Historically, global conferences urging greater efforts to conserve the ocean have lacked representation from the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), despite this region having one of the most biologically diverse and productive marine ecosystems and a very strong economic growth. However, due to the growing threat of climate change, APAC countries have recently begun to place greater emphasis on oceanic issues.
For example, India will host the next G20 summit in September 2023 and Japan will host the G7 summit in May of the same year. It is expected that during this last forum the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) n°14, which has the ocean as its focus, will be at the center of the discussion. In addition, the International Blue Carbon Institute announced at COP27 will be based in Singapore and focus on Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
China is making progress in protecting its marine ecosystem by establishing an international mangrove center, national standards for coral reef restoration, and its first blue carbon accounting methodology. These regulations were especially necessary after China lost more than half of its mangrove forests between 1950 and 2001. Indonesia has also taken measures to conserve its mangrove forests through initiatives such as the formation of the Mangrove Alliance for Climate. The slow but steady rise of APAC into oceanic leadership is a promising sign.