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Volume 131 Number 9 - Sunday, 29 November 2009
23-27 NOVEMBER 2009

The East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2009 convened from 23-27 November in Manila, Philippines. The event, hosted by the Philippines Government and organized by Partnerships in the Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), a regional programme supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), provided a region-wide platform for dialogue, knowledge exchange, capacity building, strategic action and cooperation for the sustainable management and development of the East Asian seas. Over 1,400 participants attended the Congress, representing governments, UN agencies, industry, academia and youth.

The Congress featured several events: The International Conference on Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Development (23-26 November), the Meeting of the EAS Partnership Council (25 November) and the Ministerial Forum on Strengthening the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) (26 November). Twenty-eight thematic workshops and seminars, as well as a Youth Leaders Forum, Corporate Social Responsibility Forum and Legislators’ Dialogue were held during the International Conference, examining issues ranging from ocean policy and legislation to the impacts of climate change on coastal and ocean areas.

The Congress concluded with the signing of the Agreement Recognizing the Legal Personality of PEMSEA by eight East Asian nations, which transforms PEMSEA into a fully-fledged international body to work for sustainable development of the region’s coastal and marine areas. Eleven Ministers and high-level delegates also signed the Manila Declaration on Strengthening the Implementation of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Adaptation in the Seas of the East Asia Region. On the final day of the event, delegates participated in field visits to ICM sites showcasing local government efforts in implementing ICM.


The seas of East Asia cover six large marine ecosystems and their respective watershed areas, which are rich in natural resources. These ecosystems are home to an estimated 30% of the world’s coral reefs, account for over half of global fishery production, 80% of its aquaculture and contribute up to 60% of country gross domestic product within the region. At the same time, rapid population growth and economic development in the region are outstripping the capacity of these ecosystems to sustain current levels of productivity. As a result, environmental degradation in these seas is outpacing the implementation of appropriate policies and management interventions. Moreover, economic development and poverty reduction are increasingly constrained by environmental decline, including degradation of fisheries and habitats, scarcity of safe and sustainable water supply, and air and water pollution.

UNEP REGIONAL SEAS PROGRAMME: The UN Environment Programme launched its Regional Seas Programme in 1974, encouraging groups of countries sharing common seas to find regional solutions to their particular problems. The Regional Seas Programme now covers 18 regions of the world, including East Asian Seas. The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) oversees implementation of the East Asian Seas Action Plan, approved in 1981 and revised in 1994. The member countries of COBSEA are: Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China (China), the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

PEMSEA: PEMSEA was established in 1994 by countries bordering the East Asian seas in response to the need for a common vision to ensure the sustainable development of shared waters and coastal and marine resources in the East Asian region. This intergovernmental, interagency and intersectoral partnership was initially set up as a regional project of the GEF, implemented by UNDP and executed by the International Maritime Organization. PEMSEA evolved as a regional project on marine pollution prevention and management under the GEF pilot phase with the participation of 11 countries in the region. Its second phase, with 12 member countries, focused on building partnerships in environmental management for the seas of East Asia. Building upon its current structure, PEMSEA has now transformed itself into a longer-term regional institution to implement a sustainable development strategy for marine and coastal resources by becoming a legal entity.

Fourteen countries are currently members of PEMSEA: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

The partnership is now coordinated by the Programme Steering Committee comprised of the participating governments, UNDP and UNOPS, with the PEMSEA Regional Programme Office, based in Manila, the Philippines, serving as Secretariat. The overall objective of the partnership is to implement SDS-SEA and advance implementation of commitments concerning oceans, seas, islands and coastal areas contained in Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. This is being achieved through: endorsement of SDS-SEA by national governments; development, adoption and operationalization of national coastal and ocean strategies and policies; formulation and implementation of national action plans; and creation of a sustainable financing mechanism to support the implementation of these action plans, focusing on transboundary concerns at the subregional and regional levels.

In the course of its operation, PEMSEA has endeavored to remove critical barriers to effective environmental management, such as inadequate or inappropriate policies, disparate institutional capacity and technical capabilities, and limited investment in environmental facilities and services. An integral part of this regional effort is the on-the-ground implementation of an ICM framework and a risk management framework applying to subregional sea areas and human activities in marine ecosystems. PEMSEA has also carried out several ICM demonstration projects and established sea area pollution “hotspots” management sites, focusing on building local, national and subregional capacities in environmental governance.

EAS CONGRESS 2003: Held from 8-12 December 2003 in Putrajaya, Malaysia, the inaugural EAS Congress brought together various stakeholders from diverse disciplines to discuss sustainable management of the seas of East Asia and foster regional partnerships, knowledge exchange and collaboration. The event was marked by the adoption of the Putrajaya Declaration of Regional Cooperation for SDS-SEA and the endorsement of SDS-SEA by ocean and environment ministers from the then 12 PEMSEA member countries. SDS-SEA represents a common platform for regional cooperation in addressing transboundary issues, and a framework for policy, programme development and implementation at the national and local levels.

GLOBAL PROCESSES: Global processes with an influence on regional seas management include: the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that sets forth the rights and obligations of states regarding the use of the oceans, their resources, and the protection of the marine and coastal environment; the 1995 Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, designed to be a source of conceptual and practical guidance to prevent, reduce, control and/or eliminate marine pollution from land-based activities; and the 2004 Tokyo Declaration on Securing the Oceans that introduced the concept of “securing the oceans” requiring that all aspects of ocean management, including military activities, the peaceful use of the oceans, resource extraction, environmental management and scientific research, be addressed in an integrated manner.

EAS CONGRESS 2006: Held from 12-16 December 2006 in Haikou City, China, the EAS Congress 2006 culminated in the signing of the Haikou Partnership Agreement on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia and Operating Arrangements by 11 Ministers and high-level officials from countries in the East Asian region. The accompanying Partnership Operating Arrangements were signed by 12 PEMSEA stakeholder partners during the EAS Partnership Council meeting. These agreements transform PEMSEA into a fully-fledged regional partnership, featuring a decision-making body, a resource facility and a financial mechanism, to advance the sustainable development of the region’s marine and coastal resources.


