Regional node - Asia

Photo credit: Andrzej Suwara / Unsplash

Introducing ECOP Asia

Since June 2021, ECOP Asia has been established as a regional node of the Global ECOP Programme, to connect existing networks of multi-disciplinary ECOPs across Asia, and to exchange past experience and current knowledge of the challenges and objectives of the UN Ocean Decade. 

ECOP Asia assists in: 

(i) Organizing trainings and events (e.g. seminars, workshops, symposia) related to the Ocean Decade at both the regional and country levels, (ii) Disseminating relevant news and opportunities, including jobs, scholarships/grants, internships, upcoming conferences etc. (if interested, make sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter here), (iii) Bridging regional ECOP nodes (i.e. connecting and collaborating with partners in Africa and Canada), and (iv) Providing feedback in the form of surveys or assessments (see our published materials here). 

ECOP Asia aims to develop and nurture a vibrant, engaged, and inclusive regional ECOP community in Asia, conducive to inter-generational dialogues, cross-sectoral partnerships, and transformative ocean solutions. Our Action Plan includes:

  • Curating a regional inventory of ECOPs and cross-sectoral ocean stakeholders,
  • Filling gaps in geographical representation (especially in Southeast and West Asia),
  • Enhancing our understanding of national needs, priorities and cultural nuances in the context of the UN Ocean Decade,
  • Overseeing and facilitating the establishment of sub-regional and national ECOP nodes,
  • Strengthening relationships with cross-sectoral stakeholders and other key regional actors of the Ocean Decade ecosystem,
  • Seeking new sustainable sources of funding to support ECOP ideas, activities, as well as training and career development opportunities.”

ECOP Asia Coordination Unit

ECOP Asia welcomes you to join the network and share your country’s activities and opportunities related to the UN Ocean Decade.

For any questions or enquiries, please contact:

Hailing from landlocked Switzerland, Raphaël developed his passion for marine conservation, interdisciplinary ocean science, and coastal community wellbeing through various research and consultancy appointments across the North Pacific (in both Canada and Japan). In his current role, Raphaël strives to establish and sustain a vibrant, engaged, and inclusive regional ECOP community in Asia, across sectors, disciplines, and cultural contexts.

ECOP Asia Intern testimonials

Debarati Sengupta

My ECOP Asia internship experience was simply wonderful. It was a dream-come-true when I got the internship opportunity from Asia as I always wanted to work somewhere that truly cares for Ocean and actively promotes young minds. As an intern, I was assigned to the development of ECOP-India node and had the opportunity to put my communications and networking knowledge into practice. 

Under the guidance of my amazing supervisor Raphael, I got exposed to many opportunities and learnt from the best. I gained valuable ideas through my engagements with the core ECOP team globally. This experience of working in a multicultural diverse global community helped me significantly with my career planning. My biggest takeaway would be the new long-term relationships and connections which I had forged with my core ECOP team. My only advice for interns, always take initiative in everything that you do and communicate with new people to better understand the challenges of the UN Ocean Decade globally.”


Chunhua Jiang

“During my internship, I have gained valuable insights and knowledge in both international organizations and marine research. This experience has not only enhanced my understanding of how international organizations operate but also has empowered me to confidently reach out to various stakeholders in order to address and resolve specific issues. Most importantly, working to empower the ECOPs is impactful and always makes me motivated. My supervisor Raphael has been instrumental in providing clear objectives and tasks, as well as sharing valuable professional and operational knowledge on specific matters. This guidance has greatly contributed to my personal growth and future career development. Moreover, the exceptional work environment within the team has fostered a harmonious and enjoyable atmosphere. Collaborating with these colleagues has been both seamless and delightful. I am grateful for this enriching experience, and I am confident that the lessons learned during my internship will serve as a strong foundation for my future endeavors in the professional world. Joining the ECOP Team has been a wonderful choice for me and don’t hesitate to join us!”

Join the ECOP Asia Community and contribute​

ECOP Asia Reports

ECOP Asia Report - 2022 to 2023

We are thrilled to launch our new and comprehensive report for ECOP Asia where readers can dive into the latest insights, figures and updates from our Regional ECOP node in Asia. 

Gain a panoramic view of the landscape of regional UN Ocean Decade Actions in Asia and learn about the diverse array of projects, initiatives, and collaborations that are shaping the future of ocean sustainability across the region.

Click here to access the 2022-2023 ECOP Asia Report

China Survey Report - 2022 to 2023

Released on 20 June 2023, the China Survey Report presents the results of the bilingual ECOP (Chinese/English) survey, which was conducted from 5 November 2022 to 10 January 2023.  This survey was designed to assist the ECOP Programme in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the priorities and challenges confronting Chinese ECOPs.  The report also provides an update on the progress made in establishing the ECOP China node and was prepared by Chunhua Jiang (ECOP Asia intern) and Raphaël Roman (Regional Coordinator for ECOP Asia). 

This report is available in two languages: English and Chinese (中文).

India Survey Report - 2022 to 2023​

Welcome to our latest report that presents the results of the national ECOP survey for India, and also highlights some progress made towards establishing a prospective national node in the country.  The report was prepared by Debarati Sengupta (ECOP Asia intern) and Raphaël Roman (Regional Coordinator for ECOP Asia), and released on 13 June 2023.

