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Coastal and marine areas: Asia and the Pacific

In the past 30 years, depletion of coastal resources such as fisheries, mangroves and coral reefs has emerged as a critical issue in Asia and the Pacific. Increasing urbanization, industrialization and tourism, coupled with a growing coastal population, have degraded coastal areas, reduced water quality and increased pressures on marine resources. These pressures are exacerbated by poverty. For example, in Viet Nam poor people have become increasingly dependent on marine resources for their livelihoods (MoSTE Viet Nam 1999), and significant beach pollution occurs in the vicinity of Sihanoukville and Kep, both important tourist destinations (ADB 2000). Similar trends have been observed in almost all countries of the region.