South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit

Loeng Nok Tha, Thailand

South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit

Loeng Nok Tha, Thailand

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Paterson C.J.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Pernetta J.C.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Siraraksophon S.,Kasetsart University | Kato Y.,Kagoshima University | And 8 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

Fisheries of the South China Sea, including the Gulf of Thailand, are characterised by high levels of small-scale fishing effort. Increasing fishing pressure, coupled with continued decline in the expanse and quality of coastal habitats critical to the life-cycles of most species, has raised serious concerns regarding the long-term sustainability of Southeast Asian fisheries. This paper reviews the development of a UNEP/GEF South China Sea Project initiative to address the regional need to improve the integration of fisheries and habitat management.The concept of fisheries refugia was developed as a novel approach to the identification and designation of priority areas in which to integrate fisheries and habitat management in the context of high and increasing levels of small-scale fishing pressure in the South China Sea. Specific regional, national and local actions in establishing a regional system of fisheries refugia are outlined and discussed in terms of the effectiveness of the refugia concept in overcoming barriers to integrated management. The fisheries refugia approach is shown to provide an adequate platform for building partnerships and enhancing communication between the environment and fisheries sectors.The refugia concept also appears to be a successful approach in addressing a significant barrier to the integration of fisheries and habitat management, namely the adverse reaction to the Marine Protected Area concept that is elicited from fishing communities and fisheries officers at the local and provincial levels. It is anticipated that the experiences gained from this novel approach to the use of spatial management tools in fisheries management will be suitable for scaling-up in the South China Sea and replication in other aquatic habitats. This experience is considered important because of the potential global fisheries and biodiversity conservation benefits associated with effective fisheries and habitat management at the local level. This is particularly relevant in Southeast Asia where the contribution of fisheries to food security and the maintenance and improvement of the livelihoods of coastal fishing communities is so substantial. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Pernetta J.C.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Ong J.-E.,11 D Jalan Jones | Padilla N.E.O.,Planning and Policy Studies Service | Rahim K.A.,University Putra Malaysia | Chinh N.T.,National Economics University
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

This paper outlines the process of: assembling an empirical data set relating to the values of resource 'goods and services. 11The term 'goods and services' is used in this paper to encompass all the elements normally evaluated as part of the process of determining total economic value.' derived from coastal habitats bordering the South China Sea; standardising these data as production values per hectare per annum; converting local currencies to US dollars; and converting these values to a standard year (2007) by means of the consumer price index. In order to address the problem of the wide variation in prices within one country, the data were weighted to determine a 'Weighted Mean National Value' that reflected both the prices for the same resource at each location and the 'stock' of that resource at the same locations. This results in a national value that reflects the totality of the national stock rather than being a simple arithmetic average of all values. The determination of weighted mean regional values was undertaken in a similar manner to the computation of weighted mean national values but using data and information concerning the total stock (or area) in each country and the weighted mean national values. These weighted regional mean values were subsequently used in a cost benefit analysis of actions to conserve regional coastal habitats.What has resulted from this work is a standardised method for calculating national and regional weighted mean values of resource 'goods and services' that can be applied more widely in handling and manipulating economic valuation data from multiple locations across any time span. The method can be applied in any region where multiple currencies, varying exchange rates and widespread inter-location variations in farm gate prices are found. The specific targets of the revised Strategic Action Plan for the South China Sea have been valued or, more specifically, the incremental benefit derived from achieving the SAP target has been valued. The values saved by achieving the targets are then compared with the costs of implementing the actions defined in the regional SAP through a cost benefit analysis. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Vo S.T.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Vo S.T.,Institute of Oceanography | Pernetta J.C.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Paterson C.J.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) project entitled ". Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand" developed and operated a regional network of 23 coastal habitat demonstration sites and land-based pollution pilot activities from 2002 to 2008. This network generated examples of best practice in coastal habitat and land-based pollution management that were documented, shared regionally, and used to inform the development of National Action Plans and the Strategic Action Programme for the South China Sea. Examples of these best practices include: strengthened cross-sectoral coordination and management; involvement of stakeholders in development of fisheries refugia; involvement of the private sector in coastal management; building capacity of local government and communities for law enforcement; changes in awareness and habits by local communities and industry participation in land-based pollution prevention; integration of traditional knowledge and practices into management planning; adoption of supplementary and alternative livelihoods as tools for improved habitat and resource management; promotion of sustainable tourism in coastal areas; rehabilitation of habitats and sustainable aquaculture practices; and bilateral cooperation for transboundary water resource management. Each of these best practices are reviewed and discussed from the perspectives of lessons learned and opportunities for their replication and scaling-up. The role of the network of demonstration sites in integrating local governments and communities within national and regional frameworks and in generating bilateral co-operation for natural resource and environmental management in the South China Sea marine basin is highlighted as a key innovation in transboundary water resource management that has potential for future application both in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Vo S.T.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Vo S.T.,Institute of Oceanography | Pernetta J.C.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Paterson C.J.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

