The ASEAN Working Group on Marine and Coastal Environment (AWGMCE) discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in managing marine environments among member countries at its 12 th meeting in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa on June 17.

The annual meeting reviewed achievements of member countries during the past year.

At the meeting, Ass. Prof. Doc. Nguyen Chu Hoi, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands and Chairman of AWGMCE, handed over this role to a representative of the Philippines.

With a coastline of 173,000 km, ASEAN territorial waters were assessed as a global centre for tropical marine biodiversity with abundant coastal ecosystems.

ASEAN had implemented many activities to preserve marine and coastal environments, such as proposing standards for marine environments and marine reserves and working out common policies to protect regional marine environments.

Since Vietnam joined AWGMCE in 1996 and undertook the role of chair from July, 2001 to July, 2010, the country had significantly contributed to protecting common interests in marine and coastal environments./.