The opening ceremony of the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2009 took place on Monday morning, 23 November. Jose Atienza, Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippines, welcomed participants to the meeting, noting that East Asian seas have the highest concentration of marine life in the world. He observed that the East Asian area is a climate change hotspot and, therefore, highly vulnerable to storms and floods, such as the recent floods in the Philippines. He then highlighted the role of local governments in integrated coastal management (ICM) programmes.

Raphael Lotilla, Executive Director, Partnerships in the Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) Resource Facility, discussed the organization of the Congress and lauded the participation of intergovernmental organizations and members of academia. He emphasized the role of regional implementation of ICM, with projects becoming self-sustaining partnerships supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) through the PEMSEA work programme. He noted that PEMSEA now has a secretariat with continuing support from the governments of the Philippines, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Underscoring that the EAS Congress was conceived as an “intellectual market place” for stakeholders to exchange information on the sustainable management of watersheds, river basins, estuaries and coastal seas, Chua Thia-Eng, Chair, EAS Partnership Council, welcomed participants to the Congress. He explained that a major focus of PEMSEA is to promote the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) and said that the transformation of PEMSEA into a regional organization on coastal and ocean governance is a great achievement.

Highlighting “shell nurseries,” built from discarded oyster shells, as a safe haven for fish populations, Keiichi Katayama, President, Ocean Construction Company, Japan, noted that several hundred fishers have embraced the nursery practice and underscored the importance of combining local knowledge and environmental responsibility.

Rodrigo de Jesus, Bantay Dagat (Guardians of the Sea), Philippines, said the Bantay Dagat is an association of citizen volunteers from the Batangas fishing community intended to help conserve coral reefs, resulting in increased fishing stocks and growth of the tourism industry.

Jacqueline Badcock, UNDP, welcomed the participation of youth and reiterated the commitment of UNDP to provide the region with necessary assistance to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She hoped that success at this Congress would lead to success in the climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.

Chair Lotilla, speaking as Head of the EAS Congress Secretariat, then officially opened the EAS Congress 2009.

The following summarizes the main proceedings and outcomes of the EAS Congress, including sections on the International Conference on Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Development and the Ministerial Forum on the Implementation of SDS-SEA.

Due to the large number of overlapping sessions coverage is focused on a selection of the workshops and seminars taking place during the Congress. Detailed daily reports are available online at:;; and


The International Conference on Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Development opened on Monday, 23 November, under the theme “Partnerships at Work: Local Implementation and Good Practices.” In addition to four keynote presentations, 28 workshops and seminars were held on the six themes of the Conference: coastal and ocean governance; natural and man-made hazard prevention and management; habitat protection, restoration and management; water use and supply management; food security and livelihood management; and pollution reduction and waste management. The outcomes and recommendations of these themes were presented during the Conference’s closing plenary on Thursday, 26 November.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS: Four keynote presentations were made during the Conference.

Fidel Valdez Ramos, former President of the Philippines, emphasized the links between environment and economic concerns, noting policy efforts in the Philippines to improve the strategic and integrative management of ocean and coastal resources. He called for improvements in responding to natural disasters and stressed that responsible ocean and coastal stewardship can build resilience to human-induced crises and natural hazards. He noted that achieving this requires strengthening integrated approaches to the management of coastal communities, their marine environment and resources, further stressing that partnerships are key and that delegates need to “care, share, and dare as a way of shaping our collective future.”

A. Selverajah, Ambassador of Singapore, introduced the first theme of the meeting, “Coastal and Ocean Governance,” on behalf of Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Singapore. Stressing that climate change threatens human security and ecosystem resilience, he advocated strengthening ocean governance and underlined important provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), calling it the “constitution of the oceans.” On environmental and economic objectives, he said they could be complementary. He concluded by emphasizing the value of ICM approaches for the sustainable use of coastal regions and calling on PEMSEA participants to strengthen regional governance on land-based pollution, unsustainable fishing and climate change.

Emil Salim, University of Indonesia, elevated the importance of the EAS Congress given the low probability of a binding climate agreement emerging from the Copenhagen talks. He lamented that sustainable development has not yet been achieved and reviewed obstacles its implementation in Indonesia, including slow technology transfer due to intellectual property rights constraints and the already-felt and looming effects of sea-level rise and ocean-acidification.

Reviewing the many benefits derived from oceans, Roderick de Castro, Team Energy, Philippines, emphasized the role of private sector partnerships in coastal and ocean management, and listed a number of ways corporations, including Team Energy, are actively participating in environmental restoration through mangrove planting, coastal cleanup, and bird and fish sanctuary projects. He closed by calling for further rehabilitation of Manila Bay, outlining some of the necessary steps, including political will, consolidation of resources and passion to make a difference.

COASTAL AND OCEAN GOVERNANCE: This theme concentrated on a combination of governance issues, including: policy, planning and legislation; economic and scientific analysis for decision making; and regulations and agreements affecting ocean boundaries and zones.

A. Selverajah, Ambassador of Singapore, on behalf of Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Singapore, introduced the theme in plenary on Monday morning.

The theme included seven workshops: coastal and ocean policy and legislation; contributions of marine economic sectors to regional and national gross domestic product (GDP); post-May 2009 perspectives on the continental shelf; initiatives in East Asia for addressing transboundary issues through regional and subregional seas cooperation; science in ecosystem-based management; land and sea-use zoning; and mainstreaming marine and coastal issues into national planning and budgetary processes.

Coastal and ocean policy and legislation: This workshop addressed pursuing ocean policy and governance through design of ocean policies and implementation of plans in an integrated manner. Participants discussed: legal actions to enforce environmental regulations in the Philippines, legislation establishing legal and policy frameworks for ocean governance in Japan, management of maritime activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Indonesia, ICM practices in Singapore, coastal zone legislation in the Republic of Korea and institutional development in Vietnam and Malaysia.

Political processes involved in establishing ICM in the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia, as described by participants, require wide consultation with stakeholders and participation of local communities. PEMSEA was mentioned as a regional framework for ICM planning and management and as a mechanism for implementing relevant international conventions. Other regions such as the European Union provided suggestions on the adoption of best practices in the East Asian region. One participant described how schools and news media could be used to educate the public to support ICM objectives.

