11th WESTPAC International Marine Science Conference

24-27 August 2021, Bangkok, Thailand

“Charting the Course of Ocean Science for a Prosperous Indo-Pacific”

Transformations in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)

Workshops & Side Events

Workshops will be organized by either the WESTPAC programmes/projects/working groups or WESTPAC partners, aiming to review the progress of programmes/projects/working groups, and formulate their workplans. It could be either open to all participants, or attendance by invitation only.

WS-01 : WESTPAC Workshop on Harmful Algae Blooms


IOC/WESTPAC-HAB project have contributed for international collaboration and capacity development of harmful algal bloom (HAB) research in the WESTPAC region, for mitigation of negative impacts caused by HABs. In this project workshop, we will share the information of recent HAB occurrences, identify the region specific emergent HAB issues, and discuss our activities in near future. It will be open for all researchers, who are interested in the international collaboration on HAB studies in the region.

WS-02 : WESTPAC Workshop on DNA Taxonomy, Regional Distribution, and Recruitment Monitoring of Coral Reef Organisms


Coral reef is one of the most important marine habitats that accommodate high biodiversity and fisheries resources. The DRMREEF project of WESTPAC has been carried out to assess coral reef biodiversity using the DNA barcode and to establish a database for regional level distribution of reef associated organisms through international collaboration. The project has entered into the third phase (2019~2021) in which recruitment monitoring of reef organisms is taking place. In the workshop, progress of the project activities will be reported and information on biodiversity, regional distribution, and recruitment of the reef organisms will be shared among project members and other participants.

WS-03 : WESTPAC Workshop on Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change and Human Impacts


The Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change and Human Impacts Project (formerly referred to as ‘‘Coral Reef under Climate and Anthropogenic Perturbations”: IOC/WESTPAC-CorReCAP) focused on the biogeochemical and ecological nature of coral reefs in WESTPAC, evaluation the consequence of impact of climate change and other human activities on the health of coral reefs and their sustainable use and to promote capacity building in areas related to research on coral reefs through sharing scientific knowledge and training activities.

The project enhances international collaboration and capacity development of coral reef studies in the WESTPAC region through join publications in a special issue of Journal and book chapters, summer schools, workshops, and special sessions. The book chapters and coral reef resilience research will be discussed by steering members and participants for future activities on coral reef resilience to climate change and human impacts, particularly for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

WS-04 : WESTPAC Workshop on “Enhancing Young Scientist Network for Coral Reef Research in the Western Pacific”


The young scientist network for coral reef research in the Western Pacific was initiated by a group of trainees of the training courses organized by the Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change and Human Impacts Project (formerly referred to as Coral Reef under Climate and Anthropogenic Perturbations: IOC/WESTPAC-CorReCAP). The first workshop on “Enhancing Young Scientist Network for Coral Reef Research in the Western Pacific” was organized at the 4th Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, Cebu, the Philippines on June 2018 by a group of those trainees from the past three training courses under the Project. In this workshop in Indonesia (August 2020) the results from past and ongoing research activities by young scientists will be presented. Collaborative research plans, including field studies, data sharing and collaborative publications, and recommendations from the steering members of the Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change and Human Impacts Project will be also discussed.

WS-05 : WESTPAC Workshop on Ocean Remote Sensing for Coastal Habitat Mapping


A coastal zone is an ecotone between land and the sea consisting of coastal habitats providing important ecosystem services. Human activities accompanied with increasing population are seriously threatening such habitats. For realizing sustainable development in coastal zones, it is important to grasp where coastal habitats are distributed and share thematic maps with stakeholders. Satellite remote sensing is a practical tool for creating broad thematic maps along the coast. For producing reliable thematic maps from satellite images to deliver them to stakeholders, the project standardized the methods for atmosphere and water column corrections to precisely identify habitats in the sublittoral zone and ground truthing for classification and validation. This workshop aims to exchange technical, scientific and social experiences and advances in studies on coastal habitat mapping by remote sensing of not only seagrass but also other habitats. Welcoming new participants, we discuss our activities in near future.


