Launching the Project: The Inception Workshop

October 27, 2015

The GEF Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project achieved a major milestone when the Project Inception Workshop was realised in October 2015.

The Workshop was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 20-21 October and was attended by all Project Partners, governmental institutions from Sri Lanka, UNEP/GEF, UNEP/CMS Dugong Memorandum of Understanding, experts in dugong and seagrass research, and incentive instruments for conservation and other dugong-range countries. In total 70 people attended the Workshop, which was organised by the Project executing agency, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and locally supported by the Department of Wildlife Conservation Sri Lanka. A traditional oil-lamp lighting ceremony was conducted by the Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Hon. Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, to inaugurate the meeting.

The PCT hope that all of the participants found the Inception Workshop as enriching and enlightening as we did. Not only was it our first, and perhaps our only, opportunity to collect together as a common group but it was also an eye opener; serving to highlight that the issues and challenges we experience with regard to the protection of dugongs and seagrass are the same regardless of country or region, and that they originate mostly from coastal development, fishing practices, uncontrolled exploitation of marine resources and population growth. As a group, all of working on this project are trying to find innovative solutions to these issues by integrating conservation and socio-economic development.

This Workshop was a very important event for the Project; it showed us that if we all think, speak and act as one, we can affect change within local communities, public institutions, businesses and consumers, a change that is needed to protect seagrass, dugongs and all other marine species and habitats, which are indeed critical for our existence as human beings.

The PCT would like to thank you all for your support, participation and hard work during the meeting. We hope that you all learnt a lot and benefitted from the opportunity to interact and share ideas and learning. It is our most sincere hope to try and arrange another meeting of its kind during the lifetime of the project – watch this space!

The following PPT Presentations given at the Inception Workshop are available for download:

Country Presentations
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
Timor Leste

Thematic Groups:

Project Overview:
CMS Dugong MoU
Programme Coordination Team
UNEP GEF Task Manager