Coastal and Marine Environment

In Sixth ASEAN State of the Environment Report
Chapter: 6
Report Chapter
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• Except for land-linked Lao PDR, the remaining ASEAN Member States (AMS) are bordered
by seas. Those seas, however, are under increasing direct and indirect pressure from human
interference, including the preference for many forms of development in the region’s coastal
zones and islands.
• Aquaculture is rapidly replacing overexploited capture fisheries as an important source of
exports from the ASEAN region.
• Coastal and marine waters in the region are increasingly affected by shipping, offshore oil and
gas, pipelines and cables, sand mining, wastewater disposal, tourism resort development, and
potentially seabed mining, with accumulating impacts on marine biodiversity and water quality.
• The Coral Triangle is referred to as the “global epicentre of marine biodiversity” and is home to
76% of the world’s 798 coral species and 37% of the world’s 6,000 coral reef fish species but
is subject to illegal fishing, and coral mining for construction, increased coral bleaching due to
climate change, among other damaging practices.
• The estimated economic value of coastal and marine ecosystem services at risk from poor
management in ASEAN ranges from US$ 62,400/km2/yr. for coastal protection and fisheries to
US$ 23,100 - US$ 270,000/km2/yr. for fisheries, coastal protection, tourism, and recreation.
• Climate change will have major impacts on ASEAN’s extensive shorelines and coastal waters,
as the projected sea level rise of 1 m by 2100 would affect 410 million people, with 59% in
tropical Asia. The effects of sea level rise will be exacerbated by land subsidence, which can
exceed 25 mm/yr. in coastal cities like Jakarta.
• Current responses include an inadequate coverage of marine protected areas, coastal zone
adaptation plans, a Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Fisheries (2021-2025),
and sustainable port development.
• High priority should be given to integrated coastal zone planning and management,
incorporating climate change adaptation.
• National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) should include major efforts to protect coastal and marine
assets and livelihoods, and marine protected areas should be expanded, possibly through the
designation of more Marine Heritage Parks in the region.
• The ASEAN region should develop a common strategy for handling decommissioning of
offshore oil and gas facilities, as well as improved environmental management of undersea
pipelines and cables.
• The recently updated Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Fisheries (2021-2025)
highlights the need to complete the outstanding activities from the previous plan (2015-2020).
• Other ASEAN initiatives that should be further strengthened include the ASEAN Leaders’
Declaration on Blue Economy, ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), and the
ASEAN Mangrove Restoration Initiative.
• Implementation of SDGs 14 and 15 on land and ocean ecosystems, as well as SDG 12 on
sustainable consumption and production, would especially contribute to the improvement of
coastal and marine ecosystems.