ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME)

BMB Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez (second from left) chairs the 20th Meeting of the AWGCME in Phuket, Thailand on 28 January 2019. [ASEAN Secretariat]

The AWGCME was established to foster the conservation and sustainable management of coastal and marine ecosystems while highlighting their importance as resources of livelihood for the ASEAN. It is mandated to ensure that ASEAN's coastal and marine environment are sustainably managed; representative ecosystems, pristine areas and species are protected; economic activities are sustainably managed; and public awareness of the coastal and marine environment instilled. It also acts as a consultative forum to promote coordination and collaboration among relevant ASEAN and other regional marine-related initiatives.
Focal Office:
Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB)
23-25 June 1999 - Date of first meeting
Focal Persons:
Chief, Coastal and Marine Division, DENR-BMB
Tel. No. (632) 924 6031 to 35 local 207, (632) 925 8948

Chief, Integrated Coastal and Marine Partnership Section Coastal and Marine Division, DENR-BMB
Tel. No. (632) 924 6031 to 35 local 207, 925 8948
The working group's program areas are
- Key Coastal and Marine Area Conservation
- Endangered Coastal and Marine Species Conservation
- Tanker Desludging and Oil Spill Reduction
- Coastal and Marine Pollution Mitigation
- ASEAN CSR Network Proposal on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Tackle Marine Plastics
- Coastal and Marine Invasive Alien Species
- Climate Change Issues and Impacts in Coastal Areas
- Integrated Coastal Management and Marine Spatial Planning
During the 20th Meeting of the AWGCME on 28-31 January 2019, commitments were made to pursue a regional framework on "Climate Change and ASEAN Coastal Areas: Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation using ICM (integrated coastal management)," to develop national action plans on marine debris, to push for the Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary as an ASEAN Heritage Park with Malaysia, and to support projects under the CTI platform. To be given special attention are initiatives concerning threatened marine species, invasive alien species, harmful algal blooms, and marine pollution including unmanaged marine debris or litter.
Policy Issuances:
DENR Administrative Order 2016-26 Guidelines for the Implementation of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP)
Sources / Relevant Links:


The Philippines through the BMB chaired the Working Group from 2014 to 2016 but extended until the 20th meeting on 28-30 January 2019. The working group initially focused on pollution, but the Philippines added the aspects of biodiversity and ecosystems connectivity from ridge to reef during the 2017 AWGCME meeting in Manila. Thailand is offered to chair the working group in the NEXT three-year term to sustain its momentum on marine debris and consonant to the agenda of the current ASOEN Chair (Thailand) on combating impacts of marine debris.
The Bangkok Declaration on Combatting Marine Debris in ASEAN Region was drafted on 5 March 2019 during the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Marine Debris for approval in the 34th ASEAN Summit to be held in June. The declaration commits the AMS to take concrete action in combating marine plastic debris; strengthen regional and international cooperation by exploring the possible development; promote efforts to develop a national action plan to prevent, reduce and manage plastic debris; and extend full support to advance partnership sustainability in all dimensions. The AWGCME is tasked by the ASOEN to lead in coordinating activities and projects with partners, with support from relevant working groups.
The Philippines will assist Vietnam as the lead country in Programme 7 on "Integrated Coastal Management and Marine Spatial Planning" of the AWGCME Action Plan.
The Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) which started in 2017 and will end in 2028 is a 12-year national program that aims to manage, address and effectively reduce the drivers and threats of degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystems to achieve and promote sustainability of ecosystem services, food security and climate change resiliency. It employs a ridge-to-reef management approach.
This Page was updated on 17 December 2019 and will be updated on 10 December 2020
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