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A key lesson learned is that the complexity of managing coasts, seas, and oceans in a sustainable manner requires a comprehensive, integrative, and coordinated approach in terms of policy, legislation, institutional arrangement, financial investment, management measures, stakeholders
support, and participation. The integrated coastal management system (ICMS) has proven to be effective, especially at the local level in forging integration and coordination of policy and management actions, catalyzing financial investment, training local capacity, creating an informed public,
enabling local implementation of international conventions/instruments, incorporating adaptive management and precautionary principles in decision-making as well as providing a strong coastal governance framework and processes for strengthening ICM practices and expansion of ICM benefits.
The non-binding “Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia” (SDS-SEA), on the other hand, has forged stronger regional cooperation and partnership in undertaking regional implementation of the Plans of Action of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
A permanent regional mechanism has been established to continue the regional efforts over a much longer timeframe, as regional ocean governance not only requires time and resources but also the much needed regional leadership and visions. Equally important are the efforts in building up a
critical mass of coastal and ocean managers with management-oriented knowledge, experience, interpersonal skills, and diplomacy. In this context, the region has pledged its readiness to implement the outcome document of the Rio+20 “The Future We Want” through the implementation
of national SDS-SEA plans and scaling up of ICM practices that are relevant to ensuring a sustainable blue economy.