The activities of Working Group were designed to be carried out at two phases in line with the arrangement of the first cycle of the Regular Process. The first phase of 2010-2012 was preparatory phase. The second phase, 2013-2014, will produce substantially contribution to the first cycle integrated assessment of the Regular Process, including the capacity building. At the first phase, the following activities were carried out since the Working Group was approved at the 8th Intergovernmental Session of WESTPAC.

1. Following up with the progress of the Regular Process

The Chairperson of the Working Group, also in her capacity as the member of Group of Experts, has been actively involved in the activities conducted by UN related to Regular Process. Related information was effectively delivered to member states through the Eastern and South-Eastern Asian Seas Workshop which was held under the auspices of the United Nations in support of the Regular Process, and substantial technical support was provided to the Workshop.
a. Interpreting the related documents of RP workshop to the local support staff;
b. Designing details for the existing assessments information collecting, and guiding to compilation of preliminary assessments inventory relevant to issues in the draft possible outline for the first global integrated assessment.
c. Introducing the review of existing assessments, prioritized issues and capacity building needs, and providing competent materials for the Workshop discussion, summary report and capacity building plan drafting.

The activities mentioned above properly delivered the information to member states on the developments of the Regular Process. The communication improved the understanding of the Regular Process at regional level and will facilitate the start-up of the Working Group.

2. Delivering the related information of the Working Group

In the Eastern and South-Eastern Asian Seas Workshop, Mr. Wenxi Zhu reported the establishment of the WESTPAC Working Group with the intended objective of facilitating the implementation of the Regular Process by providing technical support to, and assisting, capacity building in the Member States in the region. This information was taken note by the Workshop summary report and posted on the DOALOS website.

The Chairperson of the Working Group, Mrs. Juying Wang, as the member of the Group of Experts of the Regular Process, gave notice to her colleagues in the Group of Experts in this region the information of the Working Group and invited their concern and involvement.

The objectives, terms of reference of and relative information of the Working Group was released on the website (http://regular.process.mem.gov.cn/eng) which was set up for the Workshop for Eastern and South-eastern Asian Seas in support of the Regular Process. This website was designed to act as communication platform for Member States, the Group of Experts and the secretariat of the regular process, and also might act as the exhibition of relevant progress and achievement for the Working Group.

The above activities effectively delivered the information about the Working Group. It will impel the Working Group setting up and improve its subsequent activities.

3. Preliminary consideration of WESTPAC regional GRAME Strategy

WESTPAC regional GRAME Strategy was preliminarily considered with the target of improving marine environmental assessment ability roundly and supporting informed decision making by enabling governments and other stakeholders to draw on the best scientific information available and thus contributing to managing in a sustainable manner human activities which affect the oceans and seas.

The following was the preliminary consideration of the strategy.

Recommendation 1 Developing the Regional Priority Research Plan in the context of the Regular Process

In scientific terms we might be interested to consider:
• Studying chain of cause and effect between marine environmental conditions and anthropogenic activities at the regional level;
• Understanding the ecosystems response to climate change;
• Understanding biodiversity conservation and the impacts of invasive species on ecosystems.

Recommendation 2 Improving skills and knowledge on the conduct of Integrated Assessments

Such experience/skill is lacking throughout the region and training on methodologies for conducting integrated assessments would be of direct benefit to the Regular Process.

Recommendation 3 Exploring mechanism under the framework of WESTPAC for promoting the regional Regular Process

The opportunities for promoting and linking the regional activities and programs to the Regular Process should be identified. The existing mechanisms and resources should be encouraged to involve in GRAME project at both global and regional level. The mechanism under the framework of WESTPAC needs to be explored in order to make the best use of the existing resources.

Recommendation 4 Designing monitoring and assessment framework in the region

Standardization among countries on data collection, and international cooperative surveys is needed to obtain more comparable and consistent data. Building awareness of the need for interoperability between States and regions regarding several areas, including: international classification standard for marine economic activities; QA/QC for data collection and analysis; enhancing comparability and compatibility of data from different sources; and biological information management, including taxonomy.

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