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The Physical Geography of Southeast Asia$
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Avijit Gupta

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248025

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199248025.001.0001

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Coastal Zone Development in Southeast Asia

Coastal Zone Development in Southeast Asia

Chapter:
(p.389) 23 Coastal Zone Development in Southeast Asia
Source:
The Physical Geography of Southeast Asia
Author(s):

P. P. Wong

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199248025.003.0035

Coastal environments of Southeast Asia have been discussed in Chapter 11. This chapter focuses on the utilization of the region’s coastal resources, reflecting not only its varied physical characteristics but also the traditional practices and more modern economic influences that have developed along the coastal regions. Historically, the region serves as an important link between trading routes to Western and Eastern Asia. Many sea battles were fought here between local potentates and foreign powers to win control of the spice trade. A number of the coastal villages developed into important coastal cities, e.g. Cebu, Malacca, Singapore, or in recent years, into coastal tourist resorts, e.g. Pattaya, Kuta. Within the region, there are still strong cultural traditions in the use of coast, although these are being eroded or replaced by more modern or economic practices. For example, the beach forms the traditional recreational area for farmers after the harvest season in Lombok and the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Traditionally, the Balinese attach a low economic value to the coast, but this has been replaced in modern times by new and high economic values for tourism, residence, and other uses. The demands for the coastal areas for different uses have various impacts, many of which are detrimental to the coastal environment and may lead to conflicts between users. This chapter relates people with the coastal environment in terms of living and non-living marine resources. Specifically, it discusses several major coastal uses, and their impacts and attempted solutions, to development-related problems. A holistic approach in coastal zone management to solve the problems is advocated, and the implementation and success of this approach assessed. This is also considered within the future and wide-ranging context of climate change and attendant sea-level rise. The definition of a ‘coastal zone’ in Southeast Asia is variable and difficult, as not all states have coastal zone management acts or legislation to define the coastal zone. For the purposes of this chapter, the coastal zone is taken as a variable area defined by not only biogeomorphological characteristics but also the major types of use.

Keywords:   agriculture, backswamp, charcoal, forest degradation, groundwater, herbicides, logging, overfishing, petroleum, red tides

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