With seventy percent of campaigns being implemented on the ground in 12 sites, the conservation fellows are overwhelmed with what they had accomplished. But at the same time with several brilliant ideas coming up, they fell that time is not enough for them to implement and wrap up campaign activities. Meeting and sharing with lessons and accomplishments along with planning the next 6-months and beyond activities was the overarching goal for the recently concluded Conservation Fellows’ (CF) retreat. This was held at Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) last 23-27 January 2012. The five-day retreat started with the presentation of the highlights of accomplishments of the campaign on the first day. Aside from the formal presentation, an avenue was created to share (their collateral in the market place and post their milestones, best practices, stories and creative solutions in the wonder wall. Five day roadmap was presented to visualize the journey on-towards the 5th retreat.
Morning of second day was allotted for SM sessions where marketing mixes and creative brief were reviewed. This was followed with barrier removal session where MPA management trajectory was discussed. Moving forward to achieve level 3 by June 2012 is the end game for most of the sites with fully functional governance and enforcement system. Meantime, results, analysis and next step were also presented which capped the change in terms of governance, enforcement monitoring, and biophysical status. At the end of day 2 CF’s were able to review and finalized their marketing mixes, creative briefs as well as earmark in the Gantt chart the schedules for barrier removal activities.
Traversing to day 3 was when the launch of collateral on the ground was being reviewed; this gives everyone an avenue to reflect back what worked and what did not work in the campaigns. One crucial discussion was to pin down measurable behavior that can be highlighted as an impact from campaign strategies on the ground. These quantifiable measures will be rearing towards achieving conservation result. This topic provided a great segue on how to sustain the momentum to carry out activities beyond the campaign period. With this, key activities were identified to address and integrate institutionalization and sustainability of the campaign.
A privilege to visit Sanipaan Marine Park and be involved in placing bumper stickers at Babak ferry landing was done in the fourth day. More comprehensive insights will be detailed by case presentation of the visit and sharing of management committees during the visit. Wrapping up the 5-day roadmap and processing lessons learned and highlights of the activity. Meantime evaluation form was distributed, and result showed that majority of the CFs feel that the objectives as well as their expectation of the retreat was met, and that the session was just right and are very useful.