Expert on Updating the Transboundary diagnostic analysis and Strategic Action Programme for the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem
UNDP/GEF is providing assistance through UNOPS to countries bordering Yellow Sea in support of their efforts to address among others the increasing trends of depleting fishery stocks, loss of coastal wetland, land and sea-based pollution and implementation of the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Strategic Action Programme (YSLME SAP) adopted in 2009 by China and RO Korea and supported by DPR Korea. One of the assistance programs to implement the SAP is the UNDP/GEF/UNOPS project entitled Implementing the Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem: Restoring Ecosystem Goods and Services and Consolidation of a Long-term Regional Environmental Governance Framework, or the UNDP/GEF YSLME Phase II Project. The project was launched in July 2017.
The objective of this regional project is to achieve adaptive ecosystem-based management of the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem bordered by China, RO Korea and DPR Korea by fostering long-term sustainable institutional, policy and financial arrangements for effective ecosystem-based management of the Yellow Sea. The YSLME SAP proposes eleven regional management targets to sustain the ECC. These targets primarily address a particular ecosystem service, with the understanding that achievement of a target will also benefit other ecosystem services. These targets are set using current scientific understanding and most are quantitatively measurable. Under ecosystem-based management, scientific monitoring is essential to assess the impact of the management actions and management must be adaptive to respond to new knowledge.
Several characteristics make the YSLME SAP unique compared to other SAPs. Firstly, the YSLME SAP employs the ecosystem-based approach rather than the traditional sector approach. Secondly, the SAP provides the concrete and measurable targets and the comprehensive management actions to achieve them. Lastly, the SAP proposes mechanisms for regional co-ordination and co-operation, including the YSLME Commission.
The Yellow Sea (YS) ecosystem and its ECC will change in the future, for better or worse. If all the pressures exerted on the ecosystem continue, the YS will degrade and its ECC will decline. However, if all the management actions proposed in this SAP are implemented and regional management targets met, the YS will improve its capacity to supply its provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services and the YS would remain a living, vital, productive and healthy sea.
At the 1st meeting of the MSTP and ICC, the meeting approved to evaluate NSAP implementation and update of NSAP 2018-2020. The 1st meeting of the RWG on Governance endorsed the terms of reference for the review of implementation of the NSAP 2009-2016. At the 2nd meeting of the MSTP and ICC, the meeting approved to implement NSAP by the two countries as a contribution to the TDA update process by taking consideration of practical need for participating countries to focus on the development of SAP 2020-2030 as a subsidiary document. In Outcome 1.1 of Component 1, “TDA and SAP revised and adopted as a subsidiary document of the MOU or joint declaration” is addressed as one of targets end of Project in 2019. Review of the NSAP implementation in PR China is completed and is ongoing in the RO Korea. It is expected that the two review reports will be consolidated into a single document to present to stakeholders in particular the two governments an overall picture of the status of implementation of the actions, achievements and the environmental status and institutional developments as contained in YSLME SAP.
Updating the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and Startegic Action Program (TDA and SAP) is integral to efforts of the project to establish the long-term regional environmental governance framework, which is the YSLME Commission. The process of TDA and SAP updates will go in parallel with the development of legal documents and trust fund to institutionalize the YSLME Commission currently supported by the Ocean Governance Specialist and the Sustainable Financing Specialist under the guidance of the Task Forces of Rules of Governance and Sustainable Financing.
The process of TDA and SAP updates will go in close consultation with six regional working groups on assessment and monitoring, habitat conservation, fish stocks, governance, pollution reduction and sustainable mariculture. The Chairs and Vice Chairs of the RWGs will also help facilitate national consultation under the respective NWGs at national level. The updated TDA and SAP will be approved by the YSLME Commission formally established through a signed political declaration. It is expected that the whole process will take about 12 months. Current project will terminate on 31 December 2019 and a second extension is anticipated in order for the SAP to be developed to serve as the mission of the YSLME Partnership.