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World Ocean Week in Xiamen Highlights Marine Ecological Civilization

Xiamen, PR China — The Xiamen Municipal Government, in coordination with the State Oceanic Administration, PEMSEA and the United Nations Development Programme (PR China), has successfully organized and conducted the 2008 World Ocean Week in Xiamen (XWOW).

The 2008 XWOW revolved on the theme "Promoting Marine Ecological Civilization", which advocates the harmonious co-existence of human beings with the seas and oceans, in the process promoting a balance of environmental sustainability and human and economic development. The XWOW featured a range of activities, which included the International Forum, an Exhibition on Marine Industries, including Yachting and Sport Fishing, and Marine Cultural activities with significant public involvement. The International Forum included relevant presentations on climate change, biodiversity, ocean agenda and relevant ocean policies, water resource management, marine ecological protection, ecosystem-based and integrated coastal management, international cooperation and marine scientific research. Several key points emerged from the forum, which included the need for stronger coordination and collaboration at all levels and sectors; the need for a comprehensive policy framework that promotes integration; the need to step up scientific and technological research to support and inform policy and management decisions; and the need to invest in capacity development to help achieve ecological sustainability.

The 2008 XWOW also witnessed the signing of the letter of intent between Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the XWOW Secretariat, establishing a 'sister week relationship' between XWOW and World Water Week. The relationship is expected to strengthen cooperation and mutual exchange between SIWI, organizer of the World Water Week in Stockholm, and the World Ocean Week in Xiamen.

The XWOW, held annually, commits itself to providing a working platform for international cooperation and communication among the governments of coastal cities and municipalities, national agencies, experts in marine science and technology, representatives from the UN and other international organizations as well as members of relevant marine industries, enterprises and institutions.

With the successful conclusion of the 2008 XWOW, Xiamen once again demonstrated its key role in catalyzing discussions on issues related to sustainable coastal development. PEMSEA Resource Facility Executive Director, Prof. Raphael P.M. Lotilla expressed PEMSEA's continuing support to XWOW as part of its commitment to promote sustainable coastal development in the East Asian Region.