On October 6 and 7, the RPMU hosted a series of Technical Workshop Meetings, where regional and national ATSEA-2 consultants presented initial findings to their studies on the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) region.

Since the end of the first phase of ATSEA in 2014, the ATS region has seen a number of developments, as well as new challenges and opportunities. In order to better understand the current state of the region and to effectively address its needs, ATSEA-2 has initiated a collaboration with individual experts and organizations to conduct thematic studies and assessments covering the different issue areas facing the ATS region.

There were a total of 6 themes discussed during the Workshop, each presented by expert consultants in their own respective field. The first day focused on discussions related to Marine and Land-Based Pollution presented by Dr. Won-Tae Shin, Dr. Abilio de Fonseca and Gary Spiller, followed by discussions on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) presented by Dr. Peter Mous from YKAN, and IUU Fishing presented by Dr. Aerie Afriansyah from the Center for Sustainable Ocean Policy.
The second day focused on discussions related to the development of MPA Networks and Marine Turtles protection presented by CTC and YKAN together with Dr. Alison Green, followed by discussions on Climate Change and vulnerability assessment led by Dr. Johanna Johnson, and ended with Dr. Lida Pet-Soede’s presentation on the Regional Governance Mechanism.

Speakers and participants had an enthusiastic exchange of ideas during each session, and were given valuable inputs and references by Mr. Yinfeng Guo, Chief Technical Advisor and manager of the GEF/UNDP/UNOPS YSLME and Prof. Karen Edyvane, University Professional Fellow of the School of Environment of the Charles Darwin University.

The Technical Workshop was more than an ordinary meeting on renewing data and information, it also allowed the updating of ATS’ Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and the Strategic Action Programme (SAP). This workshop also highlighted the importance of relevant data and information sharing between consultants and stakeholders, as their work and results would benefit from each other’s findings.

To ensure that the information exchange is updated regularly, the ATSEA-2 team is eager to bridge the communication between the consultants by setting up data sharing sessions and platforms to facilitate a better exchange of information.