WS-06 : WESTPAC Workshop on Coral Reef Conservation and Restoration


1. To review past and current activities that have been done through the IOC/WESTPAC Project on Coral Reef Conservation and Restoration
2. To discuss future activities for IOC/WESTPAC Project on Coral Reef Conservation and Restoration
3. To review list of steering committee
4. To give an opportunity for steering committee to present their research work related to coral reef conservation and restoration in the 11th WESTPAC International Scientific Conference for visibility of the IOC/WESTPAC Project on Coral Reef Conservation and Restoration

WS-07 : WESTPAC Workshop on an Overview of the Current Jellyfish Systematics Issues and the Role of WESTPAC


The status of jellyfish invasion in WESTPAC countries is increasing and the cases of jellyfish stungs reported had risen in particularly Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Although jellyfish occurences are getting more common, there is still a huge gap in the approaches of jellyfish research and identification. Therefore there is a need to standardize monitoring approaches and methodologies of the harmful jellyfish in the tropics as well as identification of the common and harmful jellyfish. The members of WESTPAC countries had requested to have a workshop to discuss the current jellyfish systematic issues and identification of the common and harmful jellyfish, and explore the possibility, building on existing jellyfish monitoring initiatives, of a joint long-term monitoring programme in the region. The members would like to take this opportunity to explore opportunity of partnership and discuss how best WESTPAC can support the continuity of the program.

WS-08 : WESTPAC Workshop on Indo-Pacific Ocean Environment Variation and Air-Sea Interaction (IPOVAI)


The east and southeast Asian countries have suffered Typhoon and seriously affected by Monsoon. The observation and parameterization of air-sea interaction are key points for Typhoon evolution and Monsoon onset. Typhoon and Monsoon models play key role in prediction. This workshop, based on the WESTPAC on-going project of “Indo-Pacific Ocean Environment Variation and Air-sea Interaction (IPOVAI)”, will focus on the scientific challenges faced, recent scientific progress of observation and parameterization of air-sea interaction, development of Typhoon and Monsoon models, and applications of new models.

WS-09 : Workshop on Paleoclimate-Underwater Archeology-Maritime Culture Cross Cutting Study


Asian Monsoon (AS) is the giant climate system that influence the populated Asia and shapes the diversity of her history, society, culture. It is crucial to understand the past, present and future features and changes of AS for the sustainabe development. AS records are rich on land and in the sea as well, which is not well explored. The cross cutting study of AS marine paleo-records, the underwater archeology and maritime culture aims to reveal the fascinating evolution hidden in the sea, particularly the high resolution records in coral, giant clam, sunk ships, etc., telling the story how climate and its extremes influence the trajectories of our people, society, culture, trade, etc.. This workshop aims to bring the relevant scientists, engineers, students and borad public participation to brainstorm towards a regional collaborative network and the Spice Route – Maritime Silk Road Connection, Paleoclimate-Archeology-Culture Exploration and Research Initiative.

WS-10 : Workshop on Evolution and Dynamics of the Marine Environment in the Indo-Pacific Convergent Center


The Indonesian Archipelago and the adjacent western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean, hereby termed as the Indo-Pacific Convergent Center (IPCC), has been characterized as important convergent zones of tectonic plate motion, oceanic and atmospheric circulations, and the global center of marine biodiversity. Strong interactions among lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere in this region lead to significant impacts on climate change, extreme weather events, earthquake, tsunami, biodiversity, and biological resources. Joint interdisciplinary studies in IPCC, therefore, are critical to explore the evolution of complex earth system, and to support sustainable societal and economic development.

To promote joint studies in this region, the workshop aims to address the following issues in the IPCC: 1) Multiscale variability of mass, heat and nutrients transports and the associated climatic and environmental impacts; 2) The formation and evolution of the marine biodiversity center from multi-sphere interactions view; 3) Deep structure and dynamic process of the subduction zone, especially with the seismogenic mechanism and nature-based solutions for the disaster risk reduction (DRR); 4) Integrated observation and numerical modeling. The output of the workshop will help to foster an international program “Integrated Investigation in Indo-Pacific Convergent Center (I3PCC)” to support the upcoming UN Decade of the Ocean Science.

