GEF EXPO 2012 Yeosu, Korea Exhibit Features East Asian Regional Partnerships to Protect and Enhance the Seas of East Asia
Global Environment Facility highlights its longstanding commitment to oceans as contributor to environmental, economic health
YEOSU, Republic of Korea, May 11, 2012 – The health of the world’s oceans directly supports economic as well as environmental well-being and depends upon the active support of nations and international institutions to thrive. That was the message of an exhibition formally unveiled today by The Global Environment Facility (GEF) on the opening day of Korea’s EXPO 2012 World’s Fair.
The exposition, expected to attract some 10 million visitors, opened under the banner, “The Living Ocean and Coast.” While many participating organizations are presenting exhibitions on ocean themes, the GEF, as the world’s largest public funder of projects to benefit the global environment, plays a unique role in organizing, coordinating and funding projects to improve the world’s oceans.
The GEF launched its regional oceans program in Asia in 1994 as part of its international waters focal area. The effort has been being implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and is now transitioning into a program run by an East Asian regional organization under an international legal structure. The program is the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), adopted by fourteen countries from Northeast and Southeast Asia: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.
"Since its inception twenty years ago, the Global Environment Facility has made the health of the world's oceans one of its critical environmental focal areas. The environmental community fully understands the vital role that oceans play not only in sustaining the planet but also their critical contribution to economies around the world," said Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility. "I would like to congratulate the Republic of Korea for organizing and hosting this crucial EXPO 2012 in Yeosu, Korea. At the GEF exhibit, visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about our contribution to oceans, including projects such as PEMSEA, of which Korea is both a contributor and a beneficiary, Projects on port safety, health and environmental management systems, on oil spill contingency plans have received critical cofinancing from the Republic of Korea. The GEF is proud to be working with its country partners, UNDP and PEMSEA to foster the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia."
The GEF’s EXPO 2012 exhibition has been jointly organized by the GEF and PEMSEA, the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia, a GEF-funded regional program to foster ocean and coastal governance in the East Asian region. The joint GEF/PEMSEA Pavilion theme of “Our Ocean, Our Life, Our Future,” encompasses a broad range of GEF activities including international waters, fisheries, coastal areas, marine biodiversity, climate change, and the interconnections between land degradation, the coast and oceans.
In addition, the pavilion also features GloBallast, a joint project of the GEF, UNDP and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). – which is one of the most effective initiatives to fight one of the most significant threats to the world's oceans: Invasive aquatic species carried in the ballast tanks of ships that can invade new waters and cause extremely severe environmental, economic and public health impacts. The GEF/UNDP/IMO Global Ballast Water Management Programme (GloBallast) is assisting developing countries to reduce the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ship ballast water, implement the IMO Ballast Water Guidelines and prepare for the new IMO Ballast Water Convention.
*The Yeosu Declaration will be adopted at the Yeosu Declaration Forum on the closing day of the Expo prior to the Closing Ceremony. The Forum will be attended by guests including the Secretary-General of the UN and Commissioners of Section, as well as the general public.
There is a promotional stand inside the Expo site near the entrance of the Expo Hall to collect signatures in support of the Declaration, which can also be done through the website. http://www.dip.kr/yeosu/index.html
About the GEF
The GEF unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
Since 1991, the GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $10.5 billion in grants and leveraging $51 billion in co-financing for over 2,700 projects in over 165 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 14,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $634 million. For more information, visit www.thegef.org.
Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)
PEMSEA is an international organization specializing in integrated coastal and ocean governance for the Seas of East Asia. It is a partnership arrangement comprised of 11 Country Partners and 19 Non-Country Partners with a collective commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA). The SDS-SEA represents a consensus among Partners on the shared vision, mission, objectives and action programs of PEMSEA for sustainable development of the Seas of East Asia.
The PEMSEA Regional Program is an innovative effort to integrate local, national, sub-regional and regional initiatives to rehabilitate and sustain coastal and marine ecosystem services and reduce the impacts of climate variation, change and extremes on people, economic activities and natural resources. Through development and implementation of integrated coastal management (ICM), PEMSEA assists national and local governments of the region to address key challenges to sustainable development, including habitat degradation and destruction, natural and man-made hazards, water use and supply management, food security and pollution reduction and waste management.
The 19 PEMSEA Non-Country Partners include organizations from Korea such as the Korea Environment Institute (KEI); Korea Maritime Institute (KMI); and the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI). The other Partners are:the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity; Coastal Management Center (CMC); Conservation International (CI) Philippines; International Environmental Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas Center (EMECS); International Ocean Institute (IOI); IOC Subcommission for the Western Pacific (IOC/WESTPAC); International Union for Conservation of Nature - Asia Regional Office (IUCN-ARO); Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP); Ocean Policy and Research Foundation (OPRF); Oil Spill Response Limited; Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML); PEMSEA Network of Local Governments for Sustainable Coastal Development; Swedish Environmental Secretariat for Asia (SENSA); UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP); UNEP Global Programme of Action (UNEP/GPA); and UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea LME Project (YSLME).
PEMSEA’s Key Activities and Targets for 2012
East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2012
Changwon City, Republic of Korea
9-13 July 2012
The East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress is the triennial coasts and oceans event of the East Asian Seas region. It serves as a platform for knowledge sharing, partnership building and collaborative planning in support of a common vision of sustainable development of the Seas of East Asia.
The EAS Congress 2012 will be the fourth EAS Congress. Carrying the theme, “Building a Blue Economy: Strategy, Opportunities, and Partnerships in the Seas of East Asia,” the EAS Congress 2012 will provide participants with the prospect of identifying contributions, progress and achievements in the governance of regional/subregional seas within the framework of the SDS-SEA, which are the essential building blocks for a blue economy.
The EAS Congress 2012 will feature an International Conference, the Fourth Ministerial Forum, the Third EAS Youth Forum, Exhibition, and Field Visits.
Mr. John Diamond
Senior Communication Officer | Spokesperson
Phone +1 202 458 7953
About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) unites 182 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independently operating financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing $10 billion in grants and leveraging $47 billion in co-financing for over 2,800 projects in over 168 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has also made more than 13,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based organizations, totaling $634 million. For more information, visit www.thegef.org.