Economic contribution of marine sectors to regional andnational GDP in an uncertain climate: This workshop addressed economic analysis for policy making in the marine sector of national and regional economies. The issue of economic measurements was raised by many speakers, particularly with regard to measurement of non-market values such as ecosystem services. In marine economics, according to one speaker, the use of some resources for tourism, as well as the ecosystem services of wetlands, are consistently undervalued.

Panelists discussed: the importance of the maritime sector in socioeconomic development; measurement of maritime economic activities; and how economies are shaped by seas as conduits for trade, transmigration, religion and socioeconomic development. Discussion focused on problems of measurement, such as whether statisticians measure fish processing as part of the marine or non-marine sector, and how port authorities measure throughput of containers. Participants considered how accurate marine economic data could guide decision makers through: provision of standardized information on GDP and employment; monitoring annual changes; identifying the dependence of other sectors on the marine economy; and providing baseline information for long-term planning.

There was discussion on how improving marine economic valuation can contribute to national policy debates, including on: the history of economic studies of ocean industries; methodological problems; the need for a peer review process; and addressing weaknesses in data. A panel discussed marine economic and environmental values and the contribution of marine economic valuation to policy and the management of national wealth. Speakers addressed green accounting in terms of: physical and monetary measures of natural resource stocks and flows; depreciation of physical and natural capital; and valuation of environmental damage. There was a discussion on adaptation to address climate change induced sea level rise, storm events and changes in resource location.

Post-May 2009 perspective on the continental shelf: This workshop addressed questions on marine boundaries related to the rules of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and Article 121 (regime of islands) of UNCLOS. Boundary claims to regions of the ocean were reviewed, including: claims by Japan with the regard to the Okinotori islands; claims in the South China Sea involving the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and China; and issues regarding the definition of a continental shelf. One participant mentioned that the CLCS is overwhelmed by work and called on states to seek other means to resolve their disputes, noting that peace and stability are prerequisites for fulfillment of all other policy aims. Participants reviewed the relevant provisions of UNCLOS relating to disputes in the context of Article 76 (definition of a continental shelf), and stressed the difficult and delicate discussions determining how and when the CLCS would consider disputes. In a discussion forum, participants raised questions on, inter alia: the classification of islands versus rocks under UNCLOS Article 121 (regime of islands); rules for submission to CLCS for countries not yet parties to UNCLOS; resolving disputes between CLCS and countries; and various possibilities for future cooperation provided by UNCLOS and the CLCS.

Initiatives in East Asia for addressing transboundary issues through regional and subregional seas cooperation: Workshop participants discussed the numerous regional and subregional programmes underway in the East Asian seas and recommended, inter alia, that regional funding on marine initiatives be increased to USD 1 billion per year to address emerging challenges. Participants learned that the framework for the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) tri-national initiative had been agreed to and discussed various good practices demonstrated by the SSME, including adherence to practices of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). There was a presentation on the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Project, with emphasis on the ways that Yellow Sea fisheries are monitored and managed. Participants discussed aspects of marine debris: an estimated one hundred million tons of plastic are in a mid-pacific trash gyre; the 100,000 marine mammals killed each year by litter; the large costs associated with clean-up; and an absence of scientific data, legal mechanisms and enforcement regimes for marine debris.

Panelists also discussed the need for: progressive thinking to develop mechanisms for cooperation; framing discussions within the context of climate change; using regular forums as an alternative to forming a regional coordinating agent; and a systematic gap analysis of regional initiatives. Participants urged countries to work in partnerships rather than in isolation and seek capacity assistance to recognize cultural differences hampering regional coordination. The discussion highlighted that SSME maximizes its efficacy by identifying common concerns and complementarities between members and that countries must not rely on donors but mobilize funding internally.

The science in ecosystem-based management: This workshop addressed integrating science into policy and management decisions, as well as the need for innovative approaches to monitor changes in ecosystems and effective strategies for communicating scientific information. Topics discussed included: applications of marine ecosystem observations using remote sensing to complement in-situ observations; the high costs of coastal data collection; and integrating local ICM into regional ecosystem-based management. A case study on the socio-ecological connectivity and adaptability of fisher communities in the Siak Riau Basin in Indonesia illustrated increased capabilities and the benefits of remote sensing over traditional grid-based data collection. Participants considered: the universal adoption of remote observation practices; promotion of community-based monitoring programmes with harmonized methodologies; and incorporation of ecosystem-based management into ICM through national strategy action programmes. A discussion touched on harmonizing data collection with ICM approaches by addressing: the need to promote remote sensing, community-based monitoring and biomonitoring; the need for long-term data sets to identify large ecosystem changes; and communication of scientific findings in user-friendly language and formats.

Challenges and opportunities in land and sea-use zoning: This workshop addressed the need for: improved institutional arrangements; increased capacity; localizing regional or provincial zoning plans; and technical guidelines in zoning that consider climate change effects. Participants learned of the roles of Agro-ecological and Environmentally-critical Areas Network in land- and water-use planning and for guiding development. A case study was presented on strategies and lessons learned from zoning in the Moreton Bay Marine Park in Australia, with the objectives of increasing biodiversity and resilience to climate change within the marine park. There was discussion on choosing marine protected area (MPA) boundaries and zoning MPAs for restricted use and management, highlighting biophysical and socioeconomic design principles that guide the development of MPAs in Southern Australia. In the ensuing discussion, participants noted the need for participation of extension agents in local zoning initiatives and the legal basis for sea-use zoning at a provincial level within the Philippines. Participants noted that remaining questions include: determining the correct size of MPAs; issues of accommodating multiple scales within MPAs; bottlenecks in implementing zoning regulations; local government participation in provincial zoning; the appropriateness of provincial or regional zoning schemes; developing and harmonizing national and local guidelines for zoning; and the treatment of reclaimed areas in zoning.

