A key component of the PEMSEA regional mechanism is the Ministerial Forum, a triennial event that serves as an opportunity for the concerned government ministers of the region to meet and engage in policy dialogue. The Ministerial Forum provides direction pertaining to key concerns for regional cooperation and expresses the fulfillment of their international commitments related to sustainable development. It receives reports from the East Asian Seas Partnership Council and the recommendations of the triennial East Asian Seas Congress.
To date, five Ministerial Forums have been conducted, each with milestone events that continue to push for a sustainable resources system for the Seas of East Asia.
Putrajaya, Malaysia (2003)
This Ministerial Forum adopted the Putrajaya Declaration of Regional Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Seas of East Asia. This declaration formally adopts the Sustainable Development of Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) as a common platform for regional cooperation, and as a framework for policy and programme development and implementation, at the national and local level.
Haikou City, PR China (2006)
The Haikou Partnership Agreement on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia was signed during this Forum, held within the second EAS Congress. This regional agreement establishes the coordinating and operating mechanisms for implementing the SDS-SEA. It contains an annex on Partnership Operating Arrangements that spells out the roles and responsibilities of the Country and non-Country Partners, as well as the make-up and functions of the different components of the region.
Manila, Philippines (2009)
The Third Ministerial Forum of the EAS Congress witnessed the signing of the Manila Declaration on Strengthening the Implementation of Integrated Coastal Management for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Adaptation. This declaration highlights the participating countries’ commitment to strengthen and accelerate the implementation of ICM. It also recognizes the recent progress made in PEMSEA's transformation into a self-sustained regional mechanism for the SDS-SEA implementation.
Changwon, RO Korea (2012)
Ten of the Ministers present at the forum signed the Changwon Declaration toward an Ocean-based Blue Economy: Moving Ahead with the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia. This formalizes the region’s support for the implementation of the Rio+20 Outcomes embodied in "The Future We Want," and other relevant international and regional commitments related to coasts and oceans. The Changwon Declaration highlights the adoption of a blue economy approach and the Five-Year SDS-SEA Regional Implementation Plan.
Da Nang, Vietnam (2015)
Ministers and heads of delegations from 11 countries of the East Asian Seas (EAS) signed the Da Nang Compact at the Fifth Ministerial Forum. The Compact is the region’s support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other relevant international and regional commitments related to coasts and oceans. It revisits the regional coastal and marine strategy, the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), and lays down the post-2015 Strategic Targets of PEMSEA.
Iloilo, Philippines (2018)
The Sixth Ministerial Forum will take place during the Sixth East Asian Seas Congress, on 27-30 November 2018.