Xiamen, PR China — This year's Xiamen World Ocean Week (XWOW) held last 8–14 November focused on commitments to supporting an ocean-based blue economy in the East Asian Seas region and bolstering ties with partners in pursuit of future initiatives in marine cooperation.
With the theme, "Development of Blue Economy: Opportunities, Cooperation and Win-Win," XWOW 2013 was attended by representatives from 40 countries and 18 international organizations and associations. PEMSEA participated in key XWOW forums to share its experiences in promoting blue economy development through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) and integrated coastal management (ICM) at regional, national and local levels.
East Asian Seas Partnership Council Chair Amb. Mary Seet-Cheng, during her panel discussion at the International Ocean Forum, emphasized how a sustainable blue economy can be achieved by employing a business model that creates environmentally, financially and socially beneficial solutions. This was supported by Mr. Stephen Adrian Ross, PEMSEA Acting Executive Director and Chief Technical Officer, during his presentation on advancing blue economy in the East Asian Seas region through SDS-SEA implementation at the Leadership Forum for Marine Cooperation for Developing Countries and the Third Ministerial Forum on Marine Sustainable Development.
Six representatives from PEMSEA Country Partners and ICM sites also participated in XWOW 2013 to share their experiences in using the SDS-SEA as a framework and ICM as a tool to achieve blue economy goals. Country cases from Cambodia, Philippines and Vietnam demonstrated the integration of coastal development frameworks and SDS-SEA actions and targets into national sustainable development initiatives. Local experiences in Preah Sihanouk (Cambodia), Pampanga (Philippines) and Chonburi (Thailand) showcased the role of the ICM cycle in addressing environmental and development issues in coastal management. This wealth of experiences was well received by forum participants, notably by representatives from African countries who indicated that they are at the early stages of ICM development and implementation.
The XWOW 2013 also presented opportunities for delegates to build partnerships toward marine cooperation. China presented its Marine Cooperation Initiative, which aims to use partnership and communication strategies to promote a science-based approach to informed decisionmaking and innovative technologies in the sustainable management of marine resources.
The annual XWOW event aims to establish cooperation and communication among the governments of coastal cities and municipalities, national agencies, experts in marine science and technology, representatives from international organizations, as well as members of relevant marine industries, enterprises and institutions.