Member Type Regional Intergovernmental Organization or Regional Sea

Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA)


Mahesh Pradhan
COBSEA Coordinator
Secretariat of the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), UN Environment Programme
[email protected]

Margarita Victoria Caballa
Programme Associate, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
COBSEA Secretariat, UN Environment Programme
[email protected]

The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) is a regional intergovernmental mechanism bringing together nine countries – Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Viet Nam – in implementation of the Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Seas Region (East Asian Seas Action Plan, adopted in 1981 and revised in 1994). COBSEA is one of 18 Regional Seas programmes, administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and with its Secretariat hosted by Thailand.

Under Strategic Directions 2018-2022, COBSEA addresses land-based marine pollution with a focus on nutrients, sediment and wastewater as well as marine litter and microplastics; strengthens marine and coastal planning and management, with a focus on ecosystem-based management approaches including Marine Protected Areas and Marine Spatial Planning; and enhances regional governance by sharing marine environmental management experiences and policies.

In April 2023, COBSEA participating countries adopted the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Framework which guides COBSEA activities towards the achievement of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Under the overarching theme of Blue Economy, mechanisms include marine and coastal spatial planning, marine protected areas (including networks and OECMs, and the conservation and restoration of marine and coastal habitats (coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass, and wetlands).

Related websites:

Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia
Working with regional seas
Sea Circular website
Implementing the Strategic Action Programme for the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand
COBSEA Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Framework

Last Updated: 27 November 2023