East Asian Seas Congress

Held every three years, the EAS Congress consists of a Ministerial Forum, an International Conference and other related activities.

The Ministerial Forum on the EAS Congress provides policy directions and commitments for improving and strengthening the implementation of the SDS-SEA.

The International Conference serves as the forum for:

  • Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the SDS-SEA;
  • Facilitating knowledge exchange, advocacy and multi-stakeholder participation, through sessions, workshops, side events and exhibitions, etc.;
  • Promoting the ocean agenda as a priority programme in international and regional forums;
  • Promoting the development of financing mechanisms and investment opportunities for sustainable coastal and marine development;
  • Encouraging corporate responsibility in the business community; and
  • Discussing specific sectoral and cross-sectoral issues and concerns, as well as partnership arrangements for the subregional seas or environmentally sensitive areas, for the implementation of the SDS-SEA.

The hosting and venue of the EAS Congress will be determined by the EAS Partnership Council in consultation with the Partner countries.

The EAS Congress presents its conclusions and recommendations to the EAS Partnership Council for implementation.

EAS Congress 2012

With the theme, "Building a Blue Economy: Strategy, Opportunities, and Partnerships in the Seas of East Asia", the EAS Congress 2012 brought to the fore the crucial role of coastal and ocean resources in support of the global commitments to enhance human welfare and environmental sustainability while pursuing economic growth. In particular, it provided participants with the prospect of identifying contributions, progress and achievements in the governance of regional/sub-regional seas within the framework of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), which are the essential building blocks for a blue economy, as well as new opportunities and the intergovernmental and multi-sectoral partnerships, which are required in order to realize the full potential of the ocean economy of East Asia.

For more information, visit the EAS Congress 2012 microsite at http://eascongress.pemsea.org/.

EAS Congress 2009

In 2009, the EAS Congress was again convened to review and present to the region the results and impacts of the partnership arrangement and the SDS-SEA implementation, with the objective of assessing the achievements and map out future action to ensure the steady advancement of partnership initiatives in the region towards the sustainability of the Seas of East Asia.

Carrying the theme, "Partnerships at Work: Local Implementation and Good Practices" the EAS Congress 2009 highlighted the initiatives and good practices at the local level covering wide area or issues on coastal and ocean management. This Congress emphasized on-the-ground actions and innovations that contribute significantly to the achievement and meeting of regional and global environmental targets and commitments. At the same time, this Congress engaged various stakeholders from the local up to the international level in the discussions of key issues that are most critical to the local level.

The EAS Congress 2009 featured the:

  • Third Ministerial Forum;
  • International Conference on Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Development;
  • Exhibition on Good Practices and Innovative Technologies.
  • A number of side events or meetings, including the Second EAS Youth Forum, Meeting of the PEMSEA Network of Local Governments and many others, organized by PEMSEA, its Partners, and collaborators were also held during the Congress.

The Congress was hosted by the Government of the Philippines and organized by PEMSEA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippines. The East Asian Seas Congress 2009 was supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Coastal Management Center (CMC).

For more information, visit the EAS Congress 2009 microsite at http://pemsea.org/eascongress.

EAS Congress 2006

In 2006, the region took a bolder step with the organization of a bigger EAS Congress 2006 in Haikou City, Hainan Province, PR China, carrying the theme "One Ocean, One People, One Vision". This event introduced yet another innovation in regional collaboration on coastal and ocean governance through the signing of the Haikou Partnership Agreement by the 11 Country Partners and the Partnership Operating Arrangements of 12 non-Country Partners of PEMSEA. This Partnership Arrangement provides for both government and non-government stakeholders to stand as Partners and serve as complements of each other in the implementation of the SDS-SEA.

EAS Congress 2003

The concept of the EAS Congress was stimulated by the recognition that the pressing environmental problems of the Seas of East Asia and the oceans in general can only be addressed through collaboration and concerted efforts.

With this realization, the first EAS Congress was convened in December 2003 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. This Congress was organized as a response to the recommendations of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) regarding the regional implementation of global commitments on matters related to coasts and oceans.

The EAS Congress 2003 witnessed the endorsement of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) through the Putrajaya Declaration signed by the 12 Ministers from the region. The adoption of the SDS-SEA is a historical event as it is the very first instrument of the region that provides a common platform of action on the sustainable development and management of the East Asian Seas.

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