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Home:Current Activities: Strategic and Emerging Issues: Marine and landbased pollution

Marine and landbased pollution

Marine Litter in the East Asian Seas region

Marine litter poses a vast and growing threat to the marine and coastal environment. It travels over long distances with ocean currents and winds and is found everywhere in the marine and coastal environment, from the poles to the equator, from continental coastlines to small remote islands.

The very slow rate of degradation of most marine litter items, mainly plastics, together with the continuously growing quantity of the litter and debris disposed, is leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at sea and on the shores.

In 2007, COBSEA initiated its marine litter activity through conducting a review of national and regional institutional arrangements, data and information and the identification of management gaps needs related to marine litter. The First COBSEA Marine Litter Workshop was convened in Jakarta, Indonesia, 8-9 May 2007, in order to discuss the review outcomes and develop a COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP-MALI).

The COBSEA RAP-MALI was adopted by the Nineteenth Meeting of COBSEA held in January 2008 and determines the actions that will be of priority during the coming years marine litter activities within COBSEA.

As one of the first measures to implement the COBSEA RAP-MALI, the COBSEA Secretariat is organizing the Clean Up East Asian Seas Campaign 2008 in collaboration with Clean Up the World, Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup and the Green Fins. Through the Clean Up East Asian Seas Campaign 2008, organizations among the COBSEA member countries are being encouraged to register their local cleanup activities to the campaign and to report their data. In connection to the Clean Up East Asian Seas Campaign, the COBSEA Secretariat is also organizing the Green Fins Photo Contest and the COBSEA Clean Beach Awards. The outcomes of the Clean Up East Asian Seas Campaign 2008 will be celebrated at the Second COBSEA Marine Litter Workshop and Cleanup Campaign in September 2008.

See also the information on:

The Clean Up East Asian Seas Campaign 2008, the Green Fins Photo Contest and the 2008 COBSEA Clean Beach Awards!

Thailand's Coastal Cleanup Campaign undertaken 16 September 2006 and 15 September 2007 as part of COBSEA's Green Fins activity.

COBSEA's participation and partnership with NOWPAP's International Coastal Clean-up Campaign, Busan, Republic of Korea, 28-29 September 2007.


"Marine Litter - An Analytical Overview", UNEP 2005, (read..., pdf file, 8.59 MB)

See the Global Marine Litter Information Gateway at www.marine-litter.gpa.unep.org.

Nutrient pollution in the East Asian Seas region

The activity "Determination of pollution loading from land based sources using modelling and GIS" was initiated in 2006 together with the Southeast Asia START Regional Center (SEA START RC) in order to estimate nutrient loading from primary pollution sources in the East Asian Seas region and promote the use of modelling as a tool to manage land-based sources of pollution.

An expert workshop (4-5 August 2006) and a training workshop (7-8 September 2006) were undertaken in Bangkok to introduce the developed modelling concepts, fine-tune the modelling system and to include data from the member countries needed for the verification of the model. The workshops were attended by nominated national experts.

During 2007, SEA START RC has been working on the identification of additional data for the verification of the model, the calibration of the catchment simulation, running the model for additional catchments and the establishment of an online GIS database presenting the project outcomes.


Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities in the East Asian Seas Region, Cairns, Australia, 1997 (read..., pdf file, 251KB)

Regional Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the East Asian Seas from the Effects of Land-based Activities, 2000 (read..., pdf file, 2.06MB) 

Regional Workshop on Protecting Coastal and Marine Ecosystems from Land-Based Activities in the Asia-Pacific Region, Toyama, Japan, 2001 (read..., pdf file, 300KB)

"Regional Workshop on Identification of Pollution Hot Spots in the East Asian Seas Region, Hua Hin, Thailand, 2002". (read..., pdf file, 453KB)

Policy Brief: Partnership Opportunities for Enhanced GPA implementation in the East Asian Seas Region, 2006 (read..., pdf file, 569KB)


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