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SDS-SEA: Keeping up with the Changing Times


Manila, Philippines — Recognizing the changing context and emerging challenges in the East Asian Seas region, PEMSEA has initiated the review and updating of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), as well as the development of new regional targets post 2015. Taking the lead on this crucial endeavor is a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprised of representatives from PEMSEA Country and Non-Country Partners. In September, the first TWG Meeting was conducted and focused on the analysis of the SDS-SEA vis-à-vis recently adopted international commitments and developments, ensuring that relevant commitments are adequately integrated within the SDS-SEA. This exercise resulted to a detailed working paper with proposed updates on the different strategies and action programmes of the SDS-SEA. A major recommendation from the TWG is the need to create a new strategy on climate change adaptation or "Adapt", which will serve as a cross-cutting strategy that is linked with the other six existing strategies of the SDS-SEA. In the coming months, the TWG working with the PRF will flesh out further details and develop the Adapt strategy. Parallel to this effort, the TWG also looked into the process and criteria that should be considered in developing the post-2015 targets for the East Asian Seas region. The Strategic Targets of the SDS-SEA adopted in 2006 are set to end on 2015, while the SDS-SEA medium-term Implementation Plan is ending in 2016. Thus, it is important to review the implementation status of the current targets and set up new targets for the region beyond 2015. It is envisioned that the updated SDS-SEA and post-2015 targets will help the countries of the East Asian Seas region further strengthen their resolve in ensuring sustainable coastal and ocean development, as well as in responding to various international commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are set to be adopted in 2015 as follow-on targets to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). All these efforts are targeted to be completed by mid-2015 in time for presentation and adoption at the Fifth Ministerial Forum to be held in conjuction with the East Asian Seas Congress in November 2015 in Danang, Vietnam.