Click here to access the India Survey Report.

ECOP Asia Intermediary Report

This intermediary report provides an overview of the progress and tasks undertaken by the Regional ECOP Coordinator for Asia from December 14th, 2021 to March 31st, 2022.

Click here to access the ECOP Asia Intermediary Report.

ECOP Asia Incubator 17 Summary Report

This summary report provides an overview of the online Incubator 17 event on 25-26 November 2021.  The Incubator was organised collectively by ECOPs in Asia to share existing knowledge and past experience of science communication efforts organized in Asia/Western Pacific and its adjacent areas, and to discuss effective ways and technical tools to engage more non-professionals and stakeholders in the UN Decade and WESTPAC communities.

Click here to access the ECOP Asia Incubator 17 summary report.

Asia National Nodes


Learn more about our first National Node within Asia: Japan.

South Korea

Learn more about our second National Node within Asia: South Korea.​

ECOP Asia Highlights

  • December 12, 2022: Hari Vishnu, ECOP Asia member, Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore and an organizer of Singapore AUV Challenge was featured in ECOP Conversations.  Hari’s talks about his work in underwater acoustic signal processing, machine learning for bio-acoustics and robotics.  Watch the full video on our Youtube channel here.
  • November 11, 2022: Interviewed Camille Rivera, one of our ECOP champions from the Philippines and co-founder of Oceanus Conservation. You can listen to her interview in our “ECOP Conversations” video series here.
  • Sept. 23 – Oct. 4, 2022: Attended the 2022 PICES Annual Meeting in Busan, South Korea: “Sustainability of Marine Ecosystems through global knowledge networks during the UN Decade of Ocean Science”. Co-organized and co-moderated two ECOP-focused events: (i) ECOP Workshop: “Exploring Engagement Opportunities for ECOPs within PICES and Internationally” (report coming soon!), and (ii) Joint ECOP Symposium:Developing Better Capacity for Early Career Ocean Professionals”.
  • September 19, 2022: Hired two ECOP Asia interns from China and India, who will be assisting the ECOP Programme until late December 2022.
  • August 22, 2022: The South Korea ECOP community had their first online gathering (~33 people attended). A National ECOP node for South Korea is currently in the works and will be established later in the year.
  • August 15, 2022: The first ECOP Asia Report was published and made publicly available on the ECOP website, see here.
  • August 2, 2022: Officially launched ECOP Japan, the very first National ECOP node in Asia.
  • July 18-21, 2022: Took part in the 4th ICES/PICES Early Career Scientist Conference in Newfoundland, Canada, and highlighted the progress made in Asia during an ECOP engagement workshop organized by ECOP Canada. Here is a short conference-recap video.
  • June 27  July 1, 2022: Attended the 2022 UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, and co-sponsored one ECOP from the Philippines to travel, attend and speak at the conference: Camille Rivera (meet her in this episode of  ECOP Conversations). Here is an excerpt from her testimonial: : “[…] I found it very impactful to attend and contribute to these events because oftentimes, there is a huge disconnect with what is happening on the ground. I was able to share that knowledge and experience coming from the Global South and there is a need to fill up that gap, especially with the engagement of more ECOPs like me!
  • March 22 – May 22, 2022: Disseminated the 2nd ECOP Asia survey as a follow-up to the first one circulated in Spring 2021. The 2022 survey filled in gaps in geographic representation, investigated funding priorities and preferred outreach initiatives, gauged interest in science communication skills and assessed regional engagement opportunities within the UN Ocean Decade, among other objectives (a report is coming up soon in November 2022).
  • March 4-6, 2022: Co-sponsored a hands-on training workshop on Next-Generation Sequencing: “Peek into Biodiversity and Beyond”, organized by the Centre of Climate and Environmental Studies, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, India. A workshop summary authored by Anwesha Ghosh can be found here.
  • January 19th, 2022: Our ECOP Asia coordinator recorded a presentation for the webinar: “Engaging Early Career Ocean Professionals in the UN Ocean Decade”, which was jointly prepared by DEFRA (UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), IOC-UNESCO and the ECOP Programme. You can access the full event recording here.
  • January 18, 2022: Participated in the Virtual kick off symposium for the ECOP community in Japan: “Toward creating an ECOP network in the UN Decade of Ocean Science”. Video recordings are publicly available on the Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s YouTube channel, in Japanese here and with simulataenous English translation here. A summary report can also be accessed here and feel free to contact our ECOP Japan coordinators for any questions.
  • November 25-26, 2021: Organized and moderated a Decade Action Incubator Session during the UN Decade Regional Kickoff Conference for the Western Pacific and its Adjacent Areas (WESTPAC). See video recording here and a summary prepared by Hari Vishnu here.
  • June 8, 2021: Celebrated World Oceans Day with inspiring testimonials from ECOPs all across India (video).
  • June 1-2, 2021: Introduced the ECOP Asia network and presented the results of the first pan-Asia ECOP survey at the Virtual Early Career Ocean Professionals Day
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