Third SEAFDEC Review was conducted in 2012-2013 based on the endorsement of the SEAFDEC Council during its 44th Meeting in 2012. As specified in its TOR, the Third SEAFDEC Review was aimed at: 1) assessing the continued relevance of SEAFDEC with respect to the changing situations of fisheries in the Southeast Asian region by considering the views of the Member Countries on the roles, functions and activities of SEAFDEC; 2) examining and reviewing the Plans of Operation and activities of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments, taking into consideration their respective short-, medium- and long-term operations; 3) reviewing the financial management of SEAFDEC, taking into account the diminishing funds from external sources and avoiding substantial increases in the Minimum Regular Contribution of the Member Countries vis-à-vis the operations of SEAFDEC; and 4) recommending ways and means to improve the working mechanism and management of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments to ensure continued cost effectiveness, including exploring possible alternative structures to the Departmental set ups. During its second Meeting on 6-8 March 2013, the SEAFDEC Review Committee concluded thirty-five (35) recommendations based on results of series of missions to visit and discuss with some Member Countries and SEAFDEC Departments, which were submitted for consideration by the Council during its 45th Meeting in April 2013. During the Special Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council on 3-4 October 2013, such recommendations were resubmitted for consideration by the Council, together with their financial implications as well as the indications for possible amendment of the Agreement Establishing SEAFDEC, and cost and benefit of the recommendations (detailed decision of the Council could be gleaned from the Report of the SEAFDEC Special Council Meeting).
Progress in the Establishment of the Inland Fishery Resources Development and Management Department (IFRDMD) has been reported by SEAFDEC during SEAFDEC meetings. The proposal to establish a new SEAFDEC Department spawned from the recognition of the importance of inland fisheries which has been well reflected at the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security Towards 2020 in June 2011, when the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia proposed to establish a Regional Center for Inland Fisheries Development as part of SEAFDEC organization. The proposal was supported in principle by the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Member Countries and subsequently by the SEAFDEC Council during its 44th Meeting in 2012.
In order to move forward on the establishment of the so-called IFRDMD, SEAFDEC in collaboration with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) organized the first Meeting of the “Working Group on the Establishment of the IFRDMD” on 24-25 January 2013 in Palembang, Indonesia where the plan of operation, functions and work plan were initially discussed, the results of which were presented at the SEAFDEC Interdepartmental Meeting on 2 March 2013, where the participation
of representatives from other SEAFDEC Departments was encouraged to ensure that duplication of efforts among the existing Departments and the new IFRDMD is avoided.
The draft of plan of operation, function and work program of IFRDMD was proposed to the SEAFDEC Council during its 45th Meeting in April 2013, and subsequently to the Special Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council in October 2013 for consideration. While the Plan of Operation was still subject to endorsement by the Council, the progress in the establishment of IFRDMD was already put forward by the Government of Indonesia, with the land area and budget allocated for the construction of buildings and facilities for the Department, as well as sourcing of budget from external sources to support the implementation of regional programs/project that would address the issues and concerns on inland capture fisheries.
Enhancing Coordination through the Regional Fisheries Policy Network has been sustained by SEAFDEC through an arrangement nominating officials from the SEAFDEC Member Countries to be stationed at the SEAFDEC Secretariat to facilitate closer dialogues between SEAFDEC and their respective host governments and among the Member Countries; provide views and inputs on various fisheries priority issues and development of regional fisheries policy recommendations; and provide assistance and inputs in the implementation of various regional programs of SEAFDEC. In 2013, nine members were nominated by the respective Member Countries, namely Mr. Leng Sam Ath (Cambodia), Ms. Hotmaida Purba (Indonesia), Mr. Vankham Keophimphone (Lao PDR), Ms. Imelda Riti Anak Rantty (Malaysia), Mr. Aung Toe (Myanmar), Mr. Ronaldo R. Libunao (Philippines) followed by Mr. Neil Kenneth P. Catibog (Philippines), Mr. Sarayoot Boonkumjad (Thailand), and Mr. Tran Van Hao (Vietnam). The RFPN members had the opportunity to participate in The Working Group Meeting for establishment of
new SEAFDEC Department
First row (L-R): Mr. Aung Toe (Myanmar), Ms. Imelda Riti Anak Rantty (Malaysia), Ms. Hotmaida Purba (Indonesia), and Mr. Leng Sam Ath (Cambodia);
Second row (L-R): Dr. Ronaldo R. Libunao (Philippines), Mr. Tran Van Hao (Vietnam), Mr. Vankham Keophimphone (Lao PDR), and
Participants in the 3rd Meeting of SEAFDEC Program Review for Japanese Trust Fund (JTF ) (left); and Participants in In-house Training on Project Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (right)
technical events organized by SEAFDEC in order to share views and enhance their awareness and knowledge on the issues towards developing regional policy. The RFPN members stationed at SEAFDEC would also be exposed to and acquire experiences in working within a multi-national environment, thus, have the opportunity to create network among the members stationed during the same period and facilitate close cooperation among the Member Countries in the future.
Improved Program Planning and Implementation has been continued by SEAFDEC to ensure the effectiveness of SEAFDEC programs of activity and to deliver maximum benefits to the Member Countries. The SEAFDEC Secretariat has been conducting regular Program Review Meetings, particularly for the projects supported by the Japanese Trust Fund and Sweden. In 2013, the Third Japanese Trust Fund Review Meeting was convened from 28 February to 1 March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand, while the SEAFDEC-Sweden Annual Review Meeting was organized on 14 March 2013, also in Bangkok, Thailand.
In order to improve the programs of activities specifically reflecting the consequences and impacts of the activities in line with the recommendations made by the SEAFDEC Council during its 45th Meeting, SEAFDEC also convened the “In-house Training on Project Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation” for the staff of SEAFDEC Training Department and Secretariat on 4-8 September 2013 in Petchaburi, Thailand. The workshop aimed to enhance the knowledge and capacity of SEAFDEC Secretariat and TD staff on project planning, monitoring and evaluation using the results-based management (RBM) approach. Similar course could be conducted in other SEAFDEC Departments as and when necessary. For AQD, its annual “In-house Review and Planning Meeting” was held on 19-20 September 2013 at its main station in Iloilo, Philippines. Attended by AQD’s partners and senior staff, the Meeting aimed to ensure that R&D activities to be undertaken by AQD would address the needs of the industry.