The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in cooperation with Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), hosted the PEMSEA’s 29th Expanded Executive Committee (EC) Meeting at the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Training Center on November 29, 2022 synchronous via Zoom.
The meeting convened PEMSEA EC Members from East Asian countries including country members and non-country members through online and face-to-face mode. Delegates from Cambodia led by Dr. Vann Monyneath, East Asian Seas (EAS) Partnership Committee (PC) Chair, and Dr. Keita Furukawa, Technical Session Chair from Japan, participated in the meeting on-site. Atty. Jonas Leones, Council Co-Chair, participated via Zoom. Other DENR officials who likewise attended the event were Usec. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, PEMSEA National Focal Point-Philippines (NFP); Director Al Orolfo and Ms. Jeslina Gorospe of the Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service; Ms. Armida Andres, Chief of BMB’s Coastal Marine Division; and Mr. John Erick Avelino, OIC Chief of BMB’s Integrated Coastal and Marine Partnership Section.
The highlights of the meeting included the induction of the Catanduanes State University and De La Salle University-Dasmariñas of the Philippines as members of the PEMSEA Network of Learning Center (PNLC) through the signing of the PNLC charter and the finalization and approval of the 2023-2027 Implementation Plan (IP) of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), which mainstreamed the gender equality and social inclusion aligned with the new international commitments of the coastal and marine sector (CBD post-2020, Decade of Ocean Science). The Regional Strategy for Ship Biofouling Management in the EAS Region was also presented to the Technical Session for approval.
The country’s position on the SDS-SEA IP and regional biofouling management was presented by Usec. Teh, PEMSEA NFP. She pointed out that the SDS-SEA was a testament to the commitment of the participants as country and non-country partners of PEMSEA.
Teh stressed the importance of harmonizing actions of EAS countries on biofouling management through the strategy despite transboundary effects of invasive aquatic species. She acknowledged PEMSEA in its role as regional coordinating mechanism in the implementation of the SDS-SEA and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) of the Philippines in a joint action toward national government response in addressing biofouling regional issue. She said that the DENR would ensure the country’s long-term commitment in supporting the operationalization of the SDS-SEA IP 2023-2027 toward achieving a blue economy and sustainable ocean and coastal environment.
Usec. Jonas Leones, for his part, encouraged his fellow EC members and partner members of the EAS Region for a strong commitment and continued support for the PEMSEA Resource Facility (PRF). (FASPS/ Khasmer Marbella)