Marine Protected Areas in Southeast Asia

Cheung, C. P. S., P. M. Alino, A. J. Uychiaoco & H. O. Arceo. 2002. ISBN 971-8986-46-4.

The Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of nine member countries of ASEAN were reviewed. These countries are Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Viet Nam . The publication notes that although the ASEAN region hosts some of the most extensive coastlines and diverse coral reefs in the world, its natural resources remain the most highly threatened. Several issues pertaining to MPAs of each country were thus assessed and their management concerns evaluated to analyze the increasing threats such as coastal development, collecting of endangered species, ornamental trading, overexploitation, pollution and tourism that lead to the depletion of the biological resources of the region’s MPAs.

Among the priority actions suggested in the publication are the following: 1) improve and effectively implement legislative reforms to enhance MPA effectiveness; 2) incorporate MPA planning and management into an Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) framework; 3) enhance sustaining mechanisms to enable managers and institutions to continue adapting efficient management; 4) fill in gaps in the establishment and understanding of representatively adequate MPAs in the various biogeographic zones (e.g. W. Sumatra, E. Philippines and Myanmar); and 5) improve and establish joint research and cooperative management areas (e.g. the Turtle Islands and the Spratlys). A priority action agenda and a regional strategic framework have also been proposed.

This publication is intended as a valued reference for policy makers, planners, fishermen and other stakeholders, as well as students, scientists and park managers. The publication would be a useful guide in the continuing efforts to plan for the management of the MPAs in order to save, rehabilitate and safeguard the coastal and marine resources in the region.

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