Transboundary Cooperation in South-East Asia
In South-East Asia, home to one of the world’s priority seascapes for conservation, the Coral Triangle, regional planning and cooperation are invaluable. Protecting marine ecosystems across national boundaries will always be more effective if countries can pool their knowledge and work alongside one another.
This is why, as well as restoring coral reefs and mangroves in South-East Asia, the Ocean Governance project is engaged in supporting dialogues on peace, prosperity and community building by connecting marine and coastal stakeholders, with a focus on the Coral Triangle countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The project works closely with EU Delegations in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia to inform decision-making at the political level and facilitate cooperation between key actors and stakeholders involved in marine and coastal conservation in the region. The cooperation consists in sharing information, consultation and coordination between different stakeholders, be they from the public or private sector, within the same country or across national borders. Two of the project’s largest events so far have been dedicated to this component: the 2021 Virtual Learning Exchange between the Coral Triangle Initiative and the Ocean Governance Project, and the 2022 Learning Exchanges between the Atlantic and South-East Asia.
The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI-CFF) and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity are the key partners for this component of the project and our cooperation with them is constantly strengthened through meetings and consultations.
The project originally set out to lay the foundations for a new transboundary conservation area (TBCA) and, to this end, produced a study on worldwide transboundary environmental projects and initiatives to inform the creation of a TBCA. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a revision of this plan, given the pandemic’s context and travel restrictions. The idea of creating a TBCA is in line with the CTI-CFF’s goal to establish a regional Coral Triangle MPA system. It is hoped, therefore, that the Ocean Governance project will contribute to strengthening the ongoing regional cooperation process promoted by the CTI-CFF.
Learning Exchanges with South-East Asia in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (2022)