COBSEA Working Group on Marine Litter

Bali, Indonesia
17-18 June 2019

A Working Group (WG) Meeting on Marine Litter was held in conjunction with the 24th Intergovernmental Meeting (IG) of the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) in Indonesia. It was attended by government representatives from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Republic of Korea, and Vietnam together with those from NGOs, the UN and donor countries.


Group picture

The Malaysian delegates included Mr Eddy Mazuannsyah Mohd Ali, Under Secretary; and Mr Jayaprakash Murulitharan, Principal Assistant Secretary from the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC); and Ms Cheryl Rita Kaur, Head of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Environment MIMA. 


The Malaysian delegation at the meeting

The objective of the meeting was to provide an update on regional and global marine litter processes, discuss revision of the COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI), as well as activities and initiatives related to addressing marine litter in the region.


During the meeting

This WG focused on revising the draft RAP MALI document in relation to four main action areas: (i) policy support and planning, (ii) research, innovation and capacity building, (iii) public awareness, education and outreach, and (iv) private sector engagement.


Side discussion with COBSEA on marine litter efforts

The meeting agreed that national institutional and policy frameworks are key to delivering the RAP MALI and effectively reducing the amount of marine litter in East Asian Seas. National policy frameworks however vary significantly among COBSEA member countries, with few countries that have an over-arching planning framework for addressing marine litter that cuts across sectors or have identified a lead entity for the coordination of efforts towards marine litter reduction. The meeting also emphasised on the need for financial resources and technology to address the issue more effectively. The meeting further called for synergy to be established between the COBSEA RAP MALI and the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris in order to promote coherence and avoid duplication of efforts. The efforts will therefore be continued with further engagements at the regional level. 


The Malaysian delegates from MESTECC and MIMA with representative from COBSEA (2nd from right)

MIMA will continue to play an active role especially in terms of the policy research focusing on coastal and marine litter in Malaysia to contribute towards the greater objectives of addressing the issue at the national and regional levels.


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