International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA)

Aimed at protecting this marine and coastal environment for the health and well-being of present and future generations, the Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Seas Region (the East Asian Seas Action Plan) was adopted in April 1981 and revised in 1994. The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) oversees the implementation of the Action Plan. At the request of participating countries, UN Environment established the Regional Coordinating Unit for the East Asian Seas Action Plan in 1993, functioning as a Secretariat for COBSEA. The Secretariat is hosted by Thailand and administered by UN Environment. COBSEA is one of 18 Regional Seas programmes for the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment. Individual Regional Seas programmes reflect a similar approach, tailored to address regional context and environmental challenges while supporting delivery of global environmental and development goals. The East Asian Seas Action Plan brings together nine countries - Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam - in development and protection of the marine environment and coastal areas of the region, for the health and wellbeing of present and future generations. Specifically, efforts are focused on addressing land-based marine pollution; strengthening marine and coastal planning and management; and sharing marine environmental management experiences and policies towards strengthened regional governance.