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South China Sea Pilot Project

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In December 2005, thirty-five marine protected area (MPA) practitioners from Cambodia, Vietnam and China gathered in Nha Trang, Vietnam for the first MPA Management Capacity Building pilot project. The South China Sea region was selected from nine regional candidate sites for the first pilot project due to the strong existing partnership between NOAA, IUCN and the Ministry of Fisheries. Nha Trang was selected as the host city as it is the site of the first fully implemented MPA in a network of fifteen MPAs in Vietnam. An international team of 11 trainers from Australia, Philippines and United States, conducted 14 days of management capacity training for the 35 participants; and four additional days of mentorship training for eight representatives that were selected by their respective MPAs in Cambodia, Vietnam and China for showing exceptional leadership potential. National Marine Sanctuary staff tailored the curriculum to the needs of the region, covering eight topical areas during the two weeks of training including subjects such as zonal management, community-based management and management planning. The training is designed to include a year-long follow-up program whereby support will be provided by the partnership to ensure the implementation of lessons learned and advanced training needs are met.

Quotes from participants in the South China Sea Pilot Training Program

"I would like to convey to you my appreciation for the valuable contribution to the strengthening of the effective cooperation between the Ministry of Fisheries and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Ocean Service (NOAA/NOS) and the IUCN World Conservation Union. The MPA Management Capacity Building Training Program in Nha Trang in December 2005 was very successful and informative. The content of the training was significant and well- prepared and the demonstration of collaboration between all the agencies is a model for future initiatives in the Asian region and internationally."

Nguyen Chu Hoi
Vietnam Institute of Fisheries, Economics and Planning
Ministry of Fisheries

"The content was significant and well prepared and the demonstrated collaboration between all agencies is a model for future initiatives in the Asian Region and internationally. We highly appreciate the level of commitment that NOAA has shown towards the meeting the global targets for establishment of a representative system of MPAs. The recent training was the first introduction to these targets for many of the participants of the region. It will be a substantial process to build capacity towards meeting this goal. We look forward to continued cooperation with the National Oceans Service and improving the management of the oceans for our global benefit."

Bernard O'Callaghan
Vietnam Programme Coordinator
IUCN Viet Nam

"Thanks on behalf of WWF Vietnam, to all at IUCN and NOAA for organizing the MPA Training workshop. It was clearly a success, and an important result and foundation for MPA management training in Vietnam, now and into the future. All the volunteer trainers were impressive (and good to meet). I also greatly appreciate your flexibility and patience in organizing a busy and ambitious agenda".

Keith Symington
Marine Programme Coordinator
WWF Vietnam

"I am honored to have attended training course. It is very useful and helpful for me in the marine conservation and fisheries resources development. After the training course, I have reported many people to know about our useful training course. I am using the knowledge I have learned in rehabilitation of the ecosystem and marine conservation in our province. I will keep in touch with you and inform you the results I will have carried out. I hope I have a chance to attend workshops and training courses, study tours to upgrade my knowledge. I am looking forward to your help. Once more again, thank you for your enthusiastic help in the recent time and next time."

Nguyen Thi Lien
Fisheries Dept. of Binh Dinh Province, Viet Nam

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