Mainstreaming of marine and coastal issues into national planning and budgetary processes: This workshop addressed proposals to mainstream coastal issues into national planning and budgetary processes, using MPAs as an example. Participants discussed developing a national plan of action to protect the coastal and marine environment, emphasizing that sectoral institutions and community participation are vital. A case study provided a country overview of the Seychelles, noting key policy considerations for coastal and marine environments, including the need for: political commitment; win-win partnerships with the private sector; and increased education and advocacy. There was discussion of integrated coastal zone management as a framework for planning and supporting sustainable coastal management. One participant described the development of an environmental conservation levy. Participants noted challenges in coastal areas including: pollution; natural disasters; habitat degradation; and overfishing. In the subsequent discussion, participants stressed the importance of, inter alia, the economic value of oceans and the need for capacity building, training, and education.

Recommendations: The theme’s recommendations on coastal and ocean policy and legislation include:

  • considering climate change at all levels of policy development and planning;
  • peace and stability as prerequisites to all other objectives, including sustainable development; and
  • engaging communities to increase buy-in.

On financing:

  • the need for project achievements to be expressed in economic and financial terms to improve marine-related policy making; and
  • mobilizing more funds to foster regional collaboration.
  • On human resources, data and information, and communication:
  • improving capacity for techniques of ecosystem valuation and zoning;
  • furthering incorporation of ICM into policy and planning;
  • fostering holistic monitoring of chemical, physical and socioeconomic parameters in coastal areas;
  • data collection methodologies must be standardized and quality assured;
  • the need for common data formats to help with planning and monitoring;
  • improving communication of scientific information, best practices and lessons learned to stakeholders via appropriate and user-friendly means; and
  • community-based monitoring can be useful and cost-effective but must be scientifically valid.

NATURAL AND MAN-MADE HAZARD PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT: This theme focused on the challenges facing East Asian seas including rise in sea temperature and sea level, as well as industrial oil pollution from commercial and non-commercial vessels, and proposed solutions and coping strategies for these problems.

Introducing the theme, Bhichit Rattakul, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, stressed that man-made and climate change related disasters are indistinguishable and recommended greater focus on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation to effectively address these disasters. He informed participants that, according to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, developing countries require USD 75-100 billion a year from 2010-2050 for climate change adaptation.

Under this theme, four workshops took place: government and industry partnerships for effective and consistent preparedness to marine pollution in East Asia; meeting the challenges of climate change at the local level through ICM; addressing the impacts of climate change in the coastal and ocean areas of the East Asian Seas region; and development and advances on marine bio-safety in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The main issues tackled include: enhancing local capacity in oil spill preparedness and response; the need to share good practices within the region on management of oil spills; shipping and climate change; impacts of invasive alien species (IAS); research and development in the field of marine biofouling; and integration of climate change adaptation strategies into decision-making processes.

Government and industry partnerships for effective and consistent preparedness to marine pollution in East Asia: This workshop considered the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC Convention), and partnerships between governments, industry and other stakeholders. Presentations dealt with: the implementation of the OPRC Convention through regional agreements; lessons learned and challenges in implementing a regional oil spill contingency plan; benefits and challenges of government and industry partnerships in oil spill preparedness; enhancing local capacity in oil spill preparedness and response; and conventions governing oil spills.

Meeting challenges of climate change at the local level through ICM: Participants deliberated on climate change and the risks it poses to ICM. They heard presentations on, inter alia: a project for vulnerability mapping; ICM strategies to ameliorate climate change risks; impacts of climate change on coastal biodiversity and ecosystem-based strategies for adaptation; costs and benefits of climate change in South East Asia; and experiences from a project on integrated beach conservation for sustainable tourism development and disaster mitigation. During the discussion participants considered, inter alia, data-collection and research capacity, and integrating climate change concerns into sustainable development programmes.

Impacts of climate change at the coastal and ocean area of the East Asian seas region: The aim of this workshop was to articulate climate change adaptation and resilience strategies within the context of sustainable development in coastal and marine environments. Participants heard presentations on: global change and impacts of human activities on coastal zones; emerging issues of East Asian fisheries production related to climate change; shipping and climate change; the rate of climate change; integration of climate change adaptation strategies into decision-making processes; linking poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation; and coastal change and stakeholder realities.

Development and advances on marine biosafety in the context of the CBD: In this workshop participants heard presentations on: impacts of IAS; marine biosafety and related international instruments; the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments (Ballast Water Management Convention); the GEF/UNDP/International Maritime Organization (IMO) GloBallast Partnership Programme; marine biofouling (undesirable accumulation of marine organisms on a ship’s hull) and its impact on marine biodiversity; research and development in the field of marine biofouling; and marine biosafety in domestic shipping in coastal and inland East Asia. Participants discussed inter alia: risk assessment; risks of biofouling treatments; and ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention.

Recommendations: The theme’s recommendations include:

  • ensuring oil-spill preparedness and response are considered in national contingency plans;
  • expanding regional and international arrangements for cooperation on oil-spill prevention and encouraging ratification of existing conventions; and
  • the catalytic role the IMO can play in oil-spill prevention and management.
  • On climate change and ICM and impacts in the East Asian seas region:
  • ensuring adaptation occurs at the regional and local level, involves cooperation and is “anticipatory”; and
  • ensuring that risk management is science-based and consistent with local knowledge.
  • On marine biosafety in the context of the CBD:
  • addressing the socioeconomic costs of IAS;
  • the need for regional and non-governmental organizations to support capacity building efforts at the local level;
  • encouraging ratification of conventions on marine biosafety issues;
  • strengthening the use of existing networks, tools and guidelines on biosafety; and
  • pursuing the co-management of disasters through “use-adaptive management.”

HABITAT PROTECTION, RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT: This theme explored aspects and experiences in habitat protection, restoration and management, emphasizing benefits, lessons learned and good practices. The theme keynote by Edgardo Gomez, University of the Philippines, stressed that adaptation measures were needed in the Asian coastal zone to address habitat degradation and emphasized community-based habitat restoration and conservation. He noted the role of MPAs in habitat protection and the impacts of the loss of coral reefs on food security.

Three workshops were held on: networking of MPAs; indigenous approaches to habitat protection and restoration; and innovations in biodiversity and habitat conservation.

