Different environmental organizations and government agencies gathered together at Brentwood Suites in Quezon City on February 20, 2017 to discuss the substantial preparation for the Convention for Migratory Species (CMS) – Conference of the Parties (COP) 12. The meeting was chaired by the Biodiversity Management Bureau Assistant Director Antonio Manila.

The organizations that attended the meeting were given specific task and  work on respective proposals for the COP: (1) Marine Protected Area Network was given to Asean Center for Biodiversity (ACB); (2) the uplisting of the whale shark from CMS Appendix II to Appendix I was given to Large Marine Vertebrates Project (LAMAVE), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB); (3) Wetlands International, BirdLife and Haribon will work on amendment of CMS Appendices on migratory birds; (4) Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape proposal will be handled by BFAR, GIZ, Conservation International-Philippines, BMB-CMD taking the lead and lastly; (5) BMB-NPD will take the lead in ecotourism’s best practices and guidelines of Malapascua for thresher sharks, Donsol for whale shark and Apo Island for marine turtles.

Proposals will be submitted on May 25, 2017, a total of 105 days prior to the Conference of Parties.  Attending groups agreed to the deadline and will observe schedules but BMB Supervising Ecosystems Management Specialist Anson Tagtag proposed to disseminate details and deadline for submission of concept proposals but those interested can submit their intent and proposal as early as possible.

Also, BMB will disseminate requirements and standards regarding the exhibit which will feature conservation efforts and best practices in the Philippines.