Control of land-based marine pollution in Southeast Asia : a legal perspective


University of British Columbia

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Master of Laws - LLM




Marine pollution from land-based sources is a new and challenging topic in international law development. Since the subject matter of land-based marine pollution is very complex in social-economic and scientific terms, the implementation of the newly developed rules of international law on land-based marine pollution would seem to vary from region to region, depending on the specific capabilities of different region. The marine environment in Southeast Asia, where there is a considerable base for land-based marine pollution, is experiencing a serious degradation from this kind of pollution. The developing countries in Southeast Asia have started to provide provisions concerning the control of land-based marine pollution in their respective legislation in either a general or a specific way. However, due to the various reasons, the current efforts on the control of land-based marine pollution from the legal aspect by these countries are far from sufficient. Many of the problems at earlier stages of development can be solved by learning experience which advanced countries have foregone in the past. As regards to land-based marine pollution control, effective legal efforts have been made by the Baltic states, the United States, and Japan. The Southeast Asia countries may borrow the appropriate ideas, methods, and operational systems worked out by these countries with suitable modification and adaptation in consonance with local customs, tradition, and social-economic peculiarities. There is considerable potential capability in the countries of Southeast Asia of forming legislative framework and establishing effective enforcement strategy for land-based marine pollution control. On the other hand, in Southeast Asia where there is a highly complex social-economic construction, the contraversies between nationalism and regionalism appear to be the major obstacles in terms of effective legal control on land-based marine pollution. Further efforts should be made to achieve a concerted regional approach as well as conresponding [sic] national commitments in the protection and preservation of the marine environment in Southeast Asia against pollution from land-based sources.

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