Progress towards a sustainable blue economy is becoming a more important issue, not only for specialists and policy-makers, but also for civil society, as blue economy issues continue to increase within the public awareness. PEMSEA and its partners, who this year celebrate 25 years of progress in working towards a shared vision of healthy oceans, people and economies, welcome you to the second Blue Economy Bulletin of 2018!
PEMSEA’s triennial East Asian Seas Congress, to be held in Iloilo City, Philippines, from November 27-30, is drawing closer. With the theme “25 Years of Partnerships for Healthy Oceans, People and Economies: Moving as One with the Global Ocean Agenda”, the EAS Congress 2018 is expected to engage over 1,000 participants from national and local government, academia, business, international organizations and NGOs. It will feature an International Conference and Environmental Exhibition, the Fifth EAS Youth Forum (YF5), PEMSEA Network of Local Governments (PNLG) Forum 2018, and will culminate with the Sixth Ministerial Forum. The call for applications to the Fifth EAS Youth Forum (YF5) has been released, and PEMSEA asks any youth from the region aged 18-25 who are working or interested in the sustainable development of coasts and oceans to consider applying.
Real change happens on the ground, so we were pleased that PEMSEA’s work in Bataan, Philippines, was featured in a video celebrating protection of our oceans for Earth Day 2018. PEMSEA also welcomed recent developments in the Philippine’s Romblon province, where Local Government Units (LGUs) have incorporated integrated coastal management thinking into their development plans.
In global news, IMO member states agreed to a 50% reduction from 2008 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The World Ocean Summit 2018 saw the release of 14 Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, while over 100 global corporations had emissions reductions plans approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. The U.S. called for marine mammal bycatch mitigation plans from fisheries by 2022 as a requirement for these fisheries to access U.S. markets. Scientists discovered an enzyme that can digest polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a key component of modern plastics, which could prove to be a crucial new tool to address ocean plastic pollution.
A consultative committee in the Philippines intends to strengthen environmental rights in a new constitution, and the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) held its first hearing against major corporate carbon emitters. Due to overcapacity, the Philippines and Thailand have both closed popular tourist destinations for a number of months. Indonesia plans to launch an excise on plastics in May and has deployed its military to clean up the Citarum river, while China’s Environment Ministry has announced that it intends to tackle plastic pollution in the Yangtze river.
Follow the us on Facebook and Twitter (@PEMSEA) for the latest updates. We welcome your feedback, and please let us know if there are other blue economy topics you would like to see in future newsletters and programs.