United Nations
Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME)
by UNDP/GEF YSLME Phase II (United Nations entity)
The Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) Project builds upon regional cooperation for sustainable use of the Yellow Sea put in place by PR China and the Republic of Korea, supported by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPR Korea), the Yellow Sea Partnership and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The initial project completed a regional Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and finalized a regional Strategic Action Programme (SAP), the implementation of which will be operationalized by the national SAP.

The objective of the UNDP/GEF project in Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) is to implement the YSLME Strategic Action Programme (SAP) and to restore the ecosystem goods and services. Committed by China and RO Korea, the YSLME SAP has identified 11 regional targets aimed at restoring and maintaining the ecosystems capacity, namely:

Provisioning Services
Target 1: 25-30% reduction in fishing effort
Target 2: Rebuilding of over-exploited marine living resource
Target 3: Improvement of mariculture techniques to reduce environmental stress

Regulating Services
Target 4: Meeting international requirements on contaminants
Target 5: Reduction of total loading of nutrients from 2006 levels

Cultural Services
Target 6: Reduced standing stock of marine litter from current level
Target 7: Reduce contaminants, particularly in bathing beaches and other marine recreational waters, to nationally acceptable lev

Supporting Services
Target 8: Better understanding and prediction of ecosystem changes for adaptive management including endangered and endemic species
Target 9: Maintenance and improvement of current populations/distributions and genetic diversity of the living organisms including endangered and endemic species
Target 10: Maintenance of habitats according to standards and regulations of 2007
Target 11: Reduction of the risk of introduced species

To ensure the sustainable implementation of the YSLME SAP, a long-term regional environmental governance framework, i.e. YSLME Commission, will be established within the duration of the Project as a soft and non-legally binding framework between the neighboring countries of the Yellow Sea. The Yellow Sea Partnership will be strengthened to engage stakeholders at global, regional, national and local levels to achieve the targets of the YSLME SAP.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Nutrient sinks (e.g. constructed wetlands)
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Cleaner production
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Coastal carbon sinks/blue carbon
  • Carbon capture and sequestration
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
  • Market-based instruments (Individually Traded Quotas, Vessel Day Schemes, etc.)
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
  • Removal or reduction of harmful fisheries subsidies
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Ratification, accession and acceptance of UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
December 2019
Establisment of the YSLME Commission as a non-legally binding collaboration arrangement
December 2019
25-30% of fishing boats are reduced using the year 2004 as the baseline to relieve the pressure on fish stocks
December 2020
10 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are created in YSLME to contribute to 10% coverage of coastal and marine areas under conservation and management, using 2009 as teh baseline
In-kind contribution
Financing (in USD)
30,277,812 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: July 2017 - December 2019
Governments State Oceanic Administration (SOA) of PR China Ministry of Finance, PR China Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), RO Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), RO Korea Incheon Metropolitan City, RO Korea National Marine Environment Monitoring Center (NMEMC) of SOA, PR China Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), RO Korea Provincial and local governments of Liaoning, Shandong and Jiangsu of PR China bordering the Yellow Sea. Provincial and local governments of Gyeonggi-do, Chungcheong-do, Jeolla-do of RO Korea bordering the Yellow Sea. UN Agencies, Global and Regional Institutions and Mechanisms UNDP UNOPS The GEF IW:LEARN PEMSEA NOWPAP IOC/WESTPAC UNESCAP-ENEA COBSEA Academia First Institute of Oceanography (FIO/SOA), PR China Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute (YSFRI), PR China Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), PR China Shandong Aquaculture Society, PR China Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) Korea Maritime Institute (KMI) National Institute of Fisheries Science (NIFS), RO Korea Korea University Anyang University Chungnam National University, RO Korea Pukyoung National University, RO Korea Jeju National University, RO Korea Inha University, RO Korea Hanyang University, RO Korea Kunsan University, RO Korea And NGOs
Ocean Basins
  • North Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Yinfeng Guo, Chief Technical Advisor, YinfengG@unops.org, 827041612241
Incheon City, Republic of Korea
Other SDGs
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