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Technical write shop for ATS-SAP and Regional Demo Project Proposal Development

Once the Arafura and Timor Seas (ATS)-TDA endorsed, the next action that should be undertaken is to develop a Strategic Actions Program (SAP). Based on “first draft” of SAP done by International Consultant, several series consultation meeting have been undertaken which result the “second draft” of ATS-SAP that it has been presented at Regional SAP meeting in Bali on 30-31 August 2012.

The “final draft” of ATS-SAP is now being developed and finalized by the International consultant base on comments and suggestion from the Regional SAP meeting in Bali. Prior to government consultation and signing of ATS-SAP, “Write shop for ATS-SAP development” will be undertaken by involving government representatives from Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Australia.

As Regional ATSEA Demonstration Project is still “unclear” in term of scope of activities and its implementation, more deep discussion and project proposal development will also conducted back to back with ATS-SAP development write shop.

Dr. Anna Tengberg and Professor Martin Tsamenyi provided an update of the status of SAP development, including progress made since the Bali meeting. Discussion among participants on the nature and scope of the SAP ensued, with key points of discussion including:

  • The inclusion of PNG. The Project Manager explained that PNG is currently only an observer to SAP development, as their participation in the ATSEA project is contingent on GEF funding. Participants agreed that PNG should be consulted on the draft SAP.
  • The inclusion of targets and indicators. Dr Tergberg emphasised that the inclusion of quantifiable targets and indicators may be important for future GEF funding. Mr Bover emphasised the importance of any targets and indicators being meaningful, and that a SMART approach should be taken.
  • The way the Sap addresses regional and national level actions. It was agreed that the SAP should identify key national activities to achieve shared regional objectives (based on NAPs), but focus on key regional activities that the countries can do collectively to support national efforts.


Participants discussed the principles in the draft SAP. It was agreed that the principles should be redrafted to address similar points to the CTI Regional Plan of Action, in particular to emphasise that efforts under ATSEA will:

  • take a “people centred approach” addressing both biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction
  • make use of existing forums and initiatives where relevant, and not duplicate efforts being done elsewhere
  • be based on solid science, but also adopt a precautionary approach in the absence of scientific information.


Participants discussed the objectives in the draft SAP. It was agreed that:

  • The order of the ecosystem quality objectives does not reflect their priority (e.g. fisheries is not necessarily the highest priority objective). Text will be included in the SAP to clarify this issue.
  • The objective on biodiversity conservation should be renamed and focused on marine species, to make clear the distinction between it and the objective on habitat.
  • The two operational objectives on climate change adaptation will be combined onto a single objective addressing both community and ecosystem adaptation, recognising that the two are inseparably interlinked.


Participants discussed targets and actions under each of SAP component. All agreed inputs will be elaborate in the draft SAP.

Participants also discussed the issue of whether to include costings of actions in the SAP. Participants agreed that costings would be included in NAPs, but not in the SAP.

Participants agreed that future institutional arrangements should involve:

  • A Coordination Committee comprising government officials from participating countries, which will be the primary decision-making body and be responsible for guiding and overseeing implementation of the SAP.
  • A Stakeholder Partnership Forum comprising experts and practitioners involved in research and capacity development activities relevant to the SAP and NAPs. The Forum would serve as a means of fostering partnerships among relevant experts and organisations with a view to mobilisation and coordination of activities to implement the SAP and NAPs
  • A coordinator or small secretariat, which will serve as the regional point of contact for SAP issues, will facilitate the operations of the above to bodies, and work to mobilise and coordinate activities to implement the SAP and NAPs.


Participants discussed the issue of how the commitments of the three countries to the SAP and new institutional arrangements should be formalised. Professor Tsamenyi outlined three options – a Ministerial declaration, a document describing the new institutional arrangements, or both. Participants agreed to the following approach:

  • The proposed new arrangements should be described in general terms in the SAP
  • Following endorsement of the SAP by the Project Board, further work will be done to develop the new institutional arrangements
  • A Ministerial statement will be developed to express the high level commitment of the three countries to the SAP and the new institutional arrangements. This statement may need to be signed by senior officials if it is not possible to get Ministers together to sign the document.

Participants discussed the forward process for finalisation and endorsement of the SAP. It was agreed that:

  • Any further written comments from the countries would be provided within one week of the workshop
  • The Project Manager will share the draft SAP with PNG, and seek their feedback
  • The Project Manager will talk to UNDP and GEF to get guidance on the desirable nature of targets and indicators in the SAP
  • The Project Manager will work with Dr Tengberg and Professor Tsamenyi to develop a revised SAP
  • Any unresolved issues with the SAP will be discussed informally by the countries and Project Manager either bilaterally, or at an upcoming inception meeting on the regional demonstration project.
  • The final SAP will be presented to the Project Board for endorsement when it meets in February 2013. PNG will be invited to participate in this meeting as an observer.
  • The Project Board should do this as one of its first points of business, so that time can then be spent on initiating next steps, including the development of the:
  • first SAP implementation plan
  • new institutional arrangements
  • Ministerial declaration
  • The countries would endeavour to arrange a meeting of their Ministers on the margins of the 2013 APEC Leaders Summit or another suitable opportunity, to secure Ministerial endorsement of the SAP, institutional arrangements and implementation plan, and to showcase these things to potential donors and partners.

Participants discussed the regional demonstration project, and the following points were made:

  • A key purpose of the regional demonstration project should be to demonstrate the value of the three countries working together, and models for doing so.
  • In that context, participants discussed a general model for the project involving exchanges between communities in the three countries, complemented by capacity building and technical support. All agreed that this seemed a sound model for the demonstration project, but that it would be useful to investigate other examples where such an approach has been applied.
  • It was agreed that the project should focus on the islands of Timor and Rote, and involve Indigenous Australian communities in Northern Australia. There should be three way exchanges between communities in the three countries.
  • Participants agreed that it will be important for monitoring and evaluation to be an integral part of the project, so that its effectiveness as a model for learning and change can be properly assessed.
  • Participants discussed potential topics for the project to address. A shortlist was developed – community based aquaculture, locally managed marine areas/Indigenous Protected Areas, threatened species conservation, and mangrove management and restoration.
  • It was agreed that it will be important for the project to link with, and build on, existing efforts and interests. It was agreed that there should be further work done to identify such efforts and interest in the shortlisted areas.

Participants agreed that the next step in taking forward the demonstration project should be to hold an inception workshop to develop a work plan and initiate work. In preparation for that workshop, it was agreed that:

  • The Project Manager (with assistance from others) will identify existing activities in Timor and Rote under the shortlisted themes for the project.
  • Participants will share and assess examples where such an approach to learning and change has been applied.
  • Consideration on monitoring and evaluation aspects of the project.
  • The Project Manager will develop and circulate an agenda for the inception workshop.

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