WS-11 : PEER Workshop for Networking and Capacity Building on Marine Research in the Western Pacific and Adjacent Regions


The Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) is administered by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). PEER is a competitive grants program that invites scientists in developing countries, partnered with USG-supported collaborators, to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics with strong potential development impacts. Up to present, 306 projects in the worl have been supported since the program began in 2011. Recently, there exist dozen PEER projects on the fields related to marine science which have been operated in the Western Pacific and adjacent regions. All of them are in line with the WESTPAC scientific priority areas. In term of capacity development which is a focuss in all PEER projects, WESTPAC has employed its inclusive, adaptive and self-driven approaches to meeting regional and national requirements, and to linking trainings to the attainment of research goals for sustainable development in the region. The 11th WESTPAC International Marine Science Conference will provide an oppurtunity to integrate PEER efforts into the course of ocean science for sustainable development in the Western Pacific and adjacent region.
Objectives of the workshops:
• To highlight the research of PEER projects working in marine science fields in the Western Pacific and adjacent region, taking account of their societal impacts
• To exchange good practices in capacity development through cooperative researches, specially with US partners
• To build the network among PEER counterparts and marine scientific community in the region

WS-12 : Workshop on Sustainable Marginal Seas of South and East Asia


The Marginal Seas in South and East Asia provide various ecological, economic and socio-cultural services that supports to almost 620 million people in the region (IMB). Most of its seas play a vital role in the global trade, where major ports are strategically located. However, these important areas are also the most vulnerable in terms various anthropogenic threats, and natural hazards e.g. typhoons, and tsunamis. Thus, these pressures coupled with expanding population resulted to the decline of Ocean Health Index. The proposed session on “Sustainable Marginal Seas of South and East Asia” seeks to utilize available data that could be used to capture the macro scale perspective in understanding various issues and threats of its seas. The proposed session calls for transdisciplinary and transformational studies from modelling, development of application tools, network analyses, and etc., towards sustaining the resources in the marginal seas in the South and East Asia.

WS-13 : Lessons learnt from the GCRF Blue Communities Programme : Maximizing Benefits and Mitigating Risks for Coastal Communities through Marine Spatial Planning


The session will detail research that can inform policy, management and stakeholder led issues at the intersection of coastal communities and the marine environment on which they depend. Topics to be covered include: human health and the coastal environment, livelihoods of coastal communities, resource management, waste management, pollution, climate change, marine ecosystem service assessments and marine spatial planning. These topics will be underpinned by research being undertaken in case study sites in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam that comprise UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves, or Marine Parks.

WS-14 : Workshop on Coastal Ecosystem and the Human-Well Being


Coastal ecosystems are a dynamic complex of communities, plant, animal, and human, interacting as a functional unit. This conference session will focus on examining the linkages between ecosystems and global change and in particular on ‘ecosystem services’. Changes in drivers such as increased human population, climate change, pollution, technology, and lifestyle can lead to changes in drivers directly affecting marine biodiversity, such as: the increased fish catches, degradation of coral reefs due to increased tourism, application of fertilizers to increase food production on coastal areas. These result in changes to biodiversity and ecosystems services, leading directly to negative effects on human systems. Actions can be taken to mitigate those effects, or to increase the resilience of coastal ecosystems. Presentations on loss or degradation of coastal habitats, climate change, marine pollution and the impacts on coastal resources in relation to human well being (human health, secure coastal settlements) are encouraged.

WS-15 : Workshop on Ocean Deoxygenation



Side events will be organized with a focus on experiences sharing and information dissemination among interested participants. The side events will be coordinated and managed by the local host.

SE-01 : Woman in Marine Science


UNESCO has reported a more equal gender balance in ocean science than in science overall. Female scientists represent on average 38% of the researchers in ocean science, about 10% higher than science overall (Global Ocean Science Report, 2017). The report implies that the ocean science community strives to create a supportive working environment for female scientists even with having considerable seagoing hours. Also highlighted in the report is the current challenge of overcoming the ‘glass ceiling’ situation with a concentration of women in lower managerial and professional roles while markedly under-representation in senior positions. This highlights the need to not only encouraging more female professionals but also providing a culture of fair playing field across genders. WESTPAC has been a forefront in the capacity building of young scientists in the western Pacific region. Beyond technical scientific skills, professional careers in ocean science demand other important skills such as project management, international networking and more. This workshop initiates an informal discussion forum between senior, early career and young female ocean scientists. We envision this workshop to be a panel format to share lifehacks of being female ocean scientists and provide recommendations on how we could improve female participation across professional levels as a community.

