UNDP an Important Partner in Protecting the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem

Aug 19, 2016

USPC Director speaks at the 2016 Korea-China International Marine Environment Roundtable

Dr. Balazs Horvath, USPC Director, delivered the opening remarks at the 2016 Korea-China International Marine Environment Roundtableheld at Korea University on 19 August 2016. Other speakers included the Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature in the Republic of Korea, Mr. Alasdair Forman, the Associate Dean of Korea University’s Division of International Studies, Professor Suh-Yong Chung, and researcher Mr. Yihang Jiang.

Dr. Horvath highlighted that over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing30% of the world’s fish stocks overexploited, well below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields. Marine pollution, an overwhelming majority of which comes from land-based sources, is reaching alarming levels, with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter to be found on every square kilometer of ocean.

Referring to the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) Project, the USPC Director noted that UNDP is one of the key development partners in protecting the YSLME. The environmental issues confronting the YSLME are transboundary and require regional cooperation which is in line with the governance thrust of UNDP. UNDP was the implementing agency of choice by the littoral (coastal) countries during the first phase of the GEF-supported project and continues to be the implementing agency for the second phase that is ongoing.

He also highlighted the importance of regional cooperation— which is required to reverse the degradation of YSLME and noted the significance of integrated approaches to management; and the need for significant investments and that UNDP encourages further investments to address the serious transboundary concerns.

Referring to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentand the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Dr. Horvath noted that specifically SDG 14 and its associated targets are about life below water—but the important point about SDGs is their integrated nature and the fact that an integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.