Sanur, 23 May 2023: The Regional Knowledge Centre of Marine Plastic Debris (RKC-MPD) of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) participated in the 24th ASEAN Coordination Meeting with Partners on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME) held in Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. The meeting aimed to provide updates on marine debris-related works, coordinate regional activities, and explore synergy for the implementation of AWGCME Action Plan, ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Combating Marine Debris, and INC (International Negotiation Committee) process for global plastic treaty.

‘Many people in Asia depend on coastal and marine ecosystem to sustain their livelihood. It is important to have mutual understanding among ASEAN Member States and respective partners to coordinate general activities related to coastal and marine environment’, said Dasrul Chaniago, Director of Pollution Control and Damage to Coast and Sea, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia as well as the representative from the host country.

In this occasion, Mr Michikazu Kojima, Senior Advisor at ERIA provided updates of the regional knowledge centre’s activities. In the research area, the centre intends to develop regional indicators to assess the impact of marine litter to the ecosystem. This research will put emphasis on biota survey in ASEAN region, which requires cooperation from different stakeholders.

‘At the moment, there is no harmonised monitoring survey methods for marine biota in ASEAN. This is an important issue, and collaborative work is highly needed’, said Mr Kojima.

As the knowledge hub, the centre will otherwise keep strengthening its effort to collect and disseminate the latest regulatory advancement made by each ASEAN+3 country, identify and share good practices, as well as scientific knowledge related to plastic waste and marine plastics management in the region, among other things.

It is to be noted that the World Bank, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the World Coastal Forum, which attended the meeting, are also developing marine plastic knowledge hub in the region. In response to this, the ASEAN Secretariat suggested for the relevant parties to collaborate with each other to avoid duplication and seek maximum efficiency in the process.

Blue economy received a special attention during this meeting. The ASEAN Secretariat stated that the ASEAN countries need to commit to sustainable blue economy and deepen international discussions. The ASEAN Member States and the dialogue partners are requested to take concrete actions on this front.

Also read: Data, Policy, and Financing Must be Harmonised to Tackle Marine Plastic Pollution: OECD Regional Dialogue