On 5 March 2013, the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) committed SEK 48 million for its continued cooperation with SEAFDEC in support of fisheries and habitat management, climate change and social well-being in Southeast Asia, covering the period of five years from 2013.
The cooperation between SEAFDEC and Sida has reached a stage that allows the partners to agree in actively promoting the responsible utilization of marine and aquatic resources based on due recognition of the need to maintain environmental health and conservation of critical habitats. The geographical scope targeted in the Agreement is the ASEAN with special focus on the four important sub-regions, i.e. the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea, the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas and the Mekong River Basin.
In the implementation of this project, SEAFDEC would cooperate with key partners in the region and in the sub-regions, including ASEAN, FAO/APFIC, RPOA-IUU, MRC, BOBLME, CTI-CFF, IUCN, ICSF, UNEP, IMO and the Wetland Alliance, as well as NGO’s and others at national level, in sharing of good practices and resources in the implementation of activities. The cooperation between Sida and SEAFDEC is expected to further contribute to the sustainable fisheries development of the ASEAN Community.
Ms. Anna Maria Oltorp, Head of the Development Cooperation Section at the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok stated that “Sida is pleased to welcome the continued cooperation with SEAFDEC; and as it is framed, it is one important pillar and example of the support being provided to the implementation of the Swedish Strategy for Regional Development Cooperation focusing on Southeast Asia (September 2010 to June 2015). This is also in line with the Swedish Statement of Government Policy as made by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Bildt, who pointed out the importance that Sweden pays to the preservation of biodiversity and marine environment”.
“The SEAFDEC-Sida cooperation is playing a crucial role in helping the ASEAN countries and target sub-regions to balance aquatic resources utilization, social concerns and environmental sustainability in support of the building of the ASEAN Community by 2015. On behalf of our Member Countries and people in the region dependent on aquatic resources, we are delighted over the continued commitment from Sweden to support this important mission”, said Dr. Chumnarn Pongsri, Secretary-General of SEAFDEC.