MANILA, PHILIPPINES—Preparations for the East Asian Seas Congress 2018 are now in full swing with the collaboration of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines and Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA). The 2018 East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress will be held on November 27-30, 2018 at the Iloilo Convention Center.
Centered on the theme “25 Years of Partnerships for Healthy Oceans, People and Economies: Moving as One with the Global Ocean Agenda,” the EAS Congress is the sixth in a series of EAS triennial ocean conferences that aims to usher in better, stronger and smarter regional actions that are strategically aligned with the key principles and targets of the global ocean agenda.
The EAS Congress builds on the voluntary commitments and call for action of the UN Ocean Conference held last June 2017. It is focused on meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 and related international environmental commitments. At its core is the intention to move towards achieving SDG 14, Life Below Water, as oceans continue to gain recognition for their political, social, economic and ecological importance.
The event is open to a broad range of stakeholders, including national and local governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, bilateral and multi-lateral projects, international financial institutions, non-government and civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community and the private sector.
Knowledge-driven, Action-oriented, and Partner-led
Since 2003, the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress has established its reputation as an intellectual marketplace and ocean-based forum that uniquely focuses on the world's most diverse and fastest-growing region. The triennial event provides a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, collaborative action, partnership building and a forum to advance commitment and cooperation in achieving the shared vision of a sustainable East Asian Seas.
During the event, participants are expected to share their experiences, gain new insights and knowledge, assess challenges and opportunities and contribute to further strengthening the implementation of the EAS region’s common plan of action—the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) at the regional, national and local levels. With more than 1,000 people expected to attend, it also aims to build on existing partnerships and promote new initiatives and investments to achieve regional and global targets for the sustainable development of coasts and oceans.
The three-day event will feature Ocean Talks (a series of plenary sessions) combined with an SEA Exchange (dialogues with partners), Partnership Hubs (partner-led side events), a Youth Forum and the PEMSEA Network of Local Governments (PNLG) Forum, culminating in a Ministerial Forum on the final day of the Congress. An international exhibition will also be organized as a showcase of innovation and progress in meeting SDG 14 and SDS-SEA implementation. On the last day, a field visit will be conducted on the island province of Guimaras, a PEMSEA integrated coastal management site. Finally, capping the Congress will be a Partnership Night commemorating the 25th anniversary of PEMSEA.
The 2018 EAS Congress is hosted by the Government of the Philippines, with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).