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IMPLEMENTING THE STRATEGIC ACTION PROGRAMME FOR THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND GULF OF THAILAND

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About the South China Sea

Ocean and Coastal Management on the South China Sea

SCS Strategic Action Programme

SCS Strategic Action Programme

SCS Fisheries Refugia Initiative

The UNEP GEF Implementing the Strategic Action Programme for the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand (SCS SAP) Project held its first Inception Phase online meeting on Thursday 30th July 2020, with forty-five (45) participants from national lead agencies from Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam as well as implementing and executing agencies, UNEP, UNOPS, SEAFDEC, and the Inception Phase consultants. China was unable to participate due to technical issues, which will be resolved for future meetings.

The objective of the meeting was to provide an update on the current status of the project and recent challenges due to COVID-19 and other executing and staffing changes, as well as present and discuss the next steps in the Inception Phase. This will prioritize the full engagement and exchange on the most efficient and effective steps to implement the SCS SAP project, considering new national, regional, and global priorities since the adoption of the Strategic Action Program (SAP) in 2008, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The meeting was the first of several meetings planned over the next months with bilateral discussions in between to: (1) ensure national teams of focal points are updated, and overall roles of national working groups are discussed; (2) discuss any comments, challenges and recommendations to strengthen activities in line with new priorities; and (3) agree on the next steps for the further elaboration of national activities in preparation of the 1st Steering Committee/Inception Meeting of the SCS SAP project.

Participating countries expressed their continued commitment to the SAP implementation and the need to re-nominate focal points for the National Interministerial Committees and National Technical Working Groups, so as to update baseline information to include relevant national initiatives and priorities and further define national activities. It was agreed that each participating country would begin national consultations for the further development of their national implementation reports which will be discussed and agreed during the 1st Steering Committee/Inception Meeting planned for the end of 2020.

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