Key issues addressed in the workshops included: the benefits and lessons from a network approach to managing MPAs; lessons and application of the Sato-umi concept in Japan; indigenous knowledge and community-based approaches in habitat restoration and management; institutionalizing community-based habitat restoration and management within an ICM framework; and successes and setbacks in innovative habitat conservation.

Networking of MPAs: This workshop session addressed the networking of MPAs in Asia to increase cooperation and harmonization across initiatives, strategies and action plans. Participants heard presentations on the benefits of MPA networking, including financial frameworks. Good practices within ASEAN MPA networks were reviewed and common goals, targets and standards addressed.

Participants discussed, inter alia: setting reasonable objectives for MPAs; criteria for assessing biophysical benefits and impacts of MPA management; joint information efforts to prevent illegal activities within MPAs; bottom-up management approaches; and increasing public awareness.

Indigenous approaches to habitat protection and restoration: The workshop highlighted indigenous knowledge and community-based activities as methodologies for habitat restoration and management, with participants being introduced to the Sato-umi concept currently utilized in Japan. Case studies on applications of indigenous knowledge and community-based activities in, inter alia, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia were also heard, followed by a panel discussion on institutionalizing community-based efforts within an ICM framework.

Participants discussed, inter alia: interactive efforts in habitat protection, restoration and management within ICM frameworks; the use of artificial reefs; integrated management of watershed and coastal areas; and compared Sato-umi to other local practices.

Recommendations: The recommendations of the theme include:

  • managing habitats through application of biological information from all available data sources;
  • managing coastal habitats by increasing public awareness, adopting appropriate legislation and strengthening enforcement;
  • coordinating across sectors to improve governance and efficiency, and addressing transboundary issues; and
  • exploring institutional frameworks, such as Sato-umi, for managing natural and human systems.

WATER USE AND SUPPLY MANAGEMENT: This theme focused on the water crisis in Asia due to urban expansion and consequent energy demands.

Torkil Jønch Clausen, Global Water Partnership, introduced the theme noting that the detrimental impacts of climate change on water sources, in addition to energy demands, necessitated coordinated efforts in freshwater and coastal management. Two workshops were convened to discuss alternative energy as a solution for energy security for islands and remote areas and addressing the water crisis in rapidly growing cities.

Alternative Energy as a solution for energy security for islands and remote areas: This workshop dealt with the difficulties faced by islands and remote areas in securing energy for economic and social development, by focusing on: sharing good practices, policies and innovative technologies; examining the feasibility of various types of alternative energies; and financing mechanisms for alternative energies.

Addressing water crisis in rapidly growing cities: This workshop discussed integrated water resources management (IWRM) noting the need to protect river and ground water sources from over exploitation and pollution, with examples from the Philippines and the Republic of Korea. Case studies from Japan on successes in conservation of river ecology and fisheries were discussed and commended.

Recommendations: The theme’s recommendations included:

  • adopting IWRM at the basin level and ICM at the coast;
  • establishing a lead oversight and coordinating entity to rationalize fragmented and uncoordinated plans;
  • moving toward full-cost water pricing;
  • collaborating among upstream and downstream stakeholders;
  • creating mechanisms to encourage and compensate upstream stakeholders for protection of water resources;
  • ensuring proper monitoring of water resources in all river segments;
  • recognizing water demand management as a first step to reduce pressure from climate change; and
  • considering all options for better water management, including through improved water management in agriculture and desalination.
  • On small-scale power generation:
  • supporting further research and development in energy generation;
  • enlisting government support for developing small-scale power sources;
  • encouraging north-south and south-south technical exchanges;
  • preparing long term national plans; and
  • encouraging collaboration among stakeholders.

FOOD SECURITY AND LIVELIHOOD MANAGEMENT: This theme included workshops on: the future role of fisheries in an urbanized world; addressing food security through sustainable aquaculture; and on livelihood management and sustainable tourism.

On the importance of marine resources in providing docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid important in brain development, Michael Crawford, Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, UK, noted that the costs associated with mental health problems presently exceed those of cancer and heart disease combined. He emphasized that aquaculture must be prioritized to bridge the gap from depleted capture fisheries.

Three workshops focused on the need to provide policy incentives for the management of the small-scale fishing sector and use of ICM as well as other frameworks for sustainable use of the marine environment, and improving livelihoods through tourism and food security.

The future role of fisheries in an urbanized world: This session focused on fish markets and food security in an urbanizing world, drawing on local case studies from the East Asian region. Recognizing that urbanization in East Asia is shifting coastal fishers into other sectors, participants recommended, inter alia: strengthening local capacity, education and institutions through ICM; expanding partnerships among non-governmental organizations and fishers; not viewing aquaculture as a panacea to food insecurity; recognizing ocean acidification as the preeminent marine contaminant; integrating local traditional values into fisheries management; and that youth fisheries education is inadequate.

Addressing food security through sustainable aquaculture: This workshop discussed both successes and challenges associated with aquaculture as a source of food security in East Asia. Participants acknowledged aquaculture as the fastest growing food sector in the world, providing 10% of total protein consumption. Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture was recognized as not only producing higher yields, but also reducing associated pollution preventing eutrophication. Discussions also noted that aquaculture: can cause eutrophication if not managed properly, leading to fish kills and coral degradation; must draw on modeling and ICM in its development of eco-friendly practices; should adopt IAS control mechanisms; and develop carrying-capacity models for areas with high stocking density and intensive feeding.

Livelihood management and sustainable coastal tourism: In this workshop participants shared many examples and lessons on sustainable coastal tourism. Discussions underscored the importance of: making coastal tourism sustainable, especially in light of increasing natural hazards, beach erosion and beach degradation; keeping the economic benefits of small-scale coastal tourism within local communities; and using community-based tourism only in those communities that demonstrate capacity to manage natural resources, founded on education and multi-stakeholder engagement. The many impacts of climate change on global tourism were noted, including increases in extreme events, biodiversity loss and increased political destabilization, with one participant stressing the need for local solutions to manage tourism in a changing climate.

