Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) held the 13th East Asian Seas (EAS) Partnership Council Meeting virtually through a Zoom video conference call on 28-29 July 2021. Representatives from 10 PEMSEA Country Partners, namely: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Philippines, RO Korea, Singapore, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam attended the PC Meeting. Also in attendance were representatives from PEMSEA Non-Country Partners such as the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB); International Environmental Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas Center (EMECS); Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM); Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP); Ocean Policy Research Institute – The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF); Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL); and the PEMSEA Network of Local Governments for Sustainable Coastal Development (PNLG). Representatives from the PEMSEA Network of Learning Centers (PNLC), China PEMSEA Center (CPC) and Provincial Administration of Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia participated as guests and observers. The PEMSEA Resource Facility (PRF) served as the Secretariat for the meeting.
Key issues discussed in the EAS Partnership Council include:
- the results and recommendations of the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the 2018-2022 Implementation Plan (IP) of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA); the proposed framework for the PEMSEA Roadmap to 2030; and focus areas and process for developing the SDS-SEA IP 2023-2027. The discussion on the PEMSEA Roadmap to 2030 examined the relevance and timeliness of the proposed priority activities, such as: biodiversity conservation, climate change resilience and pollution reduction, ocean governance, blue economy, capacity building and knowledge management and others, taking into consideration the regional or country-specific/non-country partner-specific context; priorities, goals, targets, and perceived challenges in implementing the priority activities;
- the steps to develop the PEMSEA Network of Local Government (PNLG)’s Strategic Action Plan for 2022- 2030 which will serve as the strategic framework of the work of the network of LGUs.
- the draft PEMSEA Network Learning Center (PNLC) Charter which when approved, will formally establish the network of learning centers that provide training and capacity development services to local governments and national agencies in the region on integrated management approaches; and the PEMSEA Training and Capacity Development Plan 2021-2025 was also introduced.
- updates on the program and preparations for the EAS Congress 2021 were also presented. More details of which can be found on https://eascongress2021.pemsea.org/
- the first draft of the 7th EAS Ministerial Declaration which when finalized will serve as an important political document for the region to promote the advancement of initiatives in relation to SDS-SEA through the endorsement of the PEMSEA Roadmap to 2030 that aligns with the global call for sustainable ocean development, particularly in supporting blue/green recovery measures to build back better from the impacts of the global pandemic and other persistent and emerging coastal and marine related issues.
- updates on the quantitative and qualitative impacts of COVID-19 on the operations and finances of the PRF with measures to ensure effective delivery of the shared SDS-SEA Implementation Plan 2018-2022.
The final proceedings of the 13th EAS Partnership Council Meeting will be shared in the second week of August 2021.