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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

Ocean experts attempted to assess marine environment of South China Sea

50 experts on marine environment from WESTPAC, NOWPAP and COBSEA Member Countries participated in the Regional Scientific and Technical Capacity Building Workshop on the World Ocean Assessment (the Regular Process) in Bangkok, Thailand, from 17 to 19 September 2012.

The workshop aimed at assessing the conditions of the ocean’s marine ecosystems across a broad range of values of the South China Sea with focus on biodiversity, ecosystem health and pressures on Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). Conceived as pilot for a rapid regional ocean assessment this will build capacity of regional and national organizations and authorities to conduct integrated assessments coherently across the region and consistent with the spirit of the World Ocean Assessment (the Regular Process).

“This workshop is designed and organized with the view not only to strengthen and promote regional cooperation and assist in capacity building of WESTPAC, NOWPAP and COBSEA member countries to conduct the integrated marine assessments but also to contribute to the global Regular Process of the World Ocean Assessment through the provision of an initial ‘regional trial assessment’ and of a new regional methodology for multi-disciplinary marine assessments.”, said Dr. Somkiat Khokiattiwong, Chairperson of IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC).

At the workshop on September 17-18, experts analyzed the conditions of biodiversity and ecosystem health and pointed to main threats and pressure on the marine ecosystems and their social and economic values.

The summary of the workshop and its main outputs and conclusions is published.

Pursuant to paragraph 208 of UN General Assembly resolution 66/231 of 24 December 2011, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Whole met to discuss the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including Socio-economic Aspects (“the Regular Process”) at the UN Headquarters from 23 to 27 April 2012. Among others, the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole recommended that the General Assembly adopts the Outline for the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment of the Regular Process. 

The Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole further recommended that the General Assembly takes note of the need to identify capacity building in the context of the Regular Process and invited Member States, specialized U.N agencies, other relevant intergovernmental organizations as well as funding institutions to engage in activities relating to capacity building for assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects.