Views: Publication - Policy Briefs
  • Gender Equality And Social Inclusion Assessment and Action Plan for SDS-SEA IP 2023-2027

    Recognizing the numerous ocean-related challenges in the region, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) adopted the Sustainable Development Strategies for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) in 2003. The SDS-SEA is a package of relevant principles, strategies, objectives, and implementation approaches for achieving sustainable development of oceans and coasts of the Seas of East Asia region. In 2015, the SDS-SEA was updated to ensure that it remained relevant to the needs and circumstances of the region and aligned to the post 2015 international and regional commitments and targets.

    Integrating the principles of GESI in SDS-SEA IP 2023-2027 is critical to achieving the SDS-SEA IP 2023-2027 Priority Program - Objectives. Women and men use and manage marine and coastal ecosystems differently and have specific knowledge, capabilities and needs related to coastal and marine resources. The work and contributions of women, informal workers and indigenous groups have been routinely ignored or underestimated in coastal and marine research, management and policy, including, but not limited to, their important work in fisheries and aquaculture, in the processing and trading of marine products, in managing plastic and other waste from urban and tourist growth, and in conservation and disaster risk reduction initiatives. Gender equality and social inclusion integration to the SDS-SEA IP 2023-2027 requires identifying and understanding the gaps between women and men in communities, and broader society. It also requires an understanding of discrimination and exclusion based on other identities such as age, physical abilities, race, religion, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.

    Based on the GESI Assessment, the SDS-SEA IP 2023-2027 GESI Action Plan was developed to guide the PRF in improving the SDS-SEA-IP 2023-2027 and facilitate the meaningful participation of women, youth, PWD, and other marginalized groups in the Priority Programs of the SDS-SEA. The GESI Action Plan reviews and provide recommendations on mainstreaming gender dimension in the SDS-SEA Implementation Plan 2023-2027, including the identification of gender responsive activities and approaches (ex. the use of disaggregated indicators in state of ocean/river basin reports, gender sensitive finance mobilization, and partner identification to support capacity development and training for PRF, PEMSEA country- and non-country partners, PNLG, PNLC, etc.). The GESI Action Plan will include a section on GESI in the SDS-SEA IP and recommendations in the form of GESI specific policies, activities, outcomes, impacts, indicators and targets where relevant in the SDS-SEA IP itself.

  • Managing Port and Shipping Waste Challenges and Best Practices

    This paper seeks to provide a review of the development of port sustainability in concept and in practice, with a specific focus on waste management systems within ports. The handling and treatment of ship waste discharge has evolved over time, as shipping has changed and as the understanding of the human impact on the environment has increased.

    The general trend among international regulations surrounding waste is to shift it away from disposal at sea and towards disposal on land. There is also a trend towards increasing the efficiency and potentially recyclability of waste, meaning actions such as waste segregation are becoming increasingly important.

    Such trends mean greater need at ports for efficient and effective waste management systems, which must receive increasing levels of waste from ships, even as the global shipping industry continues to expand. Waste management has become a key role of ports, with such waste needing to be removed from ships through port just like goods and passengers.

    Efficient waste management provides a good service for ports with positive economic, environmental, and reputational benefits. Those with the best capacity to deal with a particular ship’s waste is more likely to see that ship call there. Ports which can rapidly shift waste will have quicker ship turnaround, decreasing wasted ship time and increasing port throughput.

    At the same time, as waste management may prove an economic burden, imposing sanitary and safety concerns as well as more direct disposal costs, for both ports and shipping, it needs to take place within a robust regulatory and monitoring framework. Ports and ships working to meet established standards are at a disadvantage if others are avoiding compliance. As a result, improved sustainability is best achieved through broader engagement in developing regulations and monitoring and enforcement mechanisms through transparent stakeholder consultation including port authorities, shipping representatives, local communities living near the ports, and local and national authorities.


    Around the world, there are many innovative practices to improve waste operations. Increased digitization allows for earlier notification of incoming waste, better monitoring of waste flows, and easier sharing and analysis of data. Improved segregation on both ships and in ports allows for waste to be more efficiently, and more effectively, treated. Some waste may even undergo minimal treatment while on ships. New waste fee structures accommodating such changes and other considerations are needed to create appropriate incentive structures.

