On September 7, 2016 the PEMSEA Network of Local Governments (PNLG) concluded its three-day Annual Forum hosted by Ansan City, RO Korea. Carrying the theme of Sustainable Future Cities in the Coastal Area through UN SDGs, the event assembled over 100 representatives from nearly 30 local governments in 9 countries. The PNLG continues to grow, adding members from Tangerang (Indonesia), Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong (Cambodia) and Sanya (China).
The forum empowered participants to adopt the PNLG Strategic Action Plan 2016-2021 and the Ansan Declaration, which served as the local governments’ commitment to the UN SDGs.
Dr. Jong-Geel Je, Mayor of Ansan City, facilitated one of the key events in this year’s forum: the host-driven Local Chief Executives’ Conference, where local leaders shared the perspectives of their local government units. Panel discussions included Mr. Kong Vitanak, Deputy Governor, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Mr. Wang Jinhe, Vice Director General of Oceans and Fisheries Bureau, Dongying, China, Mr. Marwan Hamami, Regent, Sukabumi, Indonesia, Mrs. Azlinda Azman, President of Sabak Berman District Council, North Selangor, Malaysia and Mr. John Edward Gando, Vice Governor, Guimaras, Philippines.
This year’s PNLG Forum included interactive breakout group discussions among the local government representatives on targets, actions and indicators of the PNLG Strategic Action Plan (SAP) facilitated by staff from the PEMSEA Resource Facility. “I am glad to see that the priority action of our government is reflected in the plan. We will make utmost efforts to implement and report on the progress of this member-owned SAP”, said Mr. Iskandar Mirsad, Regent of Tangerang, Indonesia, who joined the PNLG in this year’s forum.
The technical session of the PNLG Forum featured the good practices and achievements in the region related to four SDGs key to coasts and oceans: Cavite Province, Philippines (Goal 6, Clean Water and Sanitation); Ansan City, RO Korea (Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities); Dongying, China (Goal 13, Climate Action); and Koh Kong, Cambodia (Goal 14, Life Below Water) all shared their experiences. Governor Atty. Jesus Crispin Remulla of Cavite, Philippines, highlighted how the planning of sanitation facilities in urban development was a crucial step in addressing sanitation challenges and contributing to sustainable development in his province. During the session, PNLG members discussed scaling up these good practices throughout the region.
Key stakeholders from RO Korea and other countries, namely Pia S. Cayetano, Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives of the Philippines, Mr. Sang-Keun Song, Director General of Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, RO Korea, and Dr. Zhang Zhanhai, Director General of State Oceanic Administration of PR China graced the event as keynote speakers.
The entire proceedings and results from the PNLG Annual Forum 2016 will be available online. Participants look forward to further knowledge sharing and forging of partnerships at the PNLG Annual Forum in 2017, set to be hosted by Sanya, PR China.