Pollution of all types is a crucial issue in the region; thus, all concerned sectors need to implement are called to effective mitigation measures and actions to address it and ultimately, its detrimental effects on biodiversity.
AMS have incorporated remediation measures in their NBSAPs, refined existing policies
and formulated new ones, monitored pollution status using standard quality indices, and
executed countermeasures to mitigate pollution that impact on biodiversity. At the regional
level, plans and guidance on pollution regulation in the agricultural sector were formulated
like the ASEAN Guidelines on Soil and Nutrient Management and the ASEAN Strategic Plan
of Action for Cooperation on Livestock. AMS have national policies and strategies that align
with these regional initiatives. Indonesia has been using more broadly bio-organic fertiliser,
Lao PDR and Malaysia have laws that seek to reduce the use of agrochemicals, and Myanmar
has a new Pesticide Law which directs labelling claims and their bio-efficacy on rice. Organic
agriculture has gained traction in the region with Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and
Viet Nam expanding their programmes and areas devoted to it. Organic produce from some
AMS have penetrated the international market.
When it comes to managing solid waste, Singapore applies the waste-to-energy (WTE) strategy through incineration. It has reached a recycling rate of 61 per cent in 2020, which was a mere 4 per cent from its national target. Through various programmes, Indonesia had significantly reduced its waste, exceeding its reduction target for 2019 by at least 170 per cent. In 2018, Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-use Plastics 2018–2030 was launched.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) has
engaged four AMS in its Close the Loop project which applies cutting-edge technologies to
map the path of plastic wastes from urban centres to marine environments. Policy formulationand investment strategies are key components of this programme. Cambodia’s Industrial Development Policy 2015–2025 calls for environmental protection and resource management, to lessen environmental pollution caused by industrial and chemical wastes, and to ensure the sustainability of ecosystems.
Transboundary waste has been a contentious issue in the region. In 2019, the move to amend
the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and
Their Disposal (Basel Convention), a legal prohibition on the exportation of hazardous wastes,
came into fruition with its elevation into an international law. To address an equally important
issue on marine debris, the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region and the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris (FAMAD) took effect in 2019, thus, fortifying AMS’ commitment in dealing with pollution risks and threats to the marine and coastal environment.
AMS have incorporated planned remediation measures in their NBSAPs, conducted communication campaigns, monitored compliance of industry, and mobilises action in selected priority sites. With support from development partners, some AMS have improved waste management systems to reduce emissions of persistent organic pollutants. There is a need to address pollution in the region from the position of individual concern and shared stewardship among all stakeholders.