The South China Sea is an area of globally significant biological diversity. The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis prepared for this marine basin identified the issue of coastal habitat degradation and loss as a key priority issue for action. The UNEP/GEF project entitled ". Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand" (SCS project) focused on these concerns through implementing a series of activities under the component on habitat degradation and loss. Important outputs of this project component were national reports on coastal habitats. This paper reviews and analyses available information from these reports and recent studies to present a review of the status and trends in coastal habitats of the South China Sea. This includes a technical summary of the best available information relating to the: distribution and extent of the dominant coastal habitats of mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass; richness of habitat building species and hotspots of biodiversity; ranking of threats and the related rates of coastal habitat degradation and loss; and the state of coastal habitat management regimes. The use of this information in developing National Action Plans for habitats and the Strategic Action Programme for the South China Sea is reviewed. It is concluded that the science-based planning fostered by the SCS project was essential in reaching multi-lateral agreement on the regional targets and priority actions for coastal habitat management in this transboundary water body. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Paterson C.J.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Pernetta J.C.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

The medium-term objective of the UNEP/GEF project entitled "Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand" was "to elaborate and agree at an intergovernmental level, the Strategic Action Programme encompassing specific targeted and costed actions for the longer-term, to address the priority issues and concerns". This paper first describes the approach taken by the riparian countries of the South China Sea marine basin to arrive at a consensus on a common baseline of information and data to establish threats and to agree on priorities for intervention in the South China Sea. Case examples from the mangrove, fisheries and land-based pollution components of the South China Sea Strategic Action Programme (SAP) are provided to demonstrate the importance of establishing a consensual information base in: refining SAP targets; planning interventions for local benefit and high transboundary impact; and in developing analytical tools to inform the prioritisation of options for intervention in a shared water body. Initial priority problems and options for intervention contained in the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and framework SAP prepared between 1996 and 1999 are compared with those contained in the SAP endorsed in 2008. It is concluded that without the development of such a consensual information base there would have been no objective way of ensuring that the selected issues and priorities for intervention in the South China Sea are of any significance from the perspectives of the countries involved, the water body itself, or of potential transboundary or global benefits. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Pernetta J.C.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Jiang Y.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

Following an allocation of limited financial support from the GEF for three demonstration projects in each of the SCS project's habitat sub-components (mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass), it was necessary to examine the range of potential demonstration sites in the region and formulate a procedure to select those sites having the highest priority for intervention.This paper describes the process developed to select priority demonstration sites in a scientifically sound and objective manner. The procedure was based on a mutually-agreed set of indicators and criteria and involved consensus building with all focal points such that all parties fully understood the procedure and accepted the outcome. The outcome of the project was originally anticipated as being nine regional priority demonstration sites, three focussing on each sub-component (i.e., mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs). Additional outcomes not envisaged during project design included: 1.Regionally prioritised listings of potential demonstration sites as follows: •26 mangrove sites;•43 coral reef sites;•26 seagrass sites; and•40 wetlands sites (15 estuaries; 12 inter-tidal mudflats; 7 coastal lagoons; and 6 swamp forest sites).2.Draft proposals for interventions in 23 sites across all habitat types;3.An inter-governmentally agreed procedure for determining regional priorities that could be used to rank sites both nationally and regionally in the future;4.A regional GIS database having a large number of sites characterised in geographical and environmental, including biological, terms;5.Application of the approach at national level in two countries to determine national priorities for intervention; and6.A procedure and process that serves as a potential model for replication elsewhere when choices between alternative sites for intervention must be made to satisfy financial limitations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Pernetta J.C.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit | Jiang Y.,South China Sea Project Coordinating Unit
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2013

The management of comprehensive and extensive, multi-lateral and multi-national programmes and projects in the field of coastal and ocean management poses numerous organisational problems encompassing co-ordination between: the actions of individual participating countries at the regional level; the national level actions of institutions from different sectors; and actions that are designed to address issues as diverse as: biological diversity conservation and sustainable use; fisheries management; maritime transport; and the control of land based pollution. Most large multi-lateral projects focus on sound scientific knowledge and information, and pay less attention to the design of a management structure that will ensure coherence and co-ordination of the interventions once the programme or project is under implementation. The project entitled "Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand" was complex since it addressed three priority areas of concern namely the loss and degradation of coastal habitats, over-exploitation of fisheries in the Gulf of Thailand, and land-based pollution. It is suggested that the success of the management framework reflects the following key design elements:. •The framework permitted and encouraged both "horizontal" (inter-country) and "vertical" (intra-country) interactions and networking between individuals at all levels of project implementation and execution;•Inclusion of a body (the Regional Scientific and Technical Committee) that served as a forum for reconciling both sectorial and national interests and priorities;•The clear separation between discussions of scientific and technical matters from discussions dealing with policy and principles at both the national and regional levels;•The framework facilitated the incorporation of sound scientific and technical advice and information into politically based decision-making;•The use of regional experts and consultants from the participating countries fostered "ownership" of the activities and outputs;•Restriction of the membership of the Project Steering Committee to government representatives only, and exclusion of observers from regional and international agencies and institutions other than UNEP; and,•The framework allowed for adaptive management and was not a rigid unchanging structure. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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