The Letter of Cooperation was signed by ACB’s Executive Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim (left) and PEMSEA’s Executive Director Aimee Gonzales (right).
Last Tuesday, 4 September 2018, PEMSEA and the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) forged anew their decade-old partnership through the signing of the two parties' Letter of Cooperation (LoC). This took place during the second leg of the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Regional Forum held at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City, Philippines.
The LoC, which will remain in effect for three years, covers several cooperative activities between the two organizations, through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) and ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together (ASEAN 2025). Aiming to promote the conservation and sustainable management of marine and coastal resources in the East Asian Seas Region, PEMSEA and ACB will jointly develop and implement:
- national and local capacity building activities to help achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the UN SDGs;
- information exchange and knowledge transfer among partners; and
- new projects for the conservation and management of key coastal marine habitats and ecosystems.
Ms. Aimee Gonzales emphasized importance of collaboration in sustainable development, and noted the many previous projects that PEMSEA and ACB had cooperated on.
The two organization’s signatories delivered short messages during the LoC signing. Ms. Aimee Gonzales, PEMSEA's Executive Director, emphasized that PEMSEA’s understanding of integrated coastal management (ICM) and ACB's expertise in habitat management and biodiversity conservation cover necessities in the delivery of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, ACB’s Executive Director, stressed that given the wide array of goods and services provided by ASEAN’s 170,000 kilometers of coastline its adjacent ocean, it is vital to protect, conserve, and manage the region’s marine and coastal biodiversity.
Combatting threats to marine and coastal areas, such as climate change, pollution, and unsustainable development, requires meaningful partnerships that allow bodies with different strengths to complement one another. PEMSEA and ACB are already collaborating on a number of projects:
- The preparation of the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2018, in particular an exhibition and workshop under the theme of coastal resilience and implementing Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and UN SDG 14;
- Sharing data, tools, information and other knowledge sharing/communication/learning initiatives through utilizing the knowledge management platform of PEMSEA’s Seas of East Sea Knowledge Bank (SEAKB);
- Developing a joint project on marine litter; and
- Identifying and working on other co-operative activities, i.e. ICM, and modalities which both parties agree upon in the course of implementing the SDS-SEA Implementation Plan 2018-2022 and ASEAN 2025.
Attendees of the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Regional Forum held at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City, Philippines.