Blue economy bulletin: the Blue Economy, Biofouling, our video competition, and more

Welcome to the PEMSEA Blue Economy Bulletin for June 2021. PEMSEA organized a number of online events this month, starting with an Ocean Roundtable Dialogue on World Ocean Day, with a focus on supporting collaborative actions to harness the blue economy in post-pandemic recovery plans. It was followed by a GESI conference organized by UNDP/GEF/ATSEA-2. Finally, we hosted two maritime transport related seminars with the IMO, the Regional Awareness Raising Seminar on the impact of biofouling on the marine environment in the seas of East Asia and a kickoff for an IMO/PEMSEA project supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) focused on tackling the global challenge of maritime transport emissions.

This month, we would also like to re-issue our call to all video enthusiasts to submit applications to the EAS Futures Video Competition. The deadline for submissions is on 1 September 2021.

A regional action plan was adopted by ASEAN member states and will be implementing over for the next five years to mitigate the plastic pollution issues. In Indonesia, a recycling centre was launched to reduce the plastic pollution by turning crisp bags and shampoo packets into paving bricks. Likewise, a Singapore recycling firm developed an application that assists in connecting the junk dealers with the company as well as members of the public who want recycling collected from outside their homes.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a green loan with wind power companies to build and operate three wind farms in Viet Nam, with an expectation of increasing the wind power capacity by 30%. Global Environment Facility (GEF) pledged to fund a Philippine government-led project to conserve Philippine Rise, while three new research projects on rising sea-level have been awarded with funding under National Sea Level Programme in Singapore.

Follow the latest updates on blue economy and coastal sustainable development in East Asia on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@PEMSEA). We welcome your feedback, and please let us know if there are other blue economy topics you would like to see in future newsletters and programs.

PEMSEA NEWS

REMINDER: EAS FUTURES YOUTH VIDEO COMPETITION DEADLINE EXTENDED

The EAS Futures Video Competition is running until 1 September 2021. This project aims to engage youth, providing a platform through which they can share the coastal stories of the seas of East Asia. Read more from PEMSEA.

EAST ASIAN SEAS COUNTRIES SHARE BLUE-GREEN ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLANS POST COVID-19

On 8 June 2021, PEMSEA organized a virtual Ocean Roundtable Dialogue to coincide with World Ocean Day, aimed at supporting collaborative actions to harness the blue economy in post-pandemic recovery plans. Called “Towards a Blue Economy Pathway for the East Asian Seas,” the event was the first in a series of Collabs (technical workshops) and served as the international launch of the upcoming East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2021, happening on 1-2 December 2021. Read more from PEMSEA.

Biofouling Management and Invasive Aquatic Species in the East Asian Seas

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF), International Maritime Organization (IMO), and PEMSEA jointly conducted a virtual regional seminar on “Biofouling Management and Invasive Aquatic Species in the East Asian Seas.” The seminar, which took place on 23 June 2021, sought to catalyze government action, industry innovation and capacity building to reduce the transfer of Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) from international shipping and other marine sectors using a holistic approach. Read more from PEMSEA.

PEMSEA HOSTS KICKOFF FOR “BLUE SOLUTIONS” MARITIME EMISSIONS PROJECT

On 28 June 2021, PEMSEA hosted a Regional Kickoff meeting to introduce the Blue Solutions project developed by IMO and PEMSEA to the participating countries and other relevant stakeholders, which will bring together various countries in the East Asian region to work on pilot projects aimed at reducing the environmental impact of their ships-port system. Read more from PEMSEA.

Job opening: National Project Preparation Coordinators for the Reducing Maritime Transport Emissions in East and Southeast Asian Countries Project

The National Project Preparation Coordinator will work closely with IMO and PEMSEA to finalize and build consensus on the identification and selection of a priority port for the demonstration project, the design of the national pilot demonstration project, the management and implementing arrangements for the demonstration project, and the endorsement of the full-sized regional project proposal by the responsible national authority. The deadline for applications is 5 July. Read more from PEMSEA.

A virtual Ocean Roundtable Dialogue was held on World Ocean Day, 8 June 2021. (PEMSEA)

BLUE ECONOMY & INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT

SYSTEMATIC EVIDENCE MAP ON THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN MARINE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT AND THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF COASTAL COMMUNITIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

The first updatable and comprehensive systematic evidence map was launched by GCRF Blue Communities, integrating all known research on the interactions between marine conservation management and the health and well-being of coastal communities in Southeast Asia. Read more from Blue Communities.

ADB, CHINA EVERBRIGHT ENVIRONMENT FORM STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR OCEAN HEALTH IN ASIA

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and China Everbright Environment Group Limited (CEEGL) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on efforts to stimulate the circular economy and protect ocean health in Asia, including the joint promotion of the development of enhanced solid waste management systems in Asia. Read more from ADB.

CONSERVING OCEANS IN THE EASTERN SEAS OF AN INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO

Indonesia’s oceans are experiencing several threats and challenges, such as overfishing and marine pollution, while mangroves and fisheries significantly contributed to the environmental and economic sectors in Indonesia. Several approaches are introduced to conserve the oceans, including specific fisheries restrictions and the use of traditional woven bags made of wood fibre or leaves. Read more from the World Bank.

‘MANGROVES ARE LIFE’: THE FEMALE CONSERVATIONISTS REWILDING THE CAMBODIAN COAST

Mangrove forests shrunk by 62% in the last 30 years in Kampot and Kep provinces, resulting in the damage to crops and infrastructure caused by storm surges. A campaign was launched to train affected Cambodian women to take up climate-adaptive livelihoods. Read more from The Cambodia Daily.

