We are pleased to share PEMSEA’s Annual Report for 2017.
The year 2017 was a transition year for the oceans. The year before, 2016, was a big year on commitments to protect and manage the oceans, and 2017 was the year to start translating the rhetoric into action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on all levels—global, regional, national, and local. PEMSEA began putting together a comprehensive implementation plan for the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), as well as developing a monitoring tool to track our performance and assess progress in implementing our collective commitment to protect, manage, restore, and sustain the Seas of East Asia.
Some of PEMSEA’s notable actions include strengthening SDS-SEA implementation through the codification of integrated coastal management (ICM)/coastal and marine protection at the national levels; promoting the blue economy as alternative business model; raising awareness on innovative financing on ocean and coastal initiatives; and working on programmatic, operational, and financing options to ensure PEMSEA’s sustainability. Dr. Antonio La Viña and Ms. Aimee Gonzales In 2017 we also conducted extensive capacity building for various stakeholders and local government networks. These activities were deemed critical to strengthen capacity to carry on the implementation of integrated management solutions, from institutional arrangements to addressing specific issues on climate adaptation to conservation financing, especially at the local government level.
We firmly believe in the importance of sharing knowledge and best practices, and learning and managing adaptively on the ground. The theories and training manuals mean little, unless they are adapted on the ground and are impacting people’s lives. Some progress is evident from our partners’ and stakeholders’ experiences in developing policies and practical solutions, for example, to plastics pollution. We still have a long way to go, as the problems are complex and the situation is dynamic and ever changing, especially with climate change and growing populations. Better monitoring and tracking is needed to account for positive changes in the water, and in the lives of coastal communities. Through these collaborative efforts in the East Asian region, we hope that we can help secure healthy oceans, resilient communities, and sustainable blue economies, and truly move as one with the global ocean agenda.
- Dr. Antonio La Viña, PEMSEA Council Chair, and Ms. Aimee Gonzales, PEMSEA Executive Director