E-Update for March 2019

Welcome to the March PEMSEA e-update. This month has seen a number of tools released to aid with coastal and ocean management, some by PEMSEA partners and some by others. Find them below, alongside a selection of the latest news regarding our shared seas. We hope you join PEMSEA as we participate in Earth Hour this Saturday. In between newsletters, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.


Coastal risk and vulnerability: 3 non-specialist tools to assess integrity, fisheries, and climate change

Three tools developed specifically to aid with coastal management were shared and tested with practitioners from different countries at a training session in PEMSEA. The tools discussed focus on different aspects of coastal management, and can be used individually or in conjunction with each other. They are useful for assessing current and future threats, as well as providing insights on potential implications of human activities.

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Leadership and leader development: sustaining the engagement of change agents through ICM

The skills and competencies of leaders involved in integrated coastal management (ICM) is an often overlooked aspect in the success of ICM projects. Different case studies from PEMSEA’s past provide insight into how leadership can be harnessed and nurtured in a way that supports ICM goals.

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World Wildlife Day 2019: concerted actions for marine wildlife

2019’s World Wildlife Day highlighted the value of marine wildlife to everyday life through the theme, “Life below water: for people and planet”. The East Asian Seas (EAS) Region, a global center of marine biodiversity and endemism, hosts 35% of the world’s mangroves, 33% of the world’s seagrass beds, and 33% of the world’s coral reefs. These areas support large ecosystems that provide a wide array of ecosystem services. Two case studies from PEMSEA sites, one from Chonburi, Thailand, and the other from Sukabumi Regency, Indonesia, demonstrate how conserving local wildlife can benefit coastal communities.

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Circulate Capital publishes a first-of-its-kind investment guide to help solve the ocean plastic crisis

During The Economist World Ocean Summit, PEMSEA partner Circulate Capital released “Investing to Reduce Plastic Pollution in South and Southeast Asia:  a handbook for action”. This handbook is a first-of-its-kind guide to investment opportunities in municipal waste management and recycling infrastructure sectors, the two sectors in the region identified as having the most solutions ready to scale.

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From the News section

Three updated online tools to support protected area decision-making
Biodiversity-related decision making is becoming increasingly aided by decision-support tools. The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA), the BIOPAMA Reference Information System (BIOPAMA RIS), and the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) can all be accessed online to aid in different aspects of biodiversity management.

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Indonesia wins $2.52 million settlement for coral damage by foreign ships
The Indonesia Government has reached a settlement agreement with the operators of two foreign-flagged vessels which damaged over 18,000 square meters of coral in the Bangka-Belitung archipelago in 2017. From the $2.52 million that will be paid to the Indonesian Government, one third will go towards restoring the reefs.

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Fishermen help restore corals in Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area, Viet Nam
The Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area (MPA) is of vital importance to local communities, supporting local fishing and eco-tourism. Unsustainable fishing has damaged parts of the area, but the local government is now working with a small group of fishermen to rehabilitate the reefs and develop sustainable management practices.

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Climate change

Global carbon emissions hit record high in 2018
Due in large part to rising energy demands, 2018 saw a large increase in carbon emissions. Increased coal use means energy-related CO2 emissions rose 1.7% compared to 2017. India, the United States, and China made accounted for most of the rise. However, emissions in Europe and Japan decreased compared to previous years.

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Ocean heat waves are threatening marine life
The oceans are estimated to have absorbed over 90% of the heat produced by climate change. This has had a huge impact on the oceans, with baseline temperatures rising, and the frequency of marine heatwaves increasing by 34% from 1925 and lasting 17% longer. This threatens not only wildlife, but commercial aquaculture and coastal communities.

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Marine pollution

Where Will Your Plastic Trash Go Now That China Doesn’t Want It?
The global recycling industry, once heavily dependent on recycling plants in China, faced severe disruption when China banned most waste imports at the start of 2018. While waste exports to Southeast Asia have increased, they have been unable meet the demand, and are also beginning to restrict imports, leading to waste stockpiling in developed countries.

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World entangled in plastic waste catastrophe
Plastic waste is causing enormous damage to the environment and to food chains, and its use is increasing. More plastic has been used since the year 2000 than all the years prior. 300 million tonnes of plastic are now produced each year.

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Ocean governance

Fisheries governance in the areas beyond national jurisdiction – the essential role of incentives
Fisheries in international waters face complicated governance challenges. The Common Oceans ABNJ Program’s Global Think Tank, together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), have produced a publication examining the role incentive-based approaches may play in managing these fisheries, considering a mixture of push and pull incentives.

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New toolkit helps development practitioners integrate gender into sustainable coastal resource management
Mangroves for the Future (MFF), the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) have collaborated to release a gender analysis toolkit (GAT). This toolkit will help coastal and fisheries management practitioners identify gender gaps and develop integrative solutoins through an interative process.

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Blue economy

How the world’s biggest shipping company plans to cut emissions
Maersk, which operates around a fifth of global cargo ships, aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. This March they began testing a new biofuel blend, where 20% of the fuel is produced from plant waste. While this may significantly reduce carbon emissions, Maersk notes that it is a short-term solution, as they aim to completely eliminate emissions.

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Aquaculture doesn’t reduce pressure on wild fish
While aquaculture is often touted as a solution to overfishing, new research indicates that it has little affect on wild catches, and instead may even increase the overall demand for seafood. Many aquaculture companies do aim to make their farms more sustainable, but many problems emerge from their economic models, which is more difficult to address.

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12th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum

8-12 April, Iloilo City, Philippines

4th Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network International Workshop

14-17 April, Hangzhou, China

8th World Climate Congress

10-11 May, Bangkok, Thailand

UNESCO International Water Conference

13-14 May, Paris, France

4th International Conference on Coastal Zones and Ocean Science

15-16 May, Tokyo, Japan

Seaweb Seafood Summit

10-14 June, Bangkok, Thailand

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