Mangrove forest in Koh Kong, Cambodia. (Cristina Bejarano / Flickr)

POLICY & GOVERNANCE

ASEAN MEMBER STATES ADOPT REGIONAL ACTION PLAN TO TACKLE PLASTIC POLLUTION

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021 – 2025), which highlights opportunities for Member States to stimulate, collaborate and apply long-term solutions relating to plastics usage and plastic management as well as provides a scalable, solution-focused joint strategy to address marine plastic debris across the region. Read more from the World Bank.

INDONESIA, FRANCE COOPERATE IN BUILDING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY FISHING PORTS

Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) and French Development Agency (AFD) have developed a collaborative project in establishing environmentally friendly fishing ports in the country for the enhancement of coastal peoples’ livelihood resilience and sustainable biodiversity. Read more from VietnamPlus.

Fishermen unloading buckets of fish from their boats in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. (ADB / Flickr)

SCIENCE & ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

MARINE DOLPHIN SANCTUARY TO BE SET UP ALONG COASTLINE

To preserve marine dolphins and their habitats around islands off the coast of Cambodia, the Marine Dolphins Safety Sanctuary will be established in the waters of Kep, Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces by the Ministry of Agriculture. The establishment of the sanctuary will potentially attract the local and foreign tourists, which will have an opportunity to enhance ecotourism. Read more from The Khmer Times.

INDONESIAN WOMEN TAKE ON PLASTIC WASTE BRICK BY BRICK

Two Indonesian women launched a recycling centre in South Jakarta, Indonesia to reduce the plastic pollution by turning crisp bags and shampoo packets into paving bricks. The company has so far produced more than 100,000 bricks while preventing about 88,000 pieces of plastic sachets from littering the environment on a daily basis. Read more from The Strait Times.

CAN OLD TRADITIONS AND TECH HELP SINGAPORE REACH ZERO WASTE?

The global pandemic resulted in the country’s overall recycling rate, for homes and businesses combined, a decline to 52% in 2020 compared to 59% the previous year. The contribution of local junk dealers in the city-state’s recycling network is well acknowledged, while the current collection methods can be further improved by cooperating with the private sector in Singapore to manage the island’s rubbish collection, waste disposal and recycling service. For instance, an application called “ezi” that helps to connect the junk dealers with the company during their working day, as well as members of the public who want recycling collected from outside their homes. Read more from BBC.

Marine Dolphins Safety Sanctuary will be launched in Cambodia at the end of this year. (Mark Lee / Flickr)

INDUSTRY & TECHNOLOGY

PHILIPPINES, INDIA EYE $12-B SEAWEED MARKET

By exchanging resources, technology, and know-how which would be extremely beneficial to both countries, the Philippines and India are seeking a $12 billion global market for seaweeds through business and technical cooperation, with the hope of jointly increasing production of this commodity and its processed form, carrageenan. Read more from Manila Times.

CHINA’S LARGEST OFFSHORE SALMON FARM MAKES FIRST LARGE-SCALE HARVEST 

China’s largest offshore salmon farm “Deep Blue 1” has successfully implemented the first large-scale fish harvest 30 meters below the surface of the water, since the implementation of the pilot area project. With more than 150,000 salmon in the cage, this also marks the first large-scale breeding of high-value fish in China. Read more from Undercurrent News.

INDONESIA EXPECTS TO BECOME KEY PLAYER IN GLOBAL SHRIMP MARKET

Indonesia was the fifth-largest shrimp exporter worldwide in 2019 but it expects to emerge as a key player in the global shrimp market. The government is supporting the sector through the revitalisation of aquaculture ponds. Read more from VietnamPlus.

Among the world’s top biggest exporters, the Philippines is a well-known and leading producer of carrageenan. (yevaldezliu / iNaturalist)

SUSTAINABLE FINANCING & INVESTMENT

ADB SIGNS GREEN LOAN TO DEVELOP 144 MW WIND FARMS IN VIET NAM

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $116 million green loan with three Viet Nam wind power companies to build and operate three 48-megawatt (MW) wind farms, with a total of 144 MW, in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam. By implementing this project, Viet Nam’s wind power capacity will be increased by 30%, assisting the country meet the rapidly growing demand for energy. Read more from ADB.

$3.8M IN FUNDING FOR THREE PROJECTS TO BOOST SINGAPORE’S DEFENCES AGAINST RISING TIDES

Three new research projects, aiming to study the rising sea-level, have been granted with a funding of $3.8 million under the National Sea Level Programme, with the expectation to offer strategic insights and enhance the preparation against the rising sea levels. Read more from The Strait Times.

DENR SECURES GEF FUND FOR CONSERVATION OF PHILIPPINE RISE

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Conservation International are currently in the preparation of the proposed five-year project, entitled “Philippine Rise Integrated Conservation for Enduring Legacies through Ecosystem Support Services (PRICELESS)”. The project will receive a budget of US$4 million from Global Environment Facility (GEF), to conserve Philippine Rise, which is a 25-million hectare shallow continental shelf east of the main island of Luzon. Read more from Manila Bulletin.

Wind farm in Viet Nam. (Paro Nguyen / Flickr)

EVENTS

INMEX VIETNAM 2021

30 June – 2 July, Vung Tau

GCRF BLUE COMMUNITIES 4TH ANNUAL PROGRESS MEETING

21-22 July, Online

IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS

3-11 September, Marseilles

13TH EMECS CONFERENCE (EMECS13-ECSA58 JOINT CONFERENCE)

6-9 September, Online

LONDON INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING WEEK

13-17 September, London

SEA ASIA

21-23 September, Online