Philippines, East Asian Region Prepare Declaration on ICM and Climate Change
 
The East Asian Seas Region Ministerial Forum, to be held in Manila on 26-27 November 2009 as part of East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2009 and to be hosted by Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza Jr., will be addressing climate change adaptation through integrated coastal management.

The East Asian Seas region is recognized as being highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Like the Philippines, other countries of the region are beginning to see and feel the impacts of climate change, such as an increase in the frequency and intensity of tropical storms, resulting in flooding, destruction of property, and loss of lives.

There is an urgent need for countries to systematically adapt to, what appears to be, the inevitable scenarios of rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Reports refers to ICM as the most appropriate process to deal with climate change, sea level rise and other current and long-term coastal challenges. Executive Order 533 adopts ICM as a national strategy to ensure sustainable development of the country’s coastal and marine environment and resources. Several other countries in the region have adopted similar policies and legislation.

The Ministerial Forum will discuss how ICM can be systematically applied in addressing adaptation to climate change. They will also discuss the formulation of a policy and endorsing a regional action agenda for scaling up ICM programs as an on-the-ground approach to climate change adaptation, particularly among local governments of the region.

The Ministerial Forum is being hosted by the Government of the Philippines, and co-organized by the DENR and PEMSEA.

The high-level gathering will immediately follow the International Conference of the EAS Congress 2009, which is being convened under the theme of "Partnerships at Work: Local Implementation and Good Practices", 23-26 November.

For more information on the EAS Congress, contact the Secretariat at congress@pemsea.org or eascongress@gmail.com or visit www.pemsea.org/eascongress.

Conservation International joins the EAS Congress as a co-convenor of the workshop "Addressing Transboundary Issues through Regional/Subregional Seas Cooperation: Initiatives in East Asia," together with Coordinating Body for the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) and UNDP Bangkok.