PEMSEA and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) of the People’s Republic of China hosted the National MPA Training Workshop 2016 with co-organizers First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) of SOA and North-East Asian Marine Protected Areas Network (NEAMPAN). The China-PEMSEA Center (CPC) and Ocean College Zhejiang University conducted the workshop. More than 120 MPA experts and managers attended the event in Zhoushan, Zhejiang, China on October 24-28, 2016. Participants included leaders from SOA, FIO, Ocean College of Zhejiang University and Ocean and Fishery Bureau of Zhoushan.
In the first two days, MPA experts delivered 12 lectures from different perspectives. Resource speakers were from the National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center of SOA, Ocean University of China, Ocean College of Zhejiang University and Liaoning Ocean & Fisheries Science Research Institute. Dr. Tae Cheol JANG from Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries (MOF) of Korea and Dr. Xianji WEN from WWF Hong Kong Office flew in to share their knowledge on MPAs. Zhongjieshan Special MPA Administration of Zhoushan invited participants to visit Zhoushan Islands by ferry where they held a discussion on MPA management experiences.
The previous National MPA Training Workshops in 2014 (Nanjing, China) and 2015 (Nan’ao, Chian) mainly focused on policies of MPAs and Ocean Parks in China. The workshop this year was elevated to an international event, thanks to additional hosting support from PEMSEA. Participants broadened their horizons and learned from best practices in other countries in the region. Dr. Tae Cheol JANG from Korea introduced the management and designation of MPAs in Korea, focusing on case studies in Oryuk-do Neighboring Water Marine Ecological Protected Area and Suncheon Bay Tidal flat Wetland Protected Area. Dr. Xianji WEN presented the public engagement and management practice of Hong Kong Mai Po Nature Reserve. Dr. Wei WANG from FIO talked about Coastal Wetland Rehabilitation Technology in MPAs combined with lessons he learned during this year’s PEMSA Network of Local Governments (PNLG) Annual Meeting in Ansan, Korea. Dr. Guanqiong YE from Ocean College of Zhejiang University introduced The Application of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) in MPA Management, which featured PEMSEA ICM demonstration sites.
The National MPA Training Workshop 2016 is a good starting point for PEMSEA and CPC to progress towards the 4th phase of PEMSEA in China, improve the management capacity and effectiveness of ICM demonstration sites and scale up the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia in China.