carbon and blue carbon markets and strategies. Likewise, a planning-workshop for the Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation (MESV) was conducted on June 29 also at the University of Sydney. This exercise was done to level-off understanding between the University of Sydney, Geosciences Australia and PCSDS on the strategies and methodologies to be undertaken leading to putting values on coastal-marine resources and ecosystem services, as part of the MRI activities being funded by DFAT.
The activity concluded with a drone capability demonstration at the Great Mackerel Beach in the outskirts of Sydney on June 30. Associate Professor Eleanor Bruce and Mr. Jamie Simpson of the University of Sydney demonstrated the use of MicaSense RedEdge using DJI Matrice 300 drone while Dr. Mark Broomhal of Geoscience Australia demonstrated the Mavic 3 drone.
These activities aim to support the development of skills and expertise in establishing authoritative geography in the province of Palawan; help characterize the living and non-living marine resources and improve understanding of these resources; and support the development of policy responses in the province.