International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand (SCS) - Results

GEF IDS: 885



Information sources
IWC6 Results Note (2011), UNEP Terminal Evaluation (2009)

Key Basin Project Results
1. Eleven permanent seagrass monitoring sites were established near Bolinao; five on Santiago Island and six in coastal baranguays on the mainland.
2. Sites in Hepu and Bolinao were established as seagrass conservation sites, sustainable use zones, and seagrass sanctuaries, giving the flora in the area time to recover from previous degradation and prevent it from future damages.
3. In Hepu, a task force composed of over 300 people removed 50,000 illegal wooden posts, 1 shelter, and 13 illegal mollusk culture areas

Results data
Restored habitat, including wetlands
Year: N/A - Value: 60 ha
INDICATOR#1 (Cleanup of degraded areas)
The Hepu Seagrass Demonstration Site mobilized a task force of over 300 people and 12 vessels which covered an area of 1,100 hectares and resulted in the removal of over 50,000 illegal wooden posts and one shelter and the cleaning of 13 illegal mollusk culture areas

INDICATOR#2 (Sustainability of seagrass sites)
At the Hepu seagrass demonstration site, 200 of the 300 available hectares of seagrass were designated as a sustainable use zone, while The local House of Representatives of Bintan adopted a spatial plan (Perda No. 14/2007) under which different zones were designated: a conservation zone for habitat protection with bans on resort and hotel construction, a buffer zone with specific regulations for each activity, and a general coastal tourism zone. A Bolinao Seagrass Sanctuary was created, covering 60 hectares of land, including a 20 ha. core zone and a 40 ha. buffer zone.

INDICATOR#3 (Designation of land for conservation)
A National Seagrass Nature Reserve was established in Hepu, and will be provided with permanent annual budget allocations to ensure financial stability. The mayor of Bolinao Municipality promulgated a series of municipal ordinances to create small scale marine protected areas and sanctuaries, including 8 for coral reefs, 8 for mangroves, and 1 for seagrass.
Reduced fishing pressure
Year: N/A - Value: [see desc]
What has resulted from the work of the Regional Working Group on Fisheries is:
• Regionally agreed ranked lists of the occurrence and transboundary significance of 58 pelagic and 29 demersal fish species, 15 cephalopods, and 18 crustaceans in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand;
• Regionally agreed list of 82 threatened and near threatened species for the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand;
• National meta-databases and GIS data relating to available information on fish stock status, fish early life history science, role of habitats as fish nursery and spawning areas, and management;
• National reports on “Fish Stocks and Habitats of Regional, Global and Transboundary Significance in the South China Sea” in both English and national languages;
• National and local language awareness programmes and materials on responsible fishing practices and the role of habitats in sustaining fisheries;
• Criteria for defining fisheries refugia;
• Intergovernmentally approved guidelines for the establishment of fisheries refugia that constitute part of the ASEAN SEAFDEC Regional Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries in Southeast Asia;
21 of 169
Terminal Report of the UNEP/GEF South China Sea Project
• Identification and characterisation of 52 known spawning and nursery areas of which 14 are currently under development as the initial set of refugia and a further 9 that have been accorded high priority for development as refugia once the initial set have been approved;
• Regional training packages on fish early life history science and fisheries refugia management, and a regional network of larval fish scientists;
• A set of 21 regionally agreed resource and institutional indicators for use in assessing the effectiveness of fisheries habitat management measures in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand;
• An online Fisheries Refugia Information Portal ( for which management responsibility has been transferred to the SEAFDEC Secretariat; and
• Costed regional and national plans for the operation of the regional system of fisheries from 2009-2013, and a GEF project proposal for funding to support the revised fisheries component of the Strategic Action Programme for the South China Sea.
National/Local reforms
Year: N/A - Value: YES
INDICATOR#2 (Addressing land-based pollution)
The main outputs which dealt with counteracting land pollution included creating seven (7) national reports on land based pollution in the participating countries, six (6) National Action Programs for addressing the issues of land-based pollution, an overview of land-based pollution problems in the South China Sea, a model for riverine inputs of nutrients that can be used in management decision making, and the identification of areas sensitive to inputs of nutrients from rivers bordering the South China Sea.
Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis: Agreement on transboundary priorities and root causes
Year: N/A - Value: YES
Development of Strategic Action Program (SAP)
Year: N/A - Value: YES