Institutional Structure

The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) is a regional intergovernmental policy forum, recognized as the sole decision-making body for the East Asian Seas Action Plan (paragraph 52 of the Action Plan), with a mandate that also encompasses coordination of coastal and marine initiatives in the region, facilitating policy development, and development and implementation of projects. Key to fulfilling this mandate is strong partnerships with national and regional institutions on specific aspects of the Strategic Direction.

The East Asian Seas Trust Fund was established in 1982 to provide financial support for the Action Plan. Through contributions made by participating countries, the Trust Fund supports core functions of COBSEA including the Secretariat and Intergovernmental Meetings.

The COBSEA Secretariat is hosted by Thailand and administered by UN Environment. It provides overall technical coordination and supervision of the implementation of the Action Plan (paragraph 55), including:

  • co-ordinating the activities of governments, non-governmental organizations, UN and donor agencies, and individuals for a healthy marine environment in the region
  • acting as a supervisory body in the implementation and assessment of projects and activities carried out under the purview of the COBSEA
  • serving as a focus for collection and dissemination of information amongst member countries and between the EAS region and other regional seas and relevant international organizations