The East Asian Seas Action Plan identifies COBSEA as the overall authority to determine the content of the action plan, to review its progress and to approve its programme of implementation (paragraph 52). It further, inter alia, identifies COBSEA’s role in providing information and guidance on the coordination of coastal and marine environmental activities (paragraph 52.6); and in exploring the feasibility of development and adoption of suitable legal frameworks (paragraph 50). It also recognizes assessment and monitoring, data management and reporting as important underpinning activities essential for the success of the action plan; and recognizes the need for collaboration to build a foundation of knowledge and experience for the East Asian Seas region (paragraph 51).
COBSEA aims to provide an effective regional policy mechanism for the coastal and marine environment. By serving as a forum for exchange of experiences, policy and practice related to the two substantive themes, COBSEA’s role as a regional policy mechanism is strengthened. Its value to participating countries as a sustainability mechanism for project activities is also enhanced, in terms of policy uptake as well as in terms of legacy activities related to data and knowledge outputs and networks of experts and institutions.
COBSEA participates in UN Environment’s Regional Seas Programme, and through that engages in global coordination and collaboration on regional ocean governance as well as development and use of indicators and reporting that support tracking of implementation of global frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also enables leveraging of UN Environment’s global efforts in relation to land-based pollution, ecosystem-based management, MPAs, MSP, coral reefs and blue carbon.
COBSEA promotes regional cooperation among its participating countries to strengthen coastal and marine environmental management in the East Asian Seas region. In addition, COBSEA seeks close collaboration with other regional entities when implementing its many activities and works to prevent any duplication of efforts.