Regional conference sheds light on pressing marine environmental issues in Asia

Location: Bangkok, Thailand. 4th Feb 2018

A variety of marine environmental issues facing Southeast Asia were discussed at the U.S.-ASEAN Conference on Marine Environmental Issues held in Bangkok, Thailand from 14 to 15 September 2017.

Organised by The Stimson Center, on behalf of the U.S. State Department and in collaboration with IUCN and the MFF Programme, the conference was attended by over 50 marine experts from think tanks, academia, the private sector, nongovernmental organisations and governments across ASEAN member countries, as well as from the United States, India, Japan and Australia.

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 Onstage, left to right: Kateryna Wowk (Senior Associate for Strategic Planning and Policy, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexco Studies Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi), Ryan Whisnant (Director of Strategic Initiatives for PEMSEA) and Kobkarn Suriyasat Wattanavrangkul (Thailand Minister of Tourism and Sport) © IUCN 

Building on the many inaugural commitments announced at the Our Oceans Conference 2016 and the recent UN Ocean Conference, the U.S.-ASEAN Conference on Marine Environmental Issues provided the opportunity to explore policy strategies to meet the call of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14. The conference served as a model to showcase and develop regional collaborative efforts, policies and technical work which can support SDG14 implementation and preparation for the Our Oceans Conference this year in Indonesia.

The conference also provided attendees the opportunity to build networks for future research and collaboration, as well as to make recommendations for policymakers in ASEAN member states at a multi-lateral level. Moreover, the conference reiterated and reassured that U.S. stakeholders in the government, academia and private industry are engaged in these critical issues.

The event's final report includes a summary of major policy recommendations, conference agenda, participant list, summary of the content discussion, and major policy recommendations from each panel session, and conference photographs.

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Conference organisers from the Stimson Center, IUCN and MFF, © IUCN  

Please download the event report here.  

To view photos of the event, please visit this Facebook album.

An op-ed, written by the organisers, was also published ahead of the event in several media outlets. View the op-ed, entitled "Conserving Southeast Asia's seas", on the Jakarta Post website here.

View video of Opening Plenary: Leaders Forum and Topic Plenary 1: Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing, held on September 14

 

View video of Topic Plenary 2: The Blue Economy, held on September 15

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Left to right: Kateryna Wowk, Ryan Whisnant and Kobkarn Suri ... © IUCN

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