UNDP /GEF Yellow Sea Grant Program Launches Waste Reduction in Fisheries Communities in Weihai City of PR China

The Inception meeting of Condominium Program of Fisheries Community (Waste Reduction) in Jingzi Village of Shandong Province Project was held on 17th May at Ivy League International School in Weihai. This initiative, implemented by BlueRibbon Ocean Conservation Association (BROCA) of PR China, is supported by the Yellow Sea Grant Program of the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Phase II Project.

Representatives from organizations and groups, including the YSLME project office, Sunjiatuan Street, Jinghai Community (it now sets up the community, formerly known as Jingzi Village) and Lihai Community (it is near the Jinghai Community), Ivy League International School, Huayi Social Worker Center, Shandong University and BROCA attended the meeting.

Condominium Program of Fisheries Community (Waste Reduction) project is mainly implemented by BROCA in collaboration with Huayi Social Work Center, Shandong university, Ivy League International School and other institutions. Its purpose is to effectively prevent fishery community ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, reduce marine waste pollution, enhance the marine environmental protection awareness of community residents and fishermen, and promote community residents to participate in the delicate community construction.

The meeting reviewed the background, relevance, project objectives, actions and anticipated results of the inception the meeting. The discussion concludes that a management committee for waste reduction in fishing communities will be set up consisting of representatives from the government, NGOs, schools, community residents and fishermen, etc.

Mr. Chu Tengfei, Deputy Secretary-General of BROCA shared the advanced ideas and experience of BROCA as the leader of China’s marine conservation in marine ecological and cultural conservation. He introduced the public welfare actions carried out by BROCA around the transformation of fishing village community, the construction of marine ecological civilization demonstration village, fishermen’s livelihood and other aspects. He further introduced in detail the example of the fishery community condominium demonstration project in Meilian Village, Hainan Province supported by UNDP, GEF and other institutions for cross-site experience sharing in creating a beautiful community environment and reducing marine waste in Jinghai and Lihai communities.

The Deputy Secretary General of BROCA, Mr. Chu Tengfei, is sharing experiences in marine ecological protection and marine cultural conservation

Mr. Zhu Zhengguang, Environment Officer of YSLME Phase II Project, introduced the background of the YSLME project, the national strategic support system, the SGDs of the United Nation and the project inventions in relation to waste reduction. He expressed YSLME project office high expectations and support to this project, and expect organizers can work together with local government, deliver the concept of marine waste reduction system to community residents and fishermen, and promote the fishery industry upgrading, promote community members ecological consciousness, and bring the transformation experience of Chinese fishing communities for replication across the large marine ecosystems in the world.

Mr. Zhu Zhengguang, Environment Officer of YSLME project office, introduced the projct interventions in addressing marine litter in YSLME

Mr. Yang Hongzheng, Director of Weihai Huayi Social Work Center, shared their Marine public welfare action in Weihai

Ms. Li Zhenzhen, Project Manager of BROCA, in introducing the project objectives, actions and anticipated results

Ms. Liu Chunli, Associate Professor of oceanography, Shandong University, shared her experience of participation of cleaning up the marine garbage and protecting the marine environment activities as a student in an overseas university. She underscored that a lot of work needs to be done in terms of raising environmental awareness, and actions from different stakeholders are needed for improvement.

Ms. Liu Chunli, Associate Professor from Shandong University, is sharing overseas marine environmental protection actions at community level

Mr. Liang Xue, the party branch secretary of the Jinghai community said that this project can bring positive influence to marine environmental protection for residents, communities and even the whole Weihai. Engagement of the community, in his words, can fully integrate our culture, local conditions and customs with marine environmental protection, and make the activities more grounded, residents more motivated and let the community enjoy a better living environment.

Ms. Liang Xue, Jinghai community general party branch secretary, discussed marine protection work with community and fishermen representatives

Mr. Miao Huamin, an 84 years old man whom on behalf of the resident of Jinghai community told the meeting that:“My roots are in Weihai, where I have lived all my life. As a community member, I have the obligation to take the lead in Marine conservation. Young people and children around us should set up the concept of environmental protection and develop the good habit of caring for the environment earlier. We now do environmental protection is to make a contribution to future generations.”

Ms. Wang Xiaoyan, resident of the Jinghai Community said: “We want to increase recycling efforts. Many scallop farms produce discarded nets that have nowhere to put them but into the sea. They are not reusable and pollute the ocean. We don’t want that, but we don’t know how to change it.”

The inception meeting made the participating fishermen and community residents to realize the importance and urgency of marine waste management, and successfully established the community co-management committee at the inception meeting.

Community representatives and fishermen representatives jointly signed the condominium cooperation agreement

The project has also defined the goal of the project, which is to effectively resolve the contradiction between local marine resources environmental protection and community development, to make local villagers to participate deeply in activities of decision-making, to transfer themselves from being managed to managers of environment around them, and enhance the exchange and cooperation of ecological and environmental protection between China and South Korea and interregional sustainable cooperation in ecosystem-based management.

The project focuses on two aspects: the first is to establish an effective management system for fishing village communities and wharf waste, reduce the uncontrolled waste into the water mass, and improve the utilization rate of renewable resources; Second, build a platform for public participation in marine protection through diversified and participatory activities, mobilize the enthusiasm of local residents and students to participate in project activities, promote garbage reduction, enhance environmental awareness, and expand the achievements of the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Project.

BROCA has taken this project inception meeting as an opportunity to local livelihoods improvements, ecosystem carrying capacity and resource constraints of Jinghai and Lihai community. Through the project BROCA seeks to make solid progress in reducing waste and raising the awareness of the marine environment among residents of fishing communities. Meanwhile, the project also seeks to promote the coordinated development of ecological construction with the improvement of delicate communities and people’s livelihood.