Recommendations: The theme’s recommendations on addressing food security through sustainable aquaculture included the need for:

  • investigating appropriate fish sources for the poor; and
  • sustaining the development of aquaculture.
  • On the future role of fisheries in an urbanized world, the recommendations included:
  • mainstreaming progressive innovations such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture and mariculture parks; and
  • improving governance and good practices to ensure that fish products contribute to food security and brain development.
  • On livelihood management and sustainable coastal tourism, recommendations focused on:
  • local-level capacity building for tourism management;
  • engaging the private sector in the development and conduct of coastal tourism; and
  • preserving cultural heritage.

 POLLUTION REDUCTION AND WASTE MANAGEMENT: This theme focused on effective waste management and reducing pollution levels in coastal and river basin ecosystems. Rudolf Wu, Centre for Marine Environmental Research and Innovative Technology, China, and Magdolna Lovei, World Bank, introduced the theme. Wu noted that increased nutrient concentration in coastal areas causes large-scale hypoxia, mass mortality of marine life and trophic changes that are long lasting or irreversible. He recommended: prioritizing analysis of contaminants that are plentiful in the environment and cause biological effects; adopting a risk assessment and management approach; and reducing analysis costs. Lovei drew attention to the increased levels of pollution resulting from economic growth and increased urbanization, consumption and industrial growth, and highlighted the World Bank Investment Fund, supporting pollution reduction initiatives in large marine ecosystems.

Under this theme workshops on transboundary measures for reducing pollution and innovative approaches and investments were held.

The main issues addressed included: the integrated coastal area and river basin management (ICARM) approach; facilitating transboundary exchanges; strategies and partnerships for reducing and mitigating pollution in coastal systems; infrastructure upgrades for improved, cleaner services; scientific support for coastal restoration; and financing options.

Transboundary pollution reduction in river basins and coastal areas: This workshop focused on improving transboundary pollution reduction measures. Case studies were presented showing beneficial activities under the ICARM approach including, inter alia: zoning land and human activities; prioritizing efforts, developing legislation and establishing institutional mechanisms; measuring river discharge in coastal areas; and increasing wastewater treatment to improve sea water quality. Participants also presented on successful transboundary partnerships and strategies for improving transboundary area networks. Open discussions recommended top-down leadership, planning and non-point source pollution regulations.

Innovative policies and practices in water supply, sanitation and pollution reduction: In this workshop, participants discussed: cleaner production practices for toxic organic chemicals; wetlands and coastal ecological restoration; using geographical information systems for septic tank management and biogas electricity generation; inter-district collaboration projects for wastewater treatment plants; water management in metro Manila; linking strategic environmental assessments to ICM; a pollution load assessment for the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River system; and several regional ICARM projects.

On financing and investments, participants discussed the need for tailor-made solutions; gaining access to the Clean Development Mechanism for pollution management projects; and ring-fencing solid waste management utilities.

Recommendations: On transboundary pollution reductions in river basins and coastal areas the recommendations of the theme include:

  • closer cooperation on economic policies related to issues in shared basins by neighboring countries;
  • encouraging civil society involvement in policy implementation and fund raising; and
  • establishment of international commissions to manage transboundary river basins and coastal areas.
  • On innovative policies and practices in water supply and sanitation, the recommendations include:
  • integrating micro-issues into the national planning agenda;
  • running pilot projects to test innovations before they are introduced to larger areas; and
  • increasing the capacity of local government to “develop bankable projects.”

SPECIAL SEMINARS: These seminars included a Youth Leaders Forum, Legislators’ Dialogue, Youth Hour with Legislators, and a Corporate Social Responsibility Forum. They were an opportunity for youth, legislators and the corporate sector to participate in the Congress, sharing in the interactions and discussions on issues, challenges and the future of coastal and ocean management.

Youth Leaders Forum: Keynote addresses were given by Jose Atienza, Secretary of DENR, Philippines, and Antonio Oposa, an environmental lawyer from the Philippines. Stressing the threat of climate change, Atienza charged youth with repairing the environment for their and future generations. Outlining the role of youth in fostering a sustainable future, Oposa lamented the scope, rate and extent of human consumption, proposing countries be categorized by their levels of consumption rather than level of development.

Additional presentations covered: climate science and impacts; the role of ICM in reducing the impacts of climate change; and tools for communicating environmental problems and solutions.

Legislators’ Dialogue: This event discussed: the role of legislation in facilitating the implementation of ICM; the impacts of climate change on coastal economies, particularly from sea-level rise; and the need for local government involvement in adaptation efforts.

Youth Hour with Legislators: This event allowed youth participants to question legislators about regional cooperation in ICM, climate change, and participation of youth in environmental issues.

Corporate Social Responsibility Forum for coastal and marine areas and the sustainable development of Manila Bay: Speakers from government and the corporate sector reviewed partnership activities aiming to improve water quality and rehabilitate Manila Bay. The workshop discussed, inter alia: achievements to date; ongoing challenges, including garnering greater participation from local government units and corporations; and strategies for scaling up ICM.

CLOSING OF THE CONFERENCE: On Thursday, 26 November, Mark Jin Quan Cheng, a Youth Leaders Forum participant from Singapore, informed participants of the activities of the youth during the EAS Congress 2009, including their interaction with various experts and leaders, and noted the mission of the Youth Leaders Forum to educate “fellow youth as well as the younger generation” on issues pertaining to East Asian seas, climate change adaptation and sustainable development.

Overall theme Chair, Bebet Gozun, Earth Day Network, underscored the success of the EAS Congress 2009, noting the numerous recommendations suggested in workshops throughout the week. She highlighted the overall conference outcomes as, inter alia, the need to: better enforce ICM in national policies; train local communities in disaster risk management practices; coordinate management of both fresh- and sea-water resources; protect fisheries for future generations; and include innovative approaches to aquaculture management in national planning policies. Chair Gozun further highlighted discussions on climate change and sustainable development, emphasizing the need to better equip local governments with the tools to combat the effects of climate change.

