Achievement at a glance
The Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans have formulated the Regional Seas Strategic Directions (2017-2020). The Strategic Directions are in line with the SDGs and aim to catalyse shifts towards more integrated, ecosystem-based management pursuant to paragraph 57 of the SAMOA Pathway.
The Regional Seas Programme has also been promoting application of Blue Economy approaches in line with paragraph 25. A regional workshop on Blue Economy was organized in the Western Indian Ocean region. The Programme also produced a publication compiling six case studies of practical application of Blue Economy approaches in order to inspire future programmes and projects.
Challenges faced in implementation
Political and financial are the key for the success of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans. Challenges exist given the limited human and financial resources allocated for the Regional Seas Programme. The long-lasting cooperation of neighbouring countries in the framework of Regional Seas programmes, however, allows continuous efforts for the conservation and sustainable management of the marine and coastal ecosystems.
Based on the Regional Seas Strategic Directions, the UNEP Regional Seas Programmes will continue assisting participating countries in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those Goals and Targets that are closely related to Oceans and Seas. It is expected that the Regional Seas common core indicators set, adopted at the 17th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, will help monitoring and reporting processes.
In order to continue implementing the SAMOA Pathway, it is planned to establish an information sharing platform for the four Regional Seas programmes which are particularly relevant to SIDS with initial focus on blue economy and marine litter. This will facilitate information exchange between different regions on the thematic areas identified as priority issues.
The participating countries of this Programme.
More than 143 countries participate in the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans. By participating in the regional agreements and implementing relevant instruments such as regional action plans, the participating countries can exchange information with the other countries and can identify best practices. In addition, Regional Seas programmes exchange lessons learnt with other regions through UNEP’s coordination. This allows global knowledge exchange, connecting global processes with regional activities and vice versa.