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Carlos Alfredo A. Castillo, Research Analyst under the PCSDS ECAN Zone Management Coastal (PCSDS EZM Coastal), attended the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Forum organized by the MPA Support Network on February 16-19 in Cebu.

Discussed in the forum were the following three self-assessment tools: Management Effective-ness Assessment Tool (MEAT); Socio-Economic Effectiveness Assessment Tool (SEAT); and the Network Effectiveness Assessment Tool (NEAT).

Of the aforesaid tools, only the MEAT is used in determining the awardees of the Para El MAR: MPA Awards and Recognition, which highlights the best practices of MPA management in the Philippines.

There was also an orientation about the State of the Coast, a report on the current status of the coastal areas of the Philippines. The said report contains information submitted by all the regions of the Philippines.

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To update the MPA database that the MSN is currently hosting online, the MSN requested data regarding the MPAs from all those present.

Part of the forum was dividing the participants into three groups, with each group asked to identify issues and problems encountered regarding MPAs and possible solutions for the identified issues.

Aside from the PCSDS, the event was also attended by the representatives from Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Philippine National Police-Maritime, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Zoological Society of London, Aklan University, and Oceana.