Coastal Management Program for East Asia’s Marine Resources

Coastal Management Program for East Asia’s Marine Resources

Volunteers plant mangrove in a coastal area in Cambodia (Photo courtesy of the Global Environment Facility)

Volunteers plant mangrove in a coastal area in Cambodia (Photo courtesy of the Global Environment Facility)

Countries in East Asia are expected to continue implementing an Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) program to protect the region’s marine resources.

One of the goals of the program, which is part of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), is to put 20% of each country’s coast under an ICM strategy by 2015.

The PEMSEA also seeks to spur cooperation among 12 coastal countries to build the confidence of local government in the use of ICM as an effective management tool.

The region covered by the East Asian seas is comprised of six Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), including the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea, the Sulu-Celebes Sea, the Indonesian Sea, and the Gulf of Thailand.

The region is considered a world center for tropical marine biodiversity, supporting 30% of the world’s coral reefs and mangroves. In the last 30 years, 11% of the region’s coral reefs have collapsed, while 48% are now in critical condition.

Mangroves have lost 70% of their cover in the last 70 years and, if the current rate of loss continues, all mangroves will be lost by 2030.

With the coasts of East Asia being so critically important for food, livelihoods, and economic development for 1.5 billion people, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is currently supporting a series of projects with PEMSEA focused on ICM at local sites to complement its larger-scale interventions among nations sharing LMEs like the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea.

The PEMSEA program was designed to enable the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources through intergovernmental, interagency, and intersectoral partnerships

Emphasis is placed on the demonstration of actual management actions on the ground in areas near ports and built-up areas at the scale of a city or province.

Local reforms were enacted at each of the sites, and the ICM framework has helped local governments identify risks and areas vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal storms.

The PEMSEA program is being supported by the GEF through the nongovernment organization’s water resources initiative. The program is included in the GEF publication “From Ridge to Reef” detailing water resources management programs across the globe.

(Story and photo courtesy of GEF)


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