Nations Bind for Better Ocean Protection

Jul 17, 2017

New Phase of Yellow Sea Large Marine System Protection Project Launched

A new phase of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Yellow Sea Large Marine System (YSLMS) protection project was launched on July 13, 2017, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Possessing large populations of fish, birds, mammals and invertebrates, the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) has an estimated 2 million shore birds using this region during their migration to the north along the East-Asian-Australasian Flyway. Nevertheless, it faces environmental concerns including pollution and contaminants from the discharged agricultural, industrial and domestic wastes, over-fishing, degradation and loss of costal habitat and the impact from climate change.

To address and mitigate the above mentioned concerns, the project “Implementing the Strategic Action Programme for the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem: Restoring Ecosystem Goods and Services and Consolidation of a Long-Term Regional Environmental Governance Framework” was put in place with the efforts from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), GEF and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), ensues the first phase project.

The first phase project of the YSMNL established a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) that supports the regional cooperation for the sustainable use of the YSLME put in place by the PR China and the RO Korea.

Built upon the results of the first phase project, this project aims to foster a long-term sustainable institutional, policy, and financial arrangements for effective ecosystem-based management of the Yellow Sea (YS), As such, the project will help establish a YSLME Commission that will oversee the implementation of the SAP, support the states' efforts to reduce the decline in biological resources and to restore depleted fish stocks in the Yellow Sea.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Yangsoo KIM, Deputy Minister of MOF of RO Korea commended that the YSLME Project can be a collaborative framework consistent with the vision of MOF to create a new ocean and RO Korea has promised a full support to implement the second phase of the Project.

“The first phase of the YSLME project has been recognized globally as a model for regional cooperation in an area that is important for marine biodiversity, ecosystem services, navigation and other uses”, said UNDP Regional Technical Adviser Dr. Jose Padilla in his opening remarks. “Regional cooperation, partnership beyond governments, supportive governance mechanisms and action on the ground are key to the success of the second phase of the project”, he added.

Head of Chinese Delegation Mr. Liang Fengkui highlighted that YSLME’s conservation and sustainable use cannot be successful without the wide participation of other coastal countries and international organizations. In particular, he expressed his sincere appreciation to the scientists of both countries who have contributed remarkably to the project.

Mr. Sei-joong KWON, Deputy Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RO Korea, extended his appreciation to the collective efforts of the YSLME community in launching the second phase of the Project. He reminded that mutual understanding is the beginning of achieving harmony among YSLME stakeholders and sustaining the cooperation in applying ecosystem-based management of Yellow Sea.

Mr. Dong Am CHO, Vice Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City that hosts the Secretariat of the Interim YSLME Commission and Project Management Office, expected the second phase of the YSLME Project to play a pivotal role in facilitating cooperation among YSLME countries through marine environmental collaboration.

Following the Inception Ceremony, the Interim YSLME Commission Council established the Interim YSLME Commission and its Subsidiary Bodies, approved among others the Project Inception Report, workplan for 2017 and the guidelines for strengthening Yellow Sea Partnerships.

Hosted by Ministry Oceans and Fisheries of Republic of Korea (MOF/ROK), the Inception Ceremony was participated representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RO Korea, State Oceanic Administration (SOA) and Fisheries Bureau of Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China, Incheon Metropolitan City of RO Korea, provincial governments of Shandong and Jiangsu, UNDP, UNOPS, NOWPAP, PEMSEA, ENEA/UNESCAP, UNDP Seoul Policy Center, and Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM).Academic institutions and NGOs from RO Korea and PR China also attended the ceremony.

Contact information

Mr. Yinfeng GUO, Chief Technical Adviser and Project Manager by email, or telephone +82 (0)70 4161-2241. 

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