SE-02 : The USAID Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (USAID SEA – Project)


The Indonesia Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (SEA) Project is a five-year contract that supports the Government of Indonesia to conserve biological diversity and improve the governance of marine resources at local, district, provincial and national levels. By using an ecosystem-based approach to management and engaging key stakeholders, the SEA Project will 1) enhance conservation and sustainable use of marine resources by reforming fisheries management and promoting marine protected areas to enhance fisheries productivity, food and nutrition security, and sustainable livelihoods within the target area; and 2) strengthen the leadership role and capacity of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and local governments to promote conservation and sustainable fishing. The SEA Project has been started since March 2016 that will end by March 2021.

The SEA Project is predicated on an ecosystem approach to fisheries and marine resources management, which implies that it will integrate across sectors and assist in the development of plans and implementation actions that address biophysical, governance and socio-economic concerns. To accomplish this vision of ecosystem approach and integration, it will need to formulate a consistent level of baseline information for project areas so that actions and longer-term plans will truly address the underlying issues and threats to the geographic areas of focus. Such an approach will also provide a model for other areas in Indonesia and a systematic means of scaling up coastal and marine resource management by local districts, provinces and the national government.

The SEA Project is being implemented in the three provinces —West Papua, North Maluku, and Maluku Provinces—that lie within Indonesia’s Fishery Management Zone WWP-715. These areas were chosen to be the site of the SEA Project because of the area’s high marine biodiversity, status as a national priority area for fisheries, the presence of small island provinces/districts, high rates of extreme poverty and high vulnerability to climate change. The project will also operate at a national scale to support specific activities of the Ministry of Marine Affaires and Fisheries.

After over three-year of the project implementation, the USAID Project has made significant progress on Marine Fisheries Areas, where 14 MPAs are being established and strengthened ; Improving Fisheries Management that includes fish and fisheries data improvement; stock assessment and harvest strategy development for small-pelagic, reef fish and mud-crab; law enforcement; capacity building and awareness. These programs have been implemented together with the project counterparts including The MMAF , Marine and Fisheries Offices (DKP) of Maluku, North Maluku and West Papua Provinces and have resulted tangible outputs including stock status of certain importance species and lessons learned in developing fisheries management plan and Marine Fisheries Areas.

Since the project is entering the last year of activity implementation, it is necessary to socialize, to share and promote the results and the lessons learned to wider audiences including national and international audiences. For this purpose, the USAID SEA project sees the 11th WESTPAC International Marine Science Conferences as a great opportunity of venue and means for sharing and learning. And therefore, we would like to propose a special workshop attached to the Conference.


SE-03 : Sharing the Salient Results of the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and Pilot Trials in ISLME Project


Enabling Transboundary Cooperation for Sustainable Management of the Indonesian Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (ISLME) is a GEF/FAO project with Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The project aims at strengthening regional cooperation and supporting the effective and sustainable management of the ISLME, through identifying and addressing threats, strengthening capacity for cooperation, co-ordination with regional information networks, and dissemination and exchange of information.

The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) of ISLME will be a major output, which will lead to a Strategic Action Programme (SAP). The capacity building process and pilot actions in the two countries will prepare the ground for the SAP implementation in the next phase.

The event will showcase the key findings from the TDA of ISLME along with key results from the pilot initiatives especially in implementing the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the region, among others, and seek networking support to achieve common goals.

SE-04 : Sustaining Our Ocean: National Geographic’s support for Indo-Pacific Leaders in Marine Science and Conservation


The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of the world. The goal of the event is to highlight up to 3 NGS oceans-focused grantees from the Indo-Pacific region who are working on global and regional ocean research and conservation. We also aim to share information about the NGS grant program, our specific Oceans-focused Requests For Proposals (which will be online in August 2020), and grant opportunities for early career leaders (https://www.nationalgeographic.org/funding-opportunities/grants/what-we-fund/). We envision that participants will understand how our objectives are aiming to support SDGs and our grants as well as our work can support the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

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