Manila, Philippines — Over 450 participants, with representatives from 72 governments, and 76 nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations and industry, participated in the Global Conference on Land-Ocean Connections (GLOC) which took place in Manila, Philippines, from 23-24 January 2012. The conference preceded the Third Intergovernmental Review (IGR-3) on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA). IGR-3 took place immediately after the GLOC, from 25-27 January 2012, also in Manila.
Participants were welcomed to the conference by Secretary Ramon Paje, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines; Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Director, Division of Environmental Policy Implementation, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); and the former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos. Mr. Joseph Alcamo, Chief Scientist, UNEP, presented UNEP's "Foresight Process to Identify Emerging Global Issues."
PEMSEA was active during the conference. Its Executive Director, Prof. Raphael P.M. Lotilla, co-chaired with Wendy Watson-Wright of UNESCO-IOC to present highlights and recommendations from the breakout sessions as well as key recommendations and issues to be addressed in the period 2012-2016 by the GPA.
In the workshop on integrated water resources management, "IWRM: forging an agenda between upstream and down-stream management – linking IWRM with the coastal zone," Mr. Adrian Ross highlighted PEMSEA's ICM approach and the "Scaling up of ICM to upland watershed areas in a number of locations in the region.
Recommendations for the session, summarized by Session chair Peter Bjørnsen, UNEP, included mandating the GPA to: facilitate integration of ecosystem-based management (EBM), ICM and IWRM; promote dialogue between IWRM and ICM communities; develop mechanisms to include marine and coastal considerations into freshwater resource management; and identify good practices and supporting capacity building for linking of upstream and coastal water management.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and PEMSEA also held a side event on "Practical Approaches for Incorporating the GPA into ICM," which outlined GEF, UNDP and World Bank support to investment projects in agriculture, coastal management and innovative municipal wastewater control measures. Presentations included: "GEF investments in the East Asian Seas," (Dr. Al Duda, GEF Secretariat); "ICM: A platform for partnerships and investments in the brown and blue agendas," (Mr. Adrian Ross, PEMSEA Resource Facility); "Restoration of water quality in Manila Bay," (Mr. Joe Tuyor, World Bank Manila); and "Community-based water use and supply management and habitat restoration and management in Sihanoukville, Cambodia," (Ms. Belyn Rafael, PEMSEA Resource Facility). An open forum followed the presentations.
The Global Conference and IGR-3 concluded with the adoption of the "Manila Declaration" by 381 delegates, including 17 environmental ministers, from 65 governments and the European Commission.
For more information, visit the GLOC website.