Throughout the end of 2019, all active ATSEA-s programme units were able to host their respective project Inception Workshop. These Inception Workshops are important steps for each management unit, partners and stakeholders involved to form discussions and work together for the common goals of ATSEA-2.


At a regional level, the Inception Workshop was held at the Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia on 18 November 2019, along with the first Regional Steering Committee (RSC) Meeting.

ATSEA-2 Inception Workshop
Regional Inception Workshop
(photo credit: ATSEA-2)

The Inception Workshop reviewed and confirmed ATSEA-2 project’s vision, goals, structure, strategic results framework, and target outcomes. Partners of the programme were also apprised on the monitoring and evaluation requirements for the Project in line with the GEF and UNDP procedures. One of the key highlights of the Workshop was an open discussion with stakeholder partners on possible areas of collaboration and how to develop an effective mechanism that would further widen multi-stakeholder partnerships into SAP implementation. 

The Workshop was attended by representatives from Indonesia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Representatives from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Country Offices of Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea, and the UNDP Regional Hub Bangkok were also present on behalf of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UNDP. Stakeholder partner organizations from the Coral Triangle Center (CTC), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia, Indonesian Seas Large Marine Ecosystem (ISLME), and Yayakan Conservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN) were also represented during the Workshop. The PEMSEA Resource Facility (PRF) served as Secretariat for the Workshop, with local support from UNDP Indonesia.


Indonesia’s National Inception Workshop, which was part of ATSEA-2’s National Kick-Off Meeting, was held on 4 October 2019 at the Aloft Hotel Wahid Hasyim, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The workshop was held in order to identify the readiness of each local government for the implementation of activities at the level of Indonesia’s national component. The meeting resulted in the finalization of the work plan documents which were based on the needs and input from the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) and the Local Governments in 3 Provinces within the ATSEA-2 project.

The Indonesian National Inception Workshop was attended by Mr Sjarief Widjaja, the Head of The Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Human Resources (BRSDM) and Mr Waluyo Sejati Abutohir, the Head of the Centre of Fisheries Research. It was also attended by representatives of the local governments from Maluku, NTT, and Papua, the MMAF, and the UNDP team.


In Timor-Leste, the National Inception Workshop was held on 16 December 2019 in Dili.

Following other Inception Workshops, this event marks an important step towards effective and multi-lateral management of the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS) ecosystem. Timor-Leste’s  Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) has taken further steps by developing two strategic policy documents – the National Oceans Policies and National Fishery Strategic Plan – to align the priority action of the Strategic Action Programme with the National Strategic Development Plan. 

Ms. Tuya Altangerel, UNDP Resident Representative highlighted that conserving Timor-Leste’s invaluable marine resources would also favor and promote Timor-Leste’s niche in the tourism industry. While the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, H.E Joaquim José Gusmão dos Reis Martins said the government’s commitment to enhancing regional collaboration in the Arafura and Timor Seas region is reflected in its support for the formulation, adoption, and implementation of the Regional Strategic Action Programme. 

Timor-Leste’s National Inception Workshop was attended by representatives from national and local government ministries like agriculture and fisheries across from the five-targeted municipalities – Manatuto, Lautem, Manufahi, Viqueque and Covalima. Partner organizations such as Timor Verde, CTC, Conservation International (CI) and World Fish also participated, with presentations and technical support from PRF. 

This series of Inception Workshops have certainly been significant to the development of ATSEA-2’s programme efforts in implementing activities within each management unit. Through this step, each unit is able to advance in achieving the common objective of ATSEA-2: ‘to ensure the sustainable management and usage of living coastal and marine resources’.