The continuing threat of pollution on coastal and marine environment and resources has been addressed on regional scale over the past decades. This paper describes and compares the coastal and marine pollution management frameworks in the European and South East Asian regions. It highlights the differences and commonalities of the two regions in terms of the approach each has taken to address the transboundary pollution issues. It also focuses on the actions taken by France and the Philippines as parties to these regional management frameworks. A brief examination of the drivers and pressures on coastal and marine ecosystems as well as its current state showed that in both regions pollutants persist despite previous efforts to manage the release of pollutants from anthropogenic sources. The enactment of the Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive is the most recent response of the European Union (EU) to deal with persistent pollution issues in European waters. In South East Asia, management frameworks have also been developed through regional projects and programs supported by various international (e.g., UNEP) and regional institutions (e.g., ASEAN, PEMSEA). In both regions, the management frameworks take a holistic and functional management approach, although the EU member states have taken the action a step further by forging legally binding regional policies. Adopting a common and legally binding policy in SEA has been very difficult due to the varying geographical, political, social as well as economic settings of countries in this region. EU Member States like France have undertaken activities and actions in accordance with the requirements of the WFD and MSFD. On the other hand, the Philippines had been an active participant to the various regional projects and programs in SEA, though its compliance to the tasks and obligations of the regional conventions on coastal and marine pollution management had been limited due to other more pressing problems domestically. We conclude that despite the challenges encountered by EU Member States in complying with the EU Directives, there is a need for SEA to also move towards adopting and implementing a similar region-wide and legal framework for effective management of coastal and marine pollution issues.
Ma. Gregoria Joanne P. Tiquio, Nicolas Marmier, Patrice Francour, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 135, January 2017, Pages 65–78