Ha Noi, Viet Nam – Thirty years of partnerships brought 10 countries and 12 organizations to renew their commitment to continue working for the sustainable development of coastal and marine resources in the East Asian Seas region. During the 15th East Asian Seas Partnership Council Meeting last July 26-27, 2023, country and non-country partners of Partnership in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) convened to report their accomplishments and on-going efforts to ensure the sustainable management and conservation of seas and coast in the region.
The seas of East Asia is considered as an important marine eco-region in the world. It is home to 30% of species of mangroves, seagrass, and coral reefs on the planet. The coastal and marine resources of the region generate around $1.5 trillion jobs and income, supporting over 2 billion people. The ecosystem services from the coastal habitats of eight countries are estimated at $2 trillion.
The countries of East Asia also account for 63% of the total global fisheries and generate $258 billion worth of income and jobs through marine-based tourism.
In 2022, 11 countries — Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Timor-Leste and Vietnam — in the East Asian Seas Region agreed to implement the joint Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) Implementation Plan 2023-2027. In the 15th recent Partnership Council meeting, the reporting mechanism of countries and other partners were discussed to ensure that the set targets in promoting a healthy ocean and economy will be met in the next five years. Among the priority areas identified were scaling up integrated coastal management, biodiversity conservation, fisheries management, pollution reduction, blue investments, green recovery, and public-private financing.
“I emphasize the significance of this meeting in rebuilding and strengthening our partnerships (in the region) in the wake of the global pandemic. Now, more than ever, we must come together and reignite our collaborative efforts. It important that we align with the (SDS-SEA) plan, and with the objective to determine where the region is at in achieving sustainable ocean and coastal development,” said Dr. Vann Monyneath, Partnership Council Chair.
Government leaders and representatives from partner organizations also participated in a learning exchange to tackle a major transboundary issue of marine plastic pollution. Co- organized by UNDP Vietnam, Vietnam Administration of Seas and Island, and PEMSEA, participating countries of the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) project also discussed the plight of informal waste workers and resource mobilization, two of a number of critical issues raised in the ongoing negotiations towards the global treaty on plastic pollution.
During the council meeting, PEMSEA also launched its 30th anniversary commemoration through a year-long series of activities to highlight the milestones of the partnerships in the last three decades. Among these activities are lecture series on integrated coastal management and the recognition of 30 champions who will be part of the “Humans of East Asian Seas.”
Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) is a regional coordinating mechanism for the sustainable development of seas and coast in East Asia. PEMSEA works with 11 countries in the region with a shared vision of a healthy ocean, people, and economies.
For media inquiry:
Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist