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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 The south-east Asian response
View the document (introductory text)
View the document Aspects of the physical setting
View the document National and international responses
View the document Editorial comment

Editorial comment

Editorial comment

The problem of losses to the mangrove belt along regional coasts was a principal topic of discussion. 'Green belts' exist in some countries, with regulations going back to the 1970s, but they are hard to enforce when there are such profits to be made from aquaculture of prawns and other seafood, encouraging replacement of all but the outer fringe of the mangroves with fish ponds. It was, however, suggested that the management of sedimentation in shallow seas might be used to enlarge and extend the mangrove belt. With heavy inland erosion, there is a large sediment load brought down by the rivers, leading to rapid coastal outgrowth where the sea is shallow for some distance offshore. Research into the management of coastal sedimentation could be rewarding.

A note of warning was raised concerning the possible effects of global warming on the ocean currents. Although no modelling results yet exist, it is known that ocean currents might change direction and strength in only decades; this potential threat is, therefore, a more immediate hazard than the gradual rise of the sea level.