The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is to protect, conserve, replenish and recover marine turtles and their habitats, based on the best scientific evidence, taking into account the environmental, socio-economic and cultural characteristics of the Signatory States.


National and Sub-regional Focal Points

In order to achieve this objective, Signatories need to cooperate closely and take action both individually and collectively. To facilitate this cooperation, they designate a competent national Authority and a Focal Point for communication between Signatory States and with the Secretariat (see here the Terms of Reference for Focal Points).

Please see here the latest list of National Focal Points.

The IOSEA Conservation and Management Plan also calls upon Signatory States to “encourage cooperation within and among government and non-government sectors, including through the development and/or strengthening of national networks”. More information on how this is being implemented can be found here.

In order to facilitate implementation, the vast and diverse area covered by the MOU has been divided into four sub-regions: South-East Asia and Australia, Northern Indian Ocean, Northwestern Indian Ocean, and Western Indian Ocean. Sub-regional Focal Points have been appointed for each of the sub-regions (ToR).


Marine Turtle Task Forces

Two of the sub-regions have established Marine Turtle Task Forces:


The following bodies are provided for in the Agreement to promote its implementation:


The Meeting of the Signatories (MOS, also called Signatory State Meeting):

The MOS is the decision-making body of the MOU. It meets regularly subject to capacity, need and availability of funding, to review progress made and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the MOU and to lay down the priorities for the next years. 

  • MOS8: Da Nang, Viet Nam, 21-25 October 2019
  • MOS7: Bonn, Germany, 8-11 September 2014
  • MOS6: Bangkok, Thailand, 23-27 January 2012
  • MOS5: Bali, Indonesia, 20-23 August 2008
  • MOS4: Muscat, Oman, 11-14 March 2006
  • MOS3: Bangkok, Thailand, 29-31 March 2005
  • MOS2: Bangkok, Thailand, 16-19 March 2004
  • MOS1: Bangkok, Thailand, 22-24 January 2003


The Advisory Committee (AC)

The AC was established to provide scientific, technical and legal advice to the Signatories, individually and collectively, on the conservation and management of marine turtles and their habitats. It meets back-to-back with the MOS and members are also frequently called on intersessionally to assist the Signatories and the Secretariat.

  • AC9: online, 15-19 March 2021
  • AC8: Da Nang, Viet Nam, 16-18 October 2019
  • AC7: Bonn, Germany, 5-7 September 2014
  • AC6: Bangkok, Thailand, 21-22 January 2012
  • AC5: Bali, Indonesia, 18-19 August 2008
  • AC4: Muscat, Oman, 11-14 March 2006
  • AC3: Bangkok, Thailand, 28 March 2005
  • AC2: Bangkok, Thailand, 15 March 2004
  • AC1: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 16 March 2003

More information on the functions, terms of reference and membership of the Advisory Committee can be accessed here.


The Secretariat

The IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU Secretariat, located in Bonn, Germany, acts as the coordinating body of the MOU.

More information on the functions, organization and staff, as well as on opportunities to support the Secretariat, can be accessed here.