    As with regulations, innovations can benefit from enhanced cooperation among stakeholders. Ports can engage with governments and the private sector to prompt attention to shipping-related innovation. Mixed funding schemes, such as public-private partnerships, provide more opportunities for ports to improve and futureproof their activities.

    As understanding and research and innovative technologies around waste management continue to increase, national and international expectations are likely to change with changing knowledge. At the same time, shipping volumes will likely keep rising as the global economy expands.

    As a hub of the global shipping network, the fate of the seas of East Asia is intertwined with the sustainability of global shipping. While this will be a challenge, it also provides an opportunity, for the ports around these seas to become global leaders in port sustainability innovation.


  • Policy Brief for the Blue Economy - Sustainable Fishing and Aquaculture

    Countries of East Asia region account for 63% of total world fisheries production, contributing 40% of global wild fisheries production and 80% of global aquaculture production. The estimated value of capture fisheries to region is US$35B, while aquaculture production is valued at US$100B. East Asia is both a massive producer and consumer of seafood. As wild capture fisheries taper off, aquaculture is rapidly growing to fill the demand for seafood, and has recently made up nearly half of the seafood consumed by humans worldwide.


  • Policy Brief for the Blue Economy - Sustainable Shipping and Ports

    The East Asian Seas serve as a conduit of 90% of the world’s trade through shipping. The demand for container shipment is expected to triple in the next 25 years, from about 100 million TEUs at present to around 350 million TEUs by 2040. The top five busiest seaports in the world are in East Asia: Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Busan.

    Considering the forecast huge market and increasing trade, East Asia as a whole is planning to invest in improving maritime transport and related port services. Will these projected increases in shipping and port activities in the region reflect the win-win potential of growing while protecting critical ecosystem services and local communities?


  • Policy Brief for the Blue Economy - Renewable Ocean Energy

    Land-based solar and wind energy are mature forms of renewable energy (RE) technology, and they continue to improve over time. They have benefitted from favorable policies that have allowed them to advance, in some cases, to be price comparable with fossil fuels, without government assistance. Yet East Asia’s unique geography increasingly points towards incorporating ocean-based renewable energy as a part of the renewable energy mix. Policy makers can rely on a blend of existing policy tools that have helped spur land (and water) based solar and wind energy to the forefront, as well as other policy tools to spur more emerging forms of ocean-based energy, in order to meet climate change related regional and national goals.


  • Policy Brief for the Blue Economy - Sustainable Tourism

    Tourism represents about 10% of the world’s GDP and the Asia Pacific region alone receives 308 million tourists per year. The fastest growing regions for tourism globally are East Asia and the Pacific, and countries such as Vietnam have seen a 756% increase in tourists over the last ten years. These growth patterns can challenge policy makers, with new tourist facilities increasingly located in developing countries with high levels of biodiversity, and in coastal and natural areas that harbor threatened ecosystems.


  • Blue Economy: Where are we now? Where are we headed?

    The Changwon Declaration 2012 provides the definition of blue economy. The blue economy, as discussed during the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2012, refers to a sustainable ocean-based economic model; one that employs environmentally-sound and innovative infrastructure, technologies and practices, including institutional and financing arrangements, for meeting the goals of: (a) sustainable and inclusive development; (b) protecting our coasts and oceans, and reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities; (c) addressing water, energy and food security; (d) protecting the health, livelihoods and welfare of the people in the coastal zone; and (e) fostering ecosystem-based climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.


  • Targeted Research and Monitoring Programs for Enhanced Management of the Seas of East and Southeast Asia

    This policy brief highlights the importance of effective monitoring in improving the management of the Seas of Southeast and East Asia, and particularly in assessing the socioeconomic impact of management programs. Moreover, the complexity of the coastal and marine issues in the region need to be contextualized in the light of the global drivers that include evolving politics, economy, science and technology, and environment.


  • Achieving Sustainable Development Targets in a Changing Climate

    Practical experience in the application of ICM in the East Asian region over the past 15 years has led to the development of a common framework for sustainable development of coastal areas. This common framework covers a system of governance as well as several issue-specific management systems critical to achieving the overall goals of sustainable development, including climate change adaptation. The ICM framework has become a very useful guide for national and local governments to promote sustainable development initiatives and programs. Key areas of competence addressed in the governance component of the framework include: Policy, strategies and action plans; Institutional arrangements; Legislation; Public awareness and information management; Sustainable financing; and Capacity development.