Chonburi, Thailand — The Provincial Government of Chonburi (Thailand) and PEMSEA signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the Scaling up of ICM Implementation in Chonburi Province on 6 October 2008 at the Chonburi Provincial Administration Office. The MOA was signed by Mr. Pracha Taerat, Governor of Chonburi Province, and Prof. Raphael P.M. Lotilla, Executive Director of the PEMSEA Resource Facility.
The three-year project aims to support the scaling up of ICM implementation in Chonburi with regard to increasing the spatial coverage, strengthening the governance mechanisms to support long-term implementation, strategic implementation of the Chonburi Coastal Strategy, and systematic development of local capacity to sustain ICM implementation.Mr. Wittaya Khunpluem, Chief Executive of the Chonburi Provincial Administrative Organization and ICM Project Director, and Mr. Chatchai Thimkrajang, Mayor of Sriracha Municipality, which serves as the home of the ICM Secretariat, led 150 participants representing local government members of the Chonburi ICM Network, concerned central and local government agencies, private, commercial and industrial sectors, the academe, nongovernmental organizations, and local communities in witnessing the MOA signing.Governor Taerat emphasized the need to ensure a sustainable financing mechanism for ICM, including exploring and accessing various sources of funding support such as the central government, private sector, donors, and other local sources. Prof. Lotilla commended Chonburi's accomplishments in implementing ICM, particularly the cooperation and partnerships established across various sectors, and reiterated PEMSEA's commitment to facilitate support for ICM and related efforts toward sustainable coastal development.In an Inception Workshop held on 7 October at the Sriracha Municipal Office, 80 participants representing key stakeholders confirmed the project's objectives and targets, including the activities, schedule, budget and their roles and responsibilities as outlined in the work programme. The participants identified solid and liquid waste management and coastal erosion as priority areas in the implementation of the Chonburi Coastal Strategy.Another workshop held on 8 October gathered 30 participants representing potential data and information sources for the development and implementation of a State of the Coasts (SOC) reporting system. The SOC aims to facilitate the local government's assessment and reporting of progress and achievements in marine and coastal management, covering both the governance aspects and the implementation of strategic action programs. It also includes indicators related to international commitments and targets such as the MDGs, Agenda 21, WSSD and SDS-SEA. The SOC process was initiated through the establishment of a core working group and the adoption of a work plan.ICM implementation in Chonburi has advanced steadily following the adoption of the Chonburi Coastal Strategy by the provincial and local governments in 2004 as a common framework for inter-agency and cross-sectoral collaborations for sustainable coastal development of the province. Right after the MOA signing, Nong Prue Municipality and Plutalung Sub-district Administrative Organization signed a declaration adopting ICM as a strategy for sustainable local development in collaboration with the members of the Chonburi ICM Network. This brings the membership to 26 local governments, thereby covering the entire 160-km Chonburi coastline. Various capacity development activities are being planned to support ICM implementation in the existing sites and further promotion in other areas.