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Conservation of Sulu-Sulawesi Seas Featured in Tropical Coasts Issue

Quezon City, Philippines — PEMSEA announces the release of the latest issue of the Tropical Coasts which focuses on the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas, a large marine ecosystem (LME) within the Seas of East Asia. Titled Conserving the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas, the issue is a joint effort of PEMSEA and Conservation International-Philippines, a non-Country Partner of PEMSEA. The issue features articles on Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecosystem covering the management framework and governance arrangements, financing and partnerships mechanisms, and enforcement initiatives.In addition, the issue features contributions from the Tri-National Secretariat for the Ecoregion Conservation Plan (ECP), (i.e., Malaysia Department of Fisheries – Sabah) and the Marine Research Foundation in Malaysia. Future initiatives planned for this large marine ecosystem are also covered.Stakeholders of the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas have been able to share information and jointly identified priority areas for conservation to achieve a common vision, which was developed into the Ecoregion Conservation Plan (ECP). The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, in partnership with local governments, communities, scientific and technical institutions, international nongovernmental organizations, donors and the business sector, are now in the process of developing the required capacities to implement the ECP, including strengthening environmental law enforcement and exploring sustainable financing mechanisms geared towards making the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas one of the most advanced marine ecoregion management initiatives in the East Asian seas region.The Sulu and Sulawesi Seas, also known as the Sulu-Celebes Sea, is a subregion inhabited by 35 million people and spans an area of nearly one million km2. The seas are located within the Coral Triangle, described as the global center of marine biodiversity. It is home to the Verde Island Passage, which in turn is regarded as the center of the center of marine shorefish biodiversity, based on a study conducted by Carpenter and Springer in 2005.