The Director General of South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme(SACEP) Ms.Rokeya Khaton, participated in the 23rd annual meeting of the Regional Seas Programme, held from November 20 to 23, 2023, in Bridgetown, Barbados. This event was organized by UNEP and supported by the Government of Barbados. SACEP serves as the secretariat of the South Asian Seas Programme (SASP) which is one of 18 such programmes & the South Asian Seas Action Plan (SASAP) was adopted in March 1995 by the region’s five maritime countries (Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).
The primary objective of the 23rd global meeting was to collaboratively develop an action plan for implementing the Regional Seas Strategic Directions 2022-2025 and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Discussions also centred around the Regional Seas' role in ongoing negotiations related to the plastics treaty, the new agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea focusing on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), and the World Ocean Assessments. Other topics included strategic engagement at the UN Ocean Conference in June 2025, concerns related to Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the 50th anniversary of the UNEP Regional Seas Programme in 2024, and more.