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EAS Congress 2009 Workshop Series: Coastal and Ocean Governance

Last modified October 26, 2009

The East Asian Seas Congress 2009 will be holding a series of workshops on the theme "Coastal and Ocean Governance," from November 23 to 25 in Manila.

The seven workshops, each taking on an individual sub-topic, belong to the first of six major Conference themes to be taken up in the triennial regional event. All themes cover essential aspects of sustainable coastal and ocean development.

"Coastal and Ocean Governance" will underscore the importance of coasts and oceans as life-support systems while covering central- and local- level initiatives related to the development and implementation of ocean and coastal governance and the economic contribution of marine activities in East Asia.

The series will take up various transboundary environmental issues and ocean and coastal sciences, including scientific education and how it is utilized to improve efficiency. The series will also serve as a venue to discuss programs that adopt an ecosystem-based approach and land and sea-use zoning strategies in preventing and managing natural disasters brought about by climate change.

Prof. Tommy KohKeynote speaker to the Theme 1 workshop series is Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador-at-Large and Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies and the National Heritage Board, Tommy Koh.

Professor Koh holds a First Class Honors degree in Law from the University of Singapore, a Master's degree in Law from the Harvard University in the USA and a post-graduate Diploma in Criminology from the Cambridge University, the UK. He received the UNEP Champion of the Earth Award and the inaugural "President's Award for the Environment" in 2006, and was President of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea from 1980 to 1982. He served as Chairman to the Preparatory Committee for the Main Committee of the UN Conference on Environment and Development from 1990 to 1992.

Workshop 1: Coastal / Ocean Policy and Legislation: Implementation and New Initiatives

Underscoring the importance of protecting coasts and oceans as life-support systems, the workshop will look into practical initiatives in developing and implementing ocean and coastal governance, lessons learned and future related actions.

Workshop 2: Contributions of Marine Economic Sectors to Regional and National GDP in an Uncertain Climate

The workshop aims to identify the current initiatives and outcomes in assessing marine economic sectors contributions to regional and national GDPs, share policies and strategies that strengthen marine economic sectors during environmental externalities, and designate potential areas of collaboration in mainstreaming mitigation and adaptation measures into coastal and ocean development programs.

Workshop 3: The Continental Shelf: Post-May 2009 Perspectives

Country submissions on an extended continental shelf as of May 2009 will be discussed and shared, including potential cooperative arrangements and opportunities in shared marine areas.

Workshop 4: Addressing Transboundary Issues through Regional / Sub-regional Seas Cooperation: Initiatives in East Asia

The workshop will be a venue to discuss various transboundary environmental issues and their implementing mechanisms, particularly on governance, and aims to identify good practices and areas of collaboration among the stakeholders involved.

Workshop 5: The Science in Ecosystem-based Management

A highlight of the workshop will be the utilization of the various ocean and coastal sciences, including scientific education, to improve ocean and coastal governance efficiency. The workshop will also demonstrate how ecosystem-based programs have contributed to interdisciplinary research promotion.

Workshop 6: Land and Sea-use Zoning: Challenges and Opportunities

Recognizing the significance of land and sea-use zoning as a strategy in preventing and managing natural disasters caused by climate change and in the promotion of sustainable use of coastal and marine areas and resources, the workshop will be a venue for sharing ideas and strategies on how existing zoning plans can be strengthened, enforced and implemented at the local level.

Workshop 7: Mainstreaming of Marine and Coastal Issues into National Planning and Budgetary Processes: Sharing of Cross-regional Experiences

The workshop will focus on policy development while exploring links between the management of coastal and marine resources, and poverty reduction and economic growth. Invited guests from Asia, Africa and the Wider Caribbean will present how the conservation and sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems contributes to poverty alleviation and the achievement of the MDGs. Also, countries that have embarked on the development of a coherent policy framework to address these challenges will share their experiences.

Legislators, policymakers, NGOs, the academe, the private sector and the UN and other international organizations are invited to participate in these workshops.

The EAS Congress 2009 is hosted by the Government of the Philippines and co-organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and PEMSEA. It is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Coastal Management Center (CMC).

For more information on the EAS Congress, contact the Secretariat at or visit