Our Concerns

Our Concerns

Coastal and Marine Biodiversity

The ASEAN covers some 170,000 kilometers of coasts and oceans (Alino and Tiquio in Mimura, 2008), providing services essential for the well-being of its people. This report will, through a pressure-state-response framework, provide updates on the state of coastal and marine ecosystems in the ASEAN region, identify threats and drivers of marine biodiversity loss, report on responses and initiatives that ASEAN Member States have taken to address such threats, and present some recommendations on the way forward. Addressing issues related to coastal and marine habitats aid direct compliance to Aichi Targets 6 and 7 (sustainable management of fish and invertebrate stocks), Aichi Target 10 (minimizing anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs and other vulnerable ecosystems) and Aichi Target 11 (10 per cent of coastal and marine areas are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems).

The most common habitat building species found in coastal environments in the ASEAN region are coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves. Other coastal and marine habitats characteristic of the region include estuaries, sandy beaches, rocky intertidal areas, and soft bottom communities.

The first edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook (ABO_1) defined the character of coastal and marine habitats in the ASEAN region, underscored their regional and global relevance in terms of number of species and area covered, and their occurrence in the region. ABO 1 likewise presented some estimates of their economic values and emphasized the extent and magnitude of threats that the coastal and marine habitats of the ASEAN region are subject to.

The regional relevance of maintaining the health of the coastal and marine environment is to secure a sustainable and renewable protein source for a steadily growing population, currently estimated at 632 million. This figure is expected to burgeon to 723 million in 2030. (UN 2015)

In the ASEAN region, critical ecosystem services identified by the ASEAN Member States can be categorized into

a) goods: coastal and marine habitats capacity to support livelihoods and food for a growing population and access to and availability of fresh water;
b) services: carbon sequestration and storage, climate regulation, soil protection; and
c) cultural services.

Arvin C. Diesmos
Director of Biodiversity Information Management