The flags of the countries of the East Asian Seas were then officially handed over to the Republic of Korea. Accepting the flags, Jang-Hyun Choi, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Republic of Korea, noted that the region “is facing serious problems” and needs to harmonize its adaptation strategies to better cope with the effects of climate change. He extended a welcome to all participants to the fourth EAS Congress 2012 in Yeosu, Republic of Korea. The International Conference closed at 11:02 am.

Afterwards, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Cambodia, China, Japan, Timor-Leste, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) signed the Agreement Recognizing the International Legal Personality of PEMSEA, which institutes its legal personality as an international body working for the sustainable development of regional coastal and marine areas.

The Agreement:

  • gives PEMSEA the legal capacity to, inter alia, contract, and hold and dispose property pursuant to its functions and purposes;
  • imposes no obligations on any Party, including financial contributions or covering liabilities, debts or other financial obligations;
  • seats PEMSEA headquarters in Manila, Philippines;
  • notes that the EAS Partnership Council will provide policy and operational guidance and will comprise: the Intergovernmental Session, the Technical Session and Executive Committee; and
  • recognizes the PEMSEA Resource Facility as the Secretariat overseeing operational activities.


The one-day Ministerial Forum opened on Thursday, 26 November, with statements by PEMSEA member countries, as well as the Secretariat. Many welcomed the Agreement Recognizing the Legal Personality of PEMSEA, supported the Manila Declaration on Strengthening the Implementation of ICM for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Adaptation in the Seas of the East Asia Region (Manila Declaration) and outlined progress in sustainable management of coasts and oceans. The Forum culminated in the signing of the Manila Declaration.

MINISTERIAL AND PARTNER STATEMENTS: GEF welcomed the Agreement Recognizing the Legal Personality of PEMSEA and stressed that although existing GEF funding for PEMSEA may be phased out, the fifth replenishment period (2010-2014) could be used to support regional implementation of sustainable development strategies and oceans management.

East Asian Seas Partnership Council briefed participants on PEMSEA aspirations for a “blue economy,” strengthening regional operating arrangements and increasing economic growth through sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and increased employment via ICM.

Cambodia noted that its marine and coastal areas are socioeconomically important to its people, but are in a severe state of degradation. He lamented that, although there have been a number of advances in science and technology, linkages between environmental degradation and socioeconomic stresses still require enhanced understanding and called for international support to strengthen institutional and administrative capabilities for implementing SDS-SEA.

China described the implementation of their sustainable development strategy, outlined the challenges and major tasks for the implementation of SDS-SEA in China and underlined its support for PEMSEA.

DPRK recommended increasing capacity building for the protection and sustainable development of marine and coastal resources and called for governments to take responsibility for effectively managing their own seas and coasts.

Indonesia said that the enactment of their environmental protection act would strengthen marine resource protection and pollution control, noting some local examples such as the signing of a joint declaration to enhance environmental conservation in Tomini Bay.

Japan committed to following SDS-SEA policies and said they were implementing their ocean policy in marine resource conservation, referring to pollution emissions control in the Seto islands as a good example.

Lao PDR noted its continuing efforts over the last two years to enhance capacity and institutional strength. He emphasized key outcomes achieved, including: strengthening governance at the national level; the formulation of a national water policy; and creating a road map for legislation on effective management tools. He highlighted greater emphasis on disaster management and compliance with the national socioeconomic development plan, the MDGs, and a national growth and poverty eradication strategy meant to lift the country out of Least Developed Country status by 2020.

The Philippines highlighted the creation of PEMSEA as a judicial entity, stimulating new levels of action. She noted that people often fail to fully value natural capital when making decisions and that governments need to provide guidance in this regard. She stressed that policy makers should continue to expound on the concepts of sound governance and local development.

The Republic of Korea underlined its efforts over the last three years, including implementing Low Carbon Green Growth as its new national agenda. He highlighted that his country will host the fourth EAS Congress in 2012, which will have “Living Ocean and Coast” as its theme.

Singapore noted the need to consider land-based sources of pollution, not only ship-based sources, when developing oceans policy, and described actions by Singapore to implement the Sustainable Coastal Development framework of PEMSEA.

Timor-Leste recommended incorporating ICM into national plans and emphasized the need for sharing best practices.

Vietnam said they had made both institutional and policy changes to support marine resource management, and that ICM and climate change adaptation programmes are incorporated into national laws enacted in 2009.

Thailand underlined their efforts to enhance their climate change adaptation capabilities and called for more PEMSEA capacity building projects in Thailand.

SIGNING OF THE MANILA DECLARATION AND CLOSING OF THE FORUM: Ministers and high-level officials from 11 countries, including Cambodia, China, DPRK, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam signed the Declaration without amendment.

Manila Declaration: Raphael Lotilla, Executive Director, PEMSEA, introducing the Manila Declaration, noted that highlights include commitments to, inter alia: continue collaboration to meet set targets in the region; strengthen and accelerate the implementation of ICM; delineate vulnerable habitats; apply good ICM practices; and mainstream ICM programmes. He highlighted that the Declaration will contribute to global efforts to address climate change.

The Declaration calls for Member States to report on progress in national ICM programmes every three years, including on climate change adaptation measures, and encourages international organizations, donors, local governments and communities, among others, to take an active part in developing ICM implementation capacity, protecting the environment and pursuing climate change adaptation measures.

It calls on PEMSEA to develop the Implementation Plan for SDS-SEA in 2010 and on countries to scale up ICM programmes and promote regional cooperation.

In strengthening and accelerating the implementation of ICM, the Manila Declaration sets the following priorities:

  • setting up subregional and national coordinating mechanisms to strengthen current mechanisms overseeing and guiding the implementation of ICM programmes;
  • mainstreaming ICM into development plans and programmes at subregional, national and local levels, including the conservation, rehabilitation and management of subregional seas and related watershed areas;
  • delineating highly vulnerable coastal areas, coastal communities, resources and habitats in addition to vulnerable sectors of society, including the poor, women and youth, and strengthening their capacity to respond and adapt to the impacts of climate change;
  • developing and applying land- and sea-use zoning plans and schemes;
  • implementing capacity building and technical assistance programmes to strengthen leadership capacities, as well as scientific and technical capabilities;
  • applying ICM good practices as guidance in developing and implementing ICM programmes;
  • employing a range of new and alternative financing mechanisms to develop, implement and sustain ICM programmes;
  • managing available funds in a cost-effective and cost-efficient manner;
  • carrying out habitat restoration and management programmes and establishing MPAs, as appropriate, based on scientifically sound information;
  • formulating and implementing disaster risk management programmes; and
  • sharing information and knowledge on the development and application of innovative policies, legislation, technologies and practices in support of ICM programmes.

