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close this book South-East Asia's Environmental Future: The Search for Sustainability (1993)
close this folder Part III - Selected issues: Change and the environment
close this folder 12. Coastal, inshore and marine problems
View the document (introductory text)
View the document Introduction
View the document Global trends
View the document South-east Asia
View the document The future

Introduction

Introduction

As in most books dealing with the environment in general, this one also tends to show a bias towards the terrestrial environment. However, it is fortunate that some attention is being given to the marine environment; the marine areas of South-East Asia more than equal those of the land. This region, which is the isthmus between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, is unique in the world for having two large archipelagic states (Indonesia and the Philippines), which between them account for some 20,000 islands (Figure 12.1). But whether we are concerned with these 'multi-island' states, or the more continental countries like Malaysia and Thailand, the greater bulk of the region's people inhabit the coastal zone. Large populations on the coast necessarily have great impact on the sea, hence, the title of this chapter. There will be no attempt to differentiate between the terms 'coastal', 'inshore' and 'marine'. Since South-East Asian seas are generally referred to as marginal seas, the marine environment of the region as a whole will be the subject matter of this chapter.