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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

Qinzhou City Designated as a Marine Spatial Planning Demonstration Site

Qinzhou City, a coastal city nestled in the south-central Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, was designated as a Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) demonstration site. A plaque unveiling ceremony, held in Nanning, Guangxi on 22 May 2024, witnessed the participation of representatives from various organizations, including the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific, the Ocean Bureaus of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and its Qinzhou City, China Ocean Development Foundation, as well as research institutions engaged in MSP such as the First Institute of Oceanography and the Fourth Institute of Oceanography under the Ministry of Natural Resources of China.

The establishment of MSP demonstration sites is part of concrete actions taken in the framework of the UN Ocean Decade Action: Accelerate marine spatial planning in the Western Pacific and its adjacent areas.  Spearheaded by the Sub-Commission, this initiative aims to address the needs of Member States in the region to promote and foster an ecosystem-based approach to blue economy and sustainable development.

Qinzhou City, lying on the Gulf of Tonkin, emerges as a bustling urban hub with a population of 3.3 million. Spanning over 10,897 km2 of land and 1649 km2 of sea, Qinzhou boasts an array of diverse habitats, including mangroves, intertidal flats, estuaries, and rocky shorelines, among others. These marine areas harbor rich biodiversity and play a pivotal role in driving the blue economy, contributing significantly to Qinzhou’s GDP, which stood at 42% in 2022. Notably,  aquaculture, tourism and marine transport stand as the cornerstone industries of its burgeoning blue economy.

The Government of Qinzhou City attaches great importance to marine spatial planning in Qinzhou, with a keen focus on addressing pressing issues like conflict uses, climate change adaptation, and marine ecosystem restoration.

Wenxi Zhu, Head, emphasized the essential role of MSP demonstration sites like Qinzhou in spearheading MSP practices in the region. These sites are envisioned as hubs for knowledge exchange, expertise sharing, networking and capacity building for effective marine spatial planning, ultimately paving the way for holistic and sustainable ocean governance.