Dr. Vann Monyneath
East Asian Seas Partnership Council Chair
Dr. Vann Monyneath is currently the Under-Secretary of State for the Ministry of Environment in Cambodia and is in charge of International Cooperation and Development Partners.
Prior to his new appointment, Dr. Monyneath was the Director General of the Ministry of Environment between 2021-2023 and the Secretary General of the National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) between 2020-2021. During his mandate, he led the development, integration, and monitoring the implementation of many policies and strategies related to environment protection, natural resources management, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in Cambodia. He has been with the Ministry of Environment for nearly 30 years. He has also represented Cambodia in numerous global meetings in the United Nations Environment Assembly and other regional meetings. Moreover, he has served as the Chairman-Cambodia Senior Officials on the Environment to ASEAN since 2008, leading numerous discussions and meetings on a variety of topics including sustainable cities, climate change, biodiversity conservation, multilateral environmental agreements, water resource management, environmental education, coastal and marine environment and transboundary haze pollution.
Dr. Monyneath obtained his doctoral degree in Environmental Management from Preston University in the United States; a Master of Science in General Maritime Administration and Environment Protection from World Maritime University in Swede; and a Bachelor Degree in Fisheries Engineering from Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia.
Atty. Jonas Leones
East Asian Seas Partnership Council Co-Chair
Atty. Jonas R. Leones has 31 years of experience in various technical, legal, and managerial capacities with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines. He currently serves as the Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs, with the rank of Career Executive Service Officer (CESO), Rank I. He coordinates all international environmental concerns including the implementation of international environmental treaties and the participation of the Philippines in international environmental bodies and conferences
Atty. Leones supervises the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) and River Basin Control Office (RBCO), and oversees the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, one of the Department’s priority programs. He also acts as the Spokesperson of the Department and the supervising Undersecretary for the Forest Management Bureau and Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau. He also serves as the Philippine focal person in the International Review Panel Steering Committee of the United Nations Environment Programme. He is also a member of the Pollution Adjudication Board, and served as its Board Secretary and Legal Counsel, in concurrent capacity from August 2005- July 2013.
Atty. Leones holds a Master’s Degree in Public Management from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws from the New Era University, Quezon City in 2005 and passed the Philippine Bar Examination in 2006. As a full scholar, he also finished his Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of the Philippines – Los Baños, Laguna in 2000, and his Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree in 1990, where he received the College of Forestry Award for Leadership.
Ms. Chen Danhong
Intergovernmental Session Chair
Ms. Chen Danhong currently serves as the Director-General of the International Cooperation Department of the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources. She dedicates her career time to collaboration and cooperation in the fields of marine and polar affairs as well as global governance. She carries several roles such as the National Focal Point for International Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) and PEMSEA's National Focal Point in China.
Previously, Ms. Chen has long been in charge of environmental protection, international cooperation, global governance , nd capacity building in relation to the polar affairs. She also served as the National Representatives in international organizations such as the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP), the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), etc.
She published several research papers on polar management, polar environmental protection and blue economy.
Mr. Le Dai Thang
Intergovernmental Session Co-chair
Mr. Thang currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Marine Resources Control and Marine, Island Environment Protection of Viet Nam Administration of Seas and Islands. He also serves as Viet Nam’s Alternate National Focal Point for the ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment and a member of various other regional and national platforms such as the UN Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection.
Previously, Mr. Thang was a national coordinator for the PEMSEA/SDS-SEA Project, Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia, and other regional programs in Viet Nam. He also worked with the National Environment Agency, Viet Nam Environment Protection Agency, and Viet Nam Environment Administration. He has 20 years of experience in integrated coastal management, environmental impact assessment, marine pollution, and monitoring and evaluation of the coastal and marine sector of Viet Nam.
He has a Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Management from Ha Noi National University and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Ha Noi University of Foreign Studies.
Dr. Keita Furukawa
Technical Session Chair
Dr. Keita Furukawa is the president of the NPO in Japan for Shore Environment creation that promotes civil science and stakeholder cooperative actions. He is acting as an environmental scientist and has practitioner with over 30 years of experience in coastal and marine-related research, policy formulation, education, and ecosystem conservation and restoration under his belt. His work focuses on integrated coastal management and blue economy, delving on the enclosed sea, seagrass beds, coral reefs, mangrove forests, tidal flats, and estuaries. He is also working as an Affiliated Research Fellow at one of PEMSEA’s Non-Country partners, The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation; and Affiliate Professor at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and Tokushima University in Japan.
Previously, he was the Technical Session Co-Chair of the East Asian Seas Partnership Council; research coordinator at the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management of Japan; and visiting research fellow at the Australian Institute for Marine Science.
Dr. Suk-Jae Kwon
Republic of Korea
Technical Session Co-Chair
Dr. Suk-jae Kwon is currently a Principal Research Scientist at the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology. Previously, he held the role of Director of the International Cooperation Department of the same institution.
He has more than 19 years of experience in economic evaluation of marine environmental and natural resources, marine disaster assessment, and integrated coastal zone management.
He received his Ph.D in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island in the United States, and completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics at the Sungyunkwan University in the Republic of Korea.