Dear partners, collaborators and friends,
Each year as we develop our Annual Report, we seek to tell the compelling stories behind our accomplishments in the region, reflect on the challenges we faced, and assess our plans for the future. The year 2018 was particularly special, since we not only marked two significant milestones–PEMSEA’s 25th anniversary and the holding of the East Asian Seas Congress in the Philippines–but we also saw our country partners commit to intensify the implementation of our shared regional strategy, the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia, and pledge to support the sustainability of the PEMSEA Resource Facility beyond 2019 through the Iloilo Ministerial Declaration.
It was a busy year as 2018 saw us continuing to transform international commitments and national priorities into practical on-the-ground solutions that help drive the development of new or strengthen existing national policies and strategies in support of upscaling and replication. The past year also saw us renew partnerships while developing new ones in promoting coastal and marine biodiversity, investing in the blue economy, and joining alliances to address the global problem of marine pollution, plastics and microplastics.
At the EAS Congress, we were also eager to see the next generation of innovative ideas and their practical applications: from the use of satellite data for marine spatial planning, to harnessing ocean energy as a source of clean and renewable energy for the future, and building capacity for “blue communities” that are able to support the health, food security and livelihoods of people.
We take this opportunity to thank the outgoing members of the Executive Committee (August 1, 2016–July 31, 2019) who served us well during the period of transition. We also welcome the new set of Executive Committee members to be led by Pak Arief Yuwono (August 1, 2019–July 31, 2021). As we look to the years ahead, we encourage and urge the Partnership Council officers and members to ride on the momentum of the activities that defined our efforts in 2018. We also need to expand our strategy and approaches by adapting, applying and availing of the best science, innovation, investment, technology and the arts. The future of PEMSEA lies in our hands—from ensuring our sustainability with a blue economy mindset, replicating and upscaling integrated management solutions with integrated coastal management as base, and fostering coastal and marine investment initiatives that will secure a healthy and sustainable Seas of East Asia.
Thank you for partnering with us on this exciting journey.
Dr. Antonio La Viña, PEMSEA Council Chair, and Ms. Aimee Gonzales, PEMSEA Executive Director
The PEMSEA Annual Report 2018 can be accessed here.