Bringing together heads of maritime agencies from participating International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member States, the Philippines, through the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), will host the Second High-Level Regional Meeting on Marine Environment Protection of the Southeast Asian Seas (MEPSEAS) in Manila, Philippines on 27 to 29 August 2019.

The IMO and the MEPSEAS International Consultants will lead the session and will provide updates regarding the MEPSEAS Project website, initial steps undertaken to capacitate countries in implementing the provisions and requirement of the Conventions, results of Train the Trainers (TTT) held in Singapore last 28 to 30 May 2019, and initial delivery of the training modules covering the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, Anti-Fouling System (AFS) Convention and MARPOL Annex V.

Delegates from the participating beneficiary countries will likewise present the development and adoption of their respective National Action Plans (NAPs), including successes and challenges in completing the NAP activities related to the accession of the chosen IMO Conventions.

Moreover, the strategic partners will present relevant activities and programs, which support the objectives of the MEPSEAS Project, and will also explore possible areas of collaboration and modalities by which to pursue cooperation.

The Second High-Level Regional Meeting will be attended by delegates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, as well as strategic partners from the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), Women in Maritime – Asia and Philippines, Tokyo MOU Regional Port State Control Organization, ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Chair’s representative, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), and Maritime Technology Cooperation Center (MTCC) Asia.

As host country, the Philippine delegation will be composed of representatives from different departments and agencies that are identified important in giving full and complete effect to the Conventions. They are the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), MARINA, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Cebu Port Authority (CPA), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environment Management Bureau (DENR – EMB), DENR – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR – BMB), Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, Office of the President – Presidential Legislative Affairs, Filipino Shipowners Association, and International Maritime Association of the Philippines.

The MEPSEAS Project is a 4-year project (2018-2021) of the IMO in cooperation with the Norwegian Agency for the Development (NORAD) providing assistance to East Asian countries in ratifying and implementing IMO Instruments for the protection of the marine environment. It aims to reduce the risks and impacts of environmental issues related to maritime transport in the ASEAN region. It supports the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 – to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.