UNEP/GEF Review of Wetlands Bordering the South China Sea
The South China Sea region has experienced high rates of economic growth and rapid coastal development in recent decades. Each country bordering the South China Sea has actively and in certain respects very successfully engaged in its economic development. This is a region where economic development has imposed, and will continue to place increasing stress on the ecological systems. In 1981, under the sponsorship of UNEP, the East Asian Seas Action Plan was adopted by five Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. At that time, obstacles to engaging all the South China Sea border countries in a single programme were seemingly insurmountable. Two decades after the adoption of East Asian Seas Action Plan, the region has witnessed a trend of deepening interdependence, integration, cooperation and prosperity. Despite the 1997-1998 financial crisis, the region remains the fastest industrializing area. However, economic development was not achieved without negative impacts. Fast economic development was accompanied by urbanization, population growth and deterioration of environment.
20 May 2010 by iwlearn