PEMSEA celebrates 25th year of promoting sustainable dev’t of East Asian Seas
From its humble beginnings as a marine pollution demonstration project in 1993 to its current status as a leading international organization promoting the sustainable development of the East Asian Seas region’s oceans and coasts, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) is now celebrating its 25th year.
In a statement, PEMSEA said its celebration will culminate at the 2018 East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress in November.
The EAS Congress 2018 is designed to showcase and celebrate collaborative and partnership initiatives at the local, national, regional and international level.
In particular, the Congress seeks to mark 25 years of partnership, learning, innovation and transformational change, featuring initiatives from among PEMSEA Country and Non-Country partners and various collaborators, under whose collaborative efforts a wealth of knowledge and experience has contributed to delivering strategic solutions to the needs of the region, as well as in scaling up sustainable development and integrated coastal management (ICM) initiatives.
“The EAS Congress 2018 marks an important milestone for the entire East Asian countries and partners who make up PEMSEA,” said PEMSEA Executive Director Aimee Gonzales.
“Building on our 25 years of experience and through the EAS Congress 2018, we aim to usher in concrete and impactful regional actions that are strategically aligned with the key principles and targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly the global ocean agenda,” she added.
When PEMSEA’s first phase was launched in 1993, ICM pilot sites were set up in Xiamen, PR China and Batangas Bay, Philippines.
The pilot project, covering around 286 kilometers of coastline, was primarily aimed at preventing and managing marine pollution.
25 years later, PEMSEA’s geographical and functional scope has expanded significantly covering coastal and ocean governance, and specialized issue areas such as habitat protection and restoration, climate change and disaster risk reduction, water use, pollution reduction, sustainable livelihoods, blue economy, etc.
In terms of ICM coverage, PEMSEA now implements ICM initiatives in dozens of sites across East Asia, covering more than 40,000 kilometers of coastline and benefiting tens of millions of people living in coastal and watershed areas.
The 2018 EAS Congress is hosted by the Government of the Philippines, with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).