CLOSING OF THE CONGRESS: Executive Director of PEMSEA Resource Facility, Raphael Lotilla, thanked the Ministers for their statements, informing them that the Manila Declaration will be delivered to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December as a demonstration of East Asian regional activities and commitment to climate change and adaptation. He called the meeting to a close at 5:35 pm.


UNFCCC COP 15 AND KYOTO PROTOCOL COP/MOP 5: The fifteenth COP to the UNFCCC (COP 15) and fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5) will take place from 7-18 December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. These meetings will coincide with the 31st meetings of the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Bodies. Under the “roadmap” agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007, COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 are expected to finalize an agreement on a framework for combating climate change post-2012 (when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends). For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; internet:

OCEANS DAY: To be held during the UNFCCC COP 15 on 14 December 2009, Oceans Day provides an opportunity for Parties and Observer States, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil society to address the implications of the emerging Copenhagen agreement on oceans, coasts and coastal communities. For more information, contact: Miriam Balgos; tel: +1-302-831-8086; fax: +1-302-831-3668; e-mail:; internet:

CITES COP 15: The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES will take place from 13-25 March 2010, in Doha, Qatar. For more information, contact CITES Secretariat: tel: +41-22-917-8139/40; fax: +41-22-797-3417; e-mail:; internet:

THIRD MEETING ON INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON MIGRATORY SHARKS UNDER THE CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES (CMS): This meeting will take place in the Philippines from 8-12 February 2010. For more information, contact: the CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2401/02; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail:; internet:

ELEVENTH SPECIAL SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: The meeting will take place from 24-26 February 2010, in Bali, Indonesia, under the theme “environment in a multilateral system.” For more information, contact: Jamil Ahmad, UNEP; tel: +254-20-7621-234; fax: +254-20-7624-489; e-mail:; internet:

Ninth Round of Informal Consultations for States Parties to the UN Fish Stocks Agreement: This meeting will take place from 15-19 March 2010, at UN headquarters in New York. For more information, contact: UN Division on Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail:; internet:

SIXTIETH SESSION OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION COMMITTEE OF IMO: To be held from 22-26 March 2009, in London, UK, this meeting will cover topics, including the recycling of ships, harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water and prevention of air pollution from ships. For more information, contact: IMO Secretariat; tel: +44-207-735-7611; fax: +44-207-587-3210; email:; internet:

FIFTH GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON OCEANS, COASTS AND ISLANDS: Convening under the themes of “ensuring survival, preserving life, improving governance”, this meeting will take place from 3-7 May 2010, at UNESCO in Paris, France. The conference provides an opportunity for all sectors involved in the oceans community to address major policy issues affecting oceans at the global, regional and national levels. For more information, contact: Miriam Balgos, Global Forum Secretariat; tel: +1-302-831-8086; fax: +1-302-831-3668; e-mail:; internet:

UN FISH STOCKS AGREEMENT (UNFSA) REVIEW CONFERENCE: The UNFSA Review Conference is expected to resume in May 2010, at UN headquarters in New York. The dates will be determined by the 64th session of the UN General Assembly. For more information, contact: UN Legal Offices/ Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS); tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail:; internet:

ELEVENTH MEETING OF THE INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS OF THE LAW OF THE SEA: This meeting is expected to take place in the summer of 2010, at UN headquarters, New York. For more information, contact: DOALOS; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-5847; e-mail:; internet:

CBD SBSTTA 14: The fourteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the CBD will convene from 10-21 May 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; internet:

CBD WGRI 3: The third meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI) of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held from 24-28 May 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; internet:

CBD COP 10: The tenth meeting of the CBD COP will take place from 18-29 October 2010, in Nagoya, Japan. The meeting is expected to assess achievement of the 2010 target to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss, adopt an international regime on access and benefit-sharing and celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity 2010. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; internet:

TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: The meeting will take place from 21-25 February 2011, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: Jamil Ahmad, UNEP; tel: +254-20-7621-234; fax: +254-20-7624-489; e-mail:; internet:

RAMSAR COP 11: The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention is to be held in Bucharest, Romania in spring, 2012. For more information, contact: RAMSAR Secretariat: tel: +41-22-999-0170; fax: +41-22-999-0169; e-mail:; internet:^7715_4000_0__

EXPO 2012 YEOSU KOREA: To be held from 12 May to 12 August 2012 in Yeosu, Korea, under the theme of “the living ocean and coast” the Expo aims to provide a learning opportunity to the public, as well as present solutions to environmental challenges and propose measures for the sustainable use and development of marine resources. For more information, contact: The Organizing Committee; tel: +82-1577-2012; internet:

THE FOURTH EAST ASIAN SEAS CONGRESS 2012: This meeting will be hosted in Yeosu, Korea in conjunction with Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea. For more information, contact: PEMSEA Secretariat; tel: +632-929-2992; fax: +632-926-9712; e-mail:; internet:



Association of South East Asian Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity
Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf
Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia
Conference of the Parties
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
East Asian Seas
Gross domestic product
Global Environment Facility
Invasive alien species
Integrated coastal management
Integrated coastal area and river basin management
International Maritime Organization
Integrated water resources management
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Millennium Development Goals
Marine protected area
International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation
Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia
Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia
Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion
UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
UN Development Programme
UN Environment Programme
UN Office for Project Services

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The EAS Congress Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <>. This issue was written and edited by Graeme Auld, Robynne Boyd, Glen Ewers, Tallash Kantai, Kate Louw, Jonathan Manley, William McPherson, Ph.D., and Dorothy Nyingi. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon. The Editor is Anna Schulz <>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA). IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, United States of America.

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