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USAID and NASA Launch Technology for Development Project in Lower Mekong
August 31, 2015

BANGKOK, August 31, 2015 — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) today launched “SERVIR-Mekong,” a project to promote the use of satellite imagery to help Asia’s Lower Mekong region better predict and cope with floods and other natural disasters and increase resilience to the negative effects of climate change.

SERVIR-Mekong, funded by USAID and NASA and implemented by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and its partners, will help governments and other decision-makers in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam take advantage of publicly available satellite imagery, geospatial data and maps to make more informed decisions on critical issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction, infrastructure development and natural resources management.

August 5, 2015

The Oceans and Fisheries Partnership between the United States Agency for International Development, the “Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center” and the “Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security” works to strengthen regional cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, promote sustainable fisheries and conserve marine biodiversity in the Asia-Pacific region.

August 5, 2015

The Oceans and Fisheries Partnership between the United States Agency for International Development, the “Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center” and the “Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security” works to strengthen regional cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, promote sustainable fisheries and conserve marine biodiversity in the Asia-Pacific region.

DEVELOPING A CATCH DOCUMENTATION & TRACEABILITY SYSTEM

Southeast Asia houses some of the world’s most productive and biodiverse marine ecosystems. These ecosystems provide food and income to over 200 million people in the region; however, unsustainable fishing practices threaten biodiversity, food security and livelihoods. The Oceans and Fisheries Partnership supports the development of a transparent and financially sustainable catch documentation and traceability system to help ensure that fisheries resources are legally caught and properly labeled. This risk-based, electronic system will be applied to wild capture fisheries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region and will be based on the ecosystem approach to fisheries management. The partnership collaborates with technology companies to harness the latest communication and traceability innovations.

CONSERVING MARINE BIODIVERSITY & PROMOTING SUSTAINABILITY

To enhance the fisheries sector sustainability and ecosystem productivity, the Oceans and Fisheries Partnership helps regional organizations with harmonizing oversight policies, providing standard training curricula and developing joint initiative on sustainable fisheries and marine biodiversity conservation. Close coordination, communication and collaboration among regional stakeholders will also enhance the effectiveness and implementation of the catch documentation and traceability system.

ENHANCING PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS AND INVESTMENT

To improve transparency in the seafood supply chain and to help ensure successful implementation, the Oceans and Fisheries Partnership engages a variety of fisheries stakeholders and forms new partnerships among governments, regional institutions and the private sector. Developing partnerships in the commercial seafood industry anchors the partnership’s efforts in market realities and provides increased scale and sustainability for project investments.

PARTNERS

The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center is the technical and operational arm for fisheries matters in the region and the Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security is an intergovernmental collaboration to conserve marine and fisheries resources. Both are important partners that will help design and implement project activities with fisheries and environment agencies in the region. Other partners include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the U.S. Department of the Interior; the UN Food and Agriculture Organization; Tetra Tech ARD; Verite; and the Government of Sweden.

July 30, 2015

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) is a five-year project that promotes regional collaboration on forest management to avoid deforestation and forest degradation. Forests in Asia and the Pacific make a significant contribution to reducing the negative effects of climate change since forests are one of nature’s most efficient ways of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it. They also are an important source of income and livelihoods, but are often overused for agriculture, infrastructure and other uses.

SHARING INNOVATIVE FOREST MANAGEMENT TOOLS

USAID is constantly seeking innovative ways to encourage better forest management and empower communities to contribute to regional and global efforts to address climate change. As part of the Lower Mekong Initiative, the project develops training tools to help Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam reduce emissions from the forestry and land use sectors. These trainings address forest carbon stock assessment, participatory forest monitoring, drivers of deforestation and degradation, gender-integrated planning and leadership. For example, the project is advancing climate change education in Southeast Asia with a climate change curriculum developed with universities across the region.

REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

The project supports governments in developing policies that protect forests and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also helps local forestry officials to improve measuring forest biomass, monitoring changes in forest carbon stocks and determining economic valuation of forest ecosystem services. All this information is important in prioritizing landscapes for low emission land use planning that balances economic growth, environmental protection, social equity and emission reduction. A disruption in this balance can result in increased emissions of greenhouse gases, ultimately leading to unforeseeable and undesirable climatic changes. The project also identifies incentives and trade-offs in emerging markets to engage the private sector in improving land management.

PROMOTING REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

Partnerships focus on developing common policies and standards in forest management. The project collaborates with existing regional platforms, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Working Group, to replicate and scale up ways to mitigate deforestation and forest degradation across the region. For example, Vietnam’s Lam Dong province has launched a “Provincial Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Action Plan and Papua New Guinea” as a way to share its success in undertaking a low emission land use planning process.

PARTNERS

The project is implemented by Winrock International with partnership from SNV–Netherlands Development Organization, Climate Focus and RECOFTC–The Center for People and Forests.

July 30, 2015

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) is a five-year project that promotes regional collaboration on forest management to avoid deforestation and forest degradation. Forests in Asia and the Pacific make a significant contribution to reducing the negative effects of climate change since forests are one of nature’s most efficient ways of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it. They also are an important source of income and livelihoods, but are often overused for agriculture, infrastructure and other uses.

July 30, 2015

The ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security is a five-year USAID and U. S. Department of State activity designed to strengthen institutions and develop regional policies to advance ASEAN’s political-security and social-cultural objectives.

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Last updated: September 01, 2015

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