The concept that underlies the interventions of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters Program is adaptive management at the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) scale across the sequence of interventions from assessment and analysis to development of regional strategic action programs and national implementation of action plans to address transboundary environmental concerns. The GEF has provided grants to recipient countries in the East Asian Seas region covering five LMEs since the early 1990s and amounting to about US$200 million. This paper analyses GEF support to the Seas of the East Asian Region to draw lessons for future investments in LME management.
To identify investment gaps and the overarching drivers of environmental degradation across scales, transboundary diagnostic analysis of LMEs need to be linked to analysis of existing investment flows.
Most funding for implementation of strategic action programs should be targeted at the national level, as interventions at this level are on average leveraging much more co-financing to GEF projects than regional interventions.
Better coordination and agreed procedures and methodolo- gies among different regional entities, programs and projects are necessary in regions, such as the EAS, with multiple regional initiatives at different scales. Better coordination of financial support to programs and projects operating at different scales would also strengthen the extent to which ecosystem-based management could be applied through better harmonization of management frame- works and tools for marine and coastal management from local to national to regional levels.
Strategies towards achieving sustainable financing should be encouraged and implemented to ensure adaptive management and achievement of goals and targets under SAPs.