Maritime Security is one of several focus areas for the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.  APCSS partnered with the World Ocean Council to conduct a multi-national workshop on preserving the Gulf of Thailand’s maritime assets, held August 12-14 in Singapore.

Titled “Enhancing Maritime Resource Security: A Cross-sectoral Dialogue for the Gulf of Thailand Initiative,” the workshop enabled officials from four coastal nations to address the anticipated impacts of developing trends in the marine industries most active in GoT waters over the next three to five years. Participants were from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The seminar was part of an ongoing international effort (GoTI) funded by the U.S. State Department to support Gulf of Thailand states as they work to effectively manage the impacts of fisheries, offshore oil and gas activity, shipping and port operations, and coastal development. Those involved seek to ensure that economic activity in the waters of the Gulf can be sustained for the long-term through broad-based development planning.

The three-day workshop teamed government officials from maritime law enforcement, and transportation and trade agencies with their private sector counterparts and subject matter experts.  Fifty-five people took part in the event.  A Vietnam participant related that integrated coastal and ocean management was a key takeaway from the workshop.

According to Dr. Lori Forman, APCSS Development Advisor and Professor, participants’ sense of shared marine geography quickly pulled them together into meaningful and actionable dialogue. The group addressed the region’s strategic challenges, then began discussions about future collaborative measures to address them.

“Knowing first-hand what is at stake, representatives developed a menu of interagency and multi-sectoral actions needed to secure the gulf’s maritime resources,” said Forman, an expert on international economic development.

She added that such actions could benefit the millions of people who depend directly on GoT waters for food, trade and employment. “Ultimately, the health of the Gulf’s marine resources is essential to their nations’ long-term prosperity, stability and security.”

Workshop Group PhotoThe Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies is a Department of Defense institute that addresses regional and global security issues. Military and civilian representatives, most from the United States and Asia-Pacific nations, participate in a comprehensive program of executive education, professional exchanges and outreach events, both in Hawaii and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Center supports the U.S. Pacific Command by developing and sustaining relationships among security practitioners and national security establishments throughout the region. APCSS’ mission is to build capacities and communities of interest by educating, connecting and empowering security practitioners to advance Asia-Pacific security. It is one of the Department of Defense’s five regional security studies centers.

Since opening in 1995, the Center has had more than 8,900 alumni representing over 122 countries and territories attend APCSS courses and workshops.