Reducing Environmental Stress in the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem


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Project ID

Project Title

Reducing Environmental Stress in the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem


Focus Areas

Geographic Scope

Lead Organization(s)

Project Partners


Total: $14,394,183;

Sources of Financing: GEF


2005 - 2010


Under implementation

Project website(s)




The Yellow Sea is bordered by land on three sides and many people depend on the ecosystem for food security and revenue from economic development. Of the 64 large marine ecosystems in the world's oceans, the Yellow Sea is one of the most significantly affected by human development. Chief problems are reduced fish catches; shifts in species biomass (partly caused by over-fishing); ride tide outbreaks, degradation of coastal habitats (caused by extensive coastal development) and climate variability. Korea and China share common problems with pollution abatement and control from municipal and industrial sites as well as from non-point source contaminants from agriculture.

The objective of the project is: ecosystem-based, environmentally-sustainable management and use of the YSLME and its watershed: reducing development stress and promoting sustainable exploitation of the ecosystem from a densely populated, heavily urbanized, and industrialized semi-enclosed shelf sea.

Additional Info

Selected project results
  • Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Preliminary Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis completed February 2000.
  • Consultations, consensus building efforts, public participation, preliminary incremental issue identification, and problem definition and analysis to prepare the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA), the Strategic Action Programme, and National Strategic Action Plans for the Yellow Sea.
  • Contracts awarded for data collection, for survey ship rental, checklist of critical species drawn up in.
  • The first steps toward producing the TDA have begun with activities to synthesise the data and information collected from Republic of Korea and China.
  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) have been signed with the Yellow Sea Eco-region Planning Programme (YSEPP), the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI), Wetlands International China Office, and Marine Stewardship Council.
  • A joint workshop between the YSLME Project and the WWF/KORDI/KEI Yellow Sea Eco-Region Planning Programme (April 2005, China) focused on identifying critical species and habitats. The workshop produced a checklist of critical indicator species and a provisional GIS map of the ecologically important areas for the Yellow, Bohai and the East China Seas.
  • First Meeting of the Project Steering Committee in Seoul, R. Korea, (March 2005) to approve the Implementation Plan, including the project structure, project activities, project budget and workplan.
  • Regional Working Groups set up to guide the project’s key components - ecosystem, investment, pollution, biodiversity and fisheries - and the Regional Scientific and Technical Panel all held their first and second meetings during 2005 and their reports have been published.
  • Regional guidelines for pollution monitoring have been drafted. These include suggestions for areas to be monitored, parameters to be monitored; collaboration with current national monitoring programmes; and recommendations for future regional monitoring activities.
  • The Yellow Sea Partnership has been established with participation of UN organizations/projects, such as PEMSEA, NOWPAP, and UNDP Country Project; international NGOs, such as WWF, Wetlands International, TNC etc,; and local NGOs, such as Global Village.
  • As the first time in GEF projects, a Regional Conference on Parliamentary Roles in Protection of Marine Environment and Sustainable Use of Marine Resources in the Yellow Sea has been organized. There were 14 parliamentary members and high level governmental officers and experts at the meeting which suggested way to initiate dialogue and negotiations on a regional agreement in protection of marine environment.

Expected Outcomes

Achievements: Results and Impact

Lessons for Replication



See also

Related Projects in Korea

%DPL-1.7.4-WARNING: No results!

Related Projects in China
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  4. The Status of the South to North Water Transfer Plans in China
  5. Mekong Case Study
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  9. Human rights, water and China’s autonomous regions
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  12. Access to Water and Sanitation in China: History, Current Situation and Challenges

External Resources


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