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Partnership Council sets course for future actions

Attendees of the 11th EAS Partnership Council Meeting pose for a group photo

Representatives from PEMSEA country partners, non-country partners and other collaborators gathered at the 11th East Asian Seas (EAS) Partnership Council Meeting held from 24-26 July in Surabaya, Indonesia, to discuss and review PEMSEA’s body of work in support of the region’s common vision of sustainable development of the Seas of East Asia.

Attendees from PEMSEA Partner Countries represented Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. Non-country partners represented were ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), The International Environmental Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas Center (EMECS), The Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (IOC-WESTPAC), and Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM). Representatives from Thailand, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines, and the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) participated as observers.

The Partnership Council delved into several important issues and future actions including, PEMSEA’s post-2020 plan, updates on the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), PEMSEA’s self-sustainability, and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. They also saw the oathtaking of the new EAS Partnership Council Chairs, Mr. Arief Yuwono, Dr. Jae Ryoung Oh and Dr. Vu Thanh Ca, and the newly elected co-chairs, Dr. Vann Monyneath and Dr. Keita Furukawa.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Karliansyah, the Director General for Environmental Pollution and Degradation Control of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia, emphasized, “We see that cooperation among countries in the East Asian Seas is a good opportunity for capacity building and knowledge transfer in the context of sustainability of coastal and marine development.”

Recognizing the importance of collaborations in discussing coastal and marine concerns in the region, PEMSEA partners also shared their relevant programs and commitments during the meeting.

PEMSEA's partners also expressed their continuous support to PEMSEA. Deputy Country Director Mr. Enrico Gaveglia of the United Nations Development Programme, for one, expressed, “UNDP has been and will remain strong in its commitment on sustainable coasts and oceans in the region and will continue to support PEMSEA hopefully up to a golden anniversary at least.”

The 2-day meeting was followed by an educational tour in Surabaya featuring SIOLA Mall of Public Service, Suramadu Bridge, and the city’s environmental initiatives including Suroboyo Bus, Jambangan Recycling Centre, Keputih Bamboo Forest and Sakura Park, and the Wonorejo Mangrove Forest.

The 11th Partnership Council Meeting was organized by the PEMSEA Resource Facility in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF), Indonesia and support from the Local Government of Surabaya.