COBSEA is partnering with CSIRO to provide technical assistance and capacity building toward harmonized marine litter monitoring programmes. Trainings on monitoring are organized under the SEA circular project, implemented jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and COBSEA, with funding from the Government of Sweden.

“The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) oversees the implementation of the  East Asian Seas Action Plan, adopted in April 1981 and revised in 1994. 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) aims at protecting the marine and coastal environment in the region for the health and well-being of present and future generations.” Click here for more information on COBSEA.  

Here we outline two of the main outcomes of the partnership.

Regional Training of Trainers on Monitoring and Assessment of Marine Plastic Litter and Microplastics

In July 2022, members of the CSIRO marine debris team travelled to Phuket, Thailand to conduct training with participants in attendance from five countries (Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam). The course enabled participants to establish/design their own programme to monitor and assess the distribution and abundance of plastic litter to support national monitoring programmes. Training was conducted in a way that suited each country’s individual needs, while harmonizing within the East Asia region, where possible.


Regional Guidance on Harmonized National Marine Litter Monitoring Programmes

Our very own Denise Hardesty and Lauren Roman were lead authors on the following UN and COBSEA collaboration. 

The guidelines provide Regional Guidance on Harmonized National Marine Litter Monitoring
Programmes to strengthen and harmonize marine litter monitoring efforts toward preventing and
reducing marine litter and its impacts, in line with the COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter
(RAP MALI). The review responds to the needs identified by COBSEA participating countries,
incorporates country contributions, and builds on existing capacities and priorities, to promote data
comparability and align efforts at regional and global level.

The guidelines can be accessed here.