Abstract “Ecosystem”and“science-based management”are now common terms used to promote a holistic approach to managing coastal and marine resources and areas. However, to what extent are these practices really in place and how sustainable are they? The threats faced by the region’s coastal and marine areas are well-known, such as habitat degradation and loss, eutrophication, and impacts from climate variability, to name a few. It is also recognised that there is legislation in place to address these issues, yet many of the world’s coastal and marine areas are still classified as poor environment status with decreasing trends in ecosystem health. It is therefore important to translate the scientific knowledge into on-the-ground actions, building resilient natural and social communities that will continue to provide ecosystem services. The paper gives an overview of available information, briefly discusses governance, and shares case studies illustrating the application of scientific knowledge for governance of coastal and marine resources in Southeast Asia. Examples from Thailand and Vietnam are provided.