The Policy and Program Coordinator of the SEAFDEC Secretariat, Dr. Worawit Wanchana, participated in the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Regional Capacity Building Workshop for East, South and South-East Asia on 5–8 September 2023 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat, the Workshop convened experts, managers, officers, and specialists in marine biodiversity conservation and fisheries management from the East, South, and Southeast Asian regions. The Workshop focused on the opportunities, challenges, and strategies for implementing the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF) in the regions, specifically marine and coastal biodiversity.
Participating in the Workshop was an important opportunity for SEAFDEC to discuss key issues to accelerate and enhance working areas and collaborations between fishery and biodiversity conservation agencies. Over the years, SEAFDEC has enhanced cooperation through stronger partnerships with regional fisheries organizations, Member Countries, and stakeholders in sustainable fisheries management, research, data sharing, and capacity building for improved coastal and marine fisheries resources and ecosystem health and resilience. Concurrently, SEAFDEC is actively developing and implementing programs and activities that promote sustainable fisheries practices in the Member Countries, which align with the KM-GBF and prioritize sustainable fisheries management, bycatch reduction, and safeguarding critical marine habitats. While implementing innovative technologies and methodologies for sustainable fisheries data collection, analysis, and reporting, SEAFDEC is also engaged in advocacy efforts aimed at influencing regional and national fisheries policies in harmony with marine biodiversity conservation objectives. SEAFDEC, in collaboration with partners, is expanding its capacity-building initiatives to encompass tailored training and education programs in sustainable fisheries management and marine biodiversity conservation to ensure the provision of technical assistance and knowledge-sharing platforms for fisheries professionals across the region.