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PEMSEA Network of Local Governments holds Annual Forum

SANYA CITY, CHINA— On its 11th session since it was formally established and its Charter was adopted in 2006, the PEMSEA Network of Local Governments (PNLG) is holding its annual forum themed “Ecological Restoration of Coastal Areas for Blue Economy” on December 4 to 7, 2017 in an event hosted by the Sanya City Government in Hainan Province, China. Co-organized by Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) and the PNLG Secretariat, with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event is expected to draw top local executives, governors, mayors, regents and vice regents from the PNLG country members.

The PNLG’s mission is to serve as a network of local governments in the region to promote the application of integrated coastal management (ICM) as an effective management framework to achieve sustainable coastal development. This is done through advocacy, knowledge sharing and forging multi-stakeholder participation and partnerships among local governments, national agencies, civil society groups and the private sector. The PNLG is open for membership to all local government units and other stakeholders in the East Asian Seas region who subscribe to the mission and objectives of the PNLG.

This year’s forum will look into the commitments of PNLG members as detailed in their Strategic Action Plan of 2016-2021 and how they aim to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event will also provide linkages to investment opportunities for local governments.

The opening ceremony will see Noraini binti Roslan, PNLG President, welcoming the delegates. PEMSEA Executive Director Stephen Adrian Ross and Sanya City Vice Mayor Li Jingsong will also be on hand to deliver their remarks. Day 1 will feature a keynote speech from the Hon. Jingsong as he talks about his city’s “Ecological restoration initiative and experience in Sanya”.

A full-day technical workshop follows with PEMSEA consultant Dr. Andre Jon Uychiaoco’s introductory presentation on the key principles of conservation for ecological restoration, its linkage to ICM and application in coastal areas and experiences within and outside the EAS region. This will be followed by case study presentations on the experiences and challenges of implementing such initiatives in ICM sites in Cambodia, China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Investment opportunities in the SDGs

Nancy Bermas, PEMSEA Senior ICM Specialist, will present the PNLG Strategic Action Plan (SAP). The session will focus on the PNLG members’ commitments under the Ansan Declaration signed in 2016 and provides them with an opportunity to discuss their respective local targets to meet the UN SDGs as outlined in their 5-year plans.

Related to investing in SDGs at the local level, PEMSEA Executive Director Stephen Adrian Ross will talk about investment opportunities for local governments. His presentation will highlight several strategic investment partnerships PEMSEA is currently exploring in support of SDS-SEA implementation and scaling up ICM initiatives. PEMSEA plans to develop pilot investments across a variety of sectors, such as water and wastewater recovery, protected areas, sustainable marine/ecotourism, solid waste, low carbon and sustainable energy and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

PEMSEA Investment Specialist David Pangan will then provide  guidance to local governments and reiterate the support that PNLG and PEMSEA can extend to assist local governments in developing viable business and investment projects that contribute to blue economy growth at the local level.

Capping the PNLG forum will be a field visit for the delegates to Sanya Bay and a project on ecological and urban restoration in Sanya City.