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Spatial Planning in the Coastal Zone of the East Asian Seas Region: Integrating Emerging Issues and Modern Management Approaches

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East Asian Seas Region
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COBSEA Strategic Directions 2018-2022 were adopted at the Second Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting of the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), held in Bangkok, Thailand from 25-26 April 2018.

These Strategic Directions will guide COBSEA participating countries and the COBSEA Secretariat in action towards development and protection of the marine environment and coastal areas of East Asian Seas.

The Strategic Directions set out substantive priorities for COBSEAs work, focusing on land-based pollution including marine litter, nutrients and waste water, as well as ecosystem-based coastal and marine planning and management. COBSEA will also be leveraged as an intergovernmental policy mechanism in support of delivering ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals.

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COBSEA Past Events

COBSEA Second Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting

The Second Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting of COBSEA was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 25-26 April 2018. At the meeting, countries adopted new 5-year strategic directions, focusing on land-based pollution including marine litter, nutrients and waste water, as well as ecosystem-based coastal and marine planning and management. Countries expressed support for ongoing efforts by the COBSEA Secretariat in relation to regional marine litter project development, and agreed steps for revision of the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter they adopted in 2008. This is a significant step forward for COBSEA, marking increased momentum in project delivery as well as a strengthened regional ocean partnership.
More information: Report of the Second Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting of the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia

Review and revision of the COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter
The COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter 2008 remains the only intergovernmentally adopted framework for addressing marine litter in the region, which includes several of the world’s largest contributors of marine litter.In light of recent global policy development and growing efforts to address marine litter in the region, it is being updated to ensure it is fit-for-purpose. A Regional Review of Marine litter in the East Asian Seas Region is underway to support the process. A zero draft of the Regional Review was provided to the COBSEA Second Extraordinary Intergovernmental Meeting in April 2018, together with a first draft of the revised Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter. At the meeting countries agreed on steps towards finalization of the revised Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, including through national and regional consultation. A decision on COBSEA RAP MALI will be made at the 24th Intergovernmental Meeting of COBSEA, in 2019
More information: COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter 2008, Regional Review of Marine litter in the East Asian Seas Region, zero-draft, Revised COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter First Draft

8-9 December 2014: Regional Conclusion Workshop of UNEP/COBSEA MFF Coastal Erosion Project, Samut Songkram, Thailand.

The event, which will serve as a "concluding event" of the project, will report to UNEP, MFF and participating countries the accomplishments and outcomes of the project particularly the national assessments on coastal erosion and the implementation of pilot interventions including discussions on the next steps for implementation. The workshop will also provide opportunity for project partners from Pakistan and Thailand to meet and share with their counterparts their experiences and lessons learned in the implementation of the project and its activities. See the Agenda of the workshop

19 August 2014: COBSEA First Extra-Ordinary Intergovernmental Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand.


Further to Resolution 1 adopted at the 21st Intergovernmental Meeting, UNEP and COBSEA Secretariat organized the First Extra-Ordinary Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) of the Coordinating Body of the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) where representatives of Member States agreed on the sustainability of COBSEA and the need to reach the increased targeted budget of Trust Fund contributions. The meeting adopted a resolution reaffirming the long term sustainability of COBSEA as the primary consideration for any decision regarding the hosting of the COBSEA Secretariat, and reiterating that long term sustainability requires all the participating countries meet the increased annual target budget, as agreed in Resolution 1 of the 21st IGM.
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