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It pays to attend scientific conferences not only to learn of new findings but also to inform and broadcast progress of one’s work. Conservation International, Philippines a permanent member of the National Committee of the Philippines for the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME), presented the development and implementation of the SSME Ecoregional Conservation Plan at the East Asian Seas Congress in Qingdao, China, in 2008. In the audience was the Senior Advisor of the International Waters Focal Area of the Global Environment Facility. GEF was interested in the SSME and met with CI at the Congress. This meeting led to GEF funding opportunities. Conservation International, Philippines presented the idea of submitting a project to the Sub-committee on Sustainable Fisheries, SSME. The Sub-committee approved the proposal and appointed CI to develop the concept and coordinate the project preparation. The project preparation was conducted with a team of consultants in consultation with the Technical Working Groups of the Sub-committee from February to May 2009. The Sulu-Celebes Sea Sustainable Fisheries Management documents were submitted to GEF in August and was approved by the CEO of GEF in October 2009.


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