Tubbataha research team participates in the CoRVA Reef Training

TMO Staff who participated the CoRVA Reef Training: (L-R) Research Assistant Rowell Alarcon, Marine Park Rangers Noel Bundal and Roy Magbanua, and Research Officer Retchie Pagliawan.

Three research staff and two marine park rangers from the Tubbataha Management Office participated in the Coral Reef Visualization and Assessment (CoRVA) Training held consecutively in El Nido, Palawan and Sagay, Negros Occidental on June 5-19, 2014. The training is part of the Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystem Management Program (SCREMP) of the DENR – Biodiversity Management Bureau and facilitated by professors and researchers from the University of the Philippines.

The main goal of the training is to capacitate the field implementers and potential academic partners in technical assessments and to provide a standard reference data in order to produce responsive policy and management actions.

The 10-day reef training consist of three modules – Automated Rapid Reef Assessment System (ARRAS), Coral and Fish Assessments. All modules included lectures, fieldwork and data processing, analysis and interpretation. As the CoRVA project will run for three years, the recently concluded training will be supplemented with more in-depth taxonomical trainings in the coming years.

The TMO has been doing annual biophysical monitoring in TRNP with the assistance of partner institutions such as the UP-MSI and WWF-Philippines. After this CoRVA training, the TMO researchers and rangers are more equipped with knowledge on the assessment methods, data processing and analysis which they will apply in the monitoring activities in TRNP.