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Regional Review: Implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) 2003-2011

Publication Date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Publication Type: 
Status: 
Available
Description: 

The SDS-SEA review process commenced in March 2010. All PEMSEA Country Partners and the majority of the Non-Country Partners participated in the process, which entailed: (a) a desktop review of progress and development in support of SDS-SEA objectives and targets in each participating country; (b) a survey of PEMSEA Non-Country Partners to identify initiatives that contribute, directly and indirectly, to SDS-SEA; (c) conduct of national inter-agency workshops to review and validate the country report, and to build consensus on priorities for SDS-SEA implementation in the medium term; and d) finalization of national SDS-SEA progress reports and preparation of an overall summary report for the region. The countries of the Seas of East Asia have recognized the severity of continuous degradation of their seas, coasts and estuaries upon which the region’s economies and millions of its inhabitants and economies depend. As a reflection of their concern, the governments crafted the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) in 2003, with the support of Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the participation of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and 14 other international and regional organizations. The SDS-SEA identifies common threats as well as strategic action programs to reduce the impacts of natural and man-made hazards on coastal and marine resources, as well as the people, communities and economies of the region. There has been considerable progress and achievement on the part of participating countries, local governments and a host of collaborating organizations, programs and projects since the adoption of the SDS-SEA in 2003. The good news is that the region appears to be on track to achieving four major targets as spelled out in the Haikou Partnership Agreement (2006) and further elaborated in the Manila Declaration (2009) (Box 1). However, the bad news is that coastal and marine ecosystems of the region are experiencing increasing threats to the services that they provide humanity. Marine pollution from land-based sources continues to be a serious problem, as evidenced by the expansion of hypoxic (dead) zones from increasing nutrient inputs from sewage and agriculture. International commitments made regarding biodiversity and marine protected areas have fallen short of expectations. Depletion of marine waters through overfishing and use of destructive fishing gear/fishing practices continues. On top of it all, the multiple risks and impacts related to climate change and extreme weather events are becoming more evident. In short, the region has not reached that elusive tipping point where reduction in pollution discharges, conservation and rehabilitation of habitats, biodiversity preservation and enhancement and economic stability have begun to shift the balance in favor of sustainable development. The SDS-SEA review process commenced in March 2010. All PEMSEA Country Partners and the majority of the Non-Country Partners participated in the process, which entailed: (a) a desktop review of progress and development in support of SDS-SEA objectives and targets in each participating country; (b) a survey of PEMSEA Non-Country Partners to identify initiatives that contribute, directly and indirectly, to SDS-SEA; (c) conduct of national inter-agency workshops to review and validate the country report, and to build consensus on priorities for SDS-SEA implementation in the medium term; and d) finalization of national SDS-SEA progress reports and preparation of an overall summary report for the region.


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