Bangkok, Thailand — PEMSEA participated at the 34th Pacem in Maribus (Peace in the Oceans) Conference to contribute to discussions on current marine issues and challenges relevant to the event’s theme, "International Forum on Sustainable Governance of the Ocean."
Under Theme 2 of the conference titled "Follow-up of the Outcome of Rio+20 and Implementation of UNCLOS and Related Instruments in the Southeast Asian Region," PEMSEA Acting Executive Director and Chief Technical Officer Mr. Stephen Adrian Ross shared the organization's experience in facilitating the implementation of integrated coastal management (ICM) in PEMSEA Country Partners and ICM sites. Mr. Ross also emphasized how ICM tools could help address issues in fisheries and conservation management at the local level.
Also under the same theme, East Asian Seas Partnership Council Chair Amb. Mary Seet-Cheng introduced PEMSEA and its role in ocean governance. She explained the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA) and the various approaches being undertaken to implement the regional strategy, including fisheries, integrated planning, capacity-building, beach management, coastal and ocean governance, marine protected areas management, environmental sensitivity mapping, oil spill response planning, people-centered management and engaging stakeholders and strengthening ownership.
Participants of Theme 2 discussions agreed that extensive and enhanced regional cooperation is needed to: (1) promote sustainable management of marine and coastal resources, including fisheries; (2) better prepare for major oil spills, especially transboundary spills; and (3) negotiate solutions to territorial disputes or boundary agreements in areas of overlapping maritime claims. In addition, based upon the successes of national experiences, the adoption of a bottom-up approach in ICM was highly encouraged to address these issues.
The conference, held on 4–6 September in Bangkok by the International Ocean Institute (IOI), also had major themes on climate change and ocean-related hazards, water and flood management, web-based integrated ocean geographical information system, tsunami preparedness and youth engagement on marine sustainable development.
Pacem in Maribus conferences, one of IOI's flagship activities, have played a crucial role in the formulation and promotion of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), providing a forum for addressing the challenges and interconnectedness of ocean space and understanding the threats to the world's oceans as well as the potential of marine resources to sustain humankind.