Developing a consensual information base for identifying priorities for intervention in the South China Sea
The medium-term objective of the UNEP/GEF project entitled âReversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailandâ was âto elaborate and agree at an intergovernmental level, the Strategic Action Programme encompassing speciï¬c targeted and costed actions for the longer-term, to address the priority issues and concernsâ. This paper ï¬rst describes the approach taken by the riparian countries of the South China Sea marine basin to arrive at a consensus on a common baseline of information and data to establish threats and to agree on priorities for intervention in the South China Sea. Case examples from the mangrove, ï¬sheries and land-based pollution components of the South China Sea Strategic Action Programme (SAP) are provided to demonstrate the importance of establishing a consensual information base in: reï¬ning SAP targets; planning interventions for local beneï¬t and high transboundary impact; and in developing analytical tools to inform the prioritisation of options for intervention in a shared water body. Initial priority problems and options for intervention contained in the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and framework SAP prepared between 1996 and 1999 are compared with those contained in the SAP endorsed in 2008. It is concluded that without the development of such a consensual information base there would have been no objective way of ensuring that the selected issues and priorities for intervention in the South China Sea are of any signiï¬cance from the perspectives of the countries involved, the water body itself, or of potential transboundary or global beneï¬ts.
01 Jan 2016