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ATSEF Steering Committe and SEG of ATSEA Launching

The Arafura and Timor Seas Expert Forum was created in 2002 and launched at the WSSD Bali prep-Com of 2002 to mitigate the threats to biodiversity in the waters of the Arafura and Timor Seas (among the principal threats are illegal fishing, marine pollution, and destruction of natural habitats, especially coastal mangroves. ATSEF is a non-binding organization that fosters research cooperation and collaboration between government and non government organizations of the three countries. A Memorandum of Understanding between the countries sets out institutional arrangement and identifies priority areas for engagement.

atsef-steering-committeeAccording to Part IX of the United Nation Convention of the Sea, the resources of semi-enclosed seas, such as the ATS, are to be cooperatively managed by the littoral nations. In June, 2002, representatives from Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and Australia formed the Arafura and Timor Seas Export Forum (ATSEF), to be joined by Papua New Guinea mid 2011. ATSEF is a nonbinding forum to foster collaboration between government and non-government organizations from the representative nations, in the pursuit of the sustainable use of the living resources of the ATS.

To accomplish the goals set out by ATSEF, the Arafura and Timor Seas Ecosystem Action Program was created. ATSEA is the mechanism by which ATSEF will identify the root causes of the problems facing the ATS. ATSEA will complete Trans-boundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) across national borders, allowing the ATS ecosystem to been seen as a whole, thus allowing ATSEF to identify the most effective cooperative methods for ecosystem and resource management. Information collected by ATSEA will ensure that future projects are in accordance with the biophysical, socio-economic, and environmental needs of the local and general areas in the ATS.

In order to keep the program of ATSEF in line with the work plan that already agreed, annual meeting of ATSEF Steering Committee as a highest forum will be undertaken to ensure and guide its current activities for achieving the ATSEF expected objectives.


The objectives of ATSEF Steering Committee Meeting are:

  1. Identify the problem and constrains of each ATSEF member countries in term of their activities and discuss how the way out should be taken as well as its progress and achievement.
  2. To discuss the involvement of PNG as a new member of ATSEF.
  3. Presentation and discussion in relation to the progress of the implementation of ATSEA program.
  4. Develop such advice and recommendation for better performance of ATSEF in Arafura and Timor Seas region.
  5. Launching of Stakeholder Engagement Group (SEG) of ATSEA project.


The expected output of this Steering Committee Meeting will be:

  1. Advise and suggestion to assure implementation of ATSEF and ATSEA project activities in line with its planning, so that ATSEF as well as ATSEA project could have better performance.
  2. PNG well involved in ATSEF and ATSEA project as well.
  3. The ATSEA Stakeholder Engagement Group established.


The expected outcome of this meeting is a better performance and contribution of ATSEF in managing environment and resources in Arafura and Timor Seas region.

The ATSEF Steering Committee meeting held from 14 to 15 September 2011 at Travelodge Mirambeena Resort, 64 Cavenagh Street, Darwin, NT.

Participants invited in this meeting are:

  1. ATSEF members focal point.
  2. UNDP – RCB and UNDP – COs.
  3. UNOPS.
  4. ATSEA Regional Project Manager.
  5. ATSEA National Coordinators.

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