THE PARADOX OF ASEAN WAY IN MARINE PLASTIC POLLUTION: THE CHALLENGE OF COMPLIANCE AMONG MEMBER STATES

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Ria Wierma Putri
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1665-9136
Febryani Sabatira
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7710-6482

Abstract

ASEAN countries are considered significant contributors to global pollution, particularly concerning marine plastic pollution (MPP), which has emerged as a critical concern in the region. To address this issue, ASEAN has established three specific instruments: the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in 2019, the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris 2019, and the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States 2021-2025. However, being soft laws, these instruments lack legally binding force, allowing states to choose not to implement them effectively and promptly, leading to low compliance rates. The root cause of this compliance challenge lies in the ASEAN Way’s foundational principle, which promotes non-intervention, resulting in non-legally binding instruments. This raises genuine concerns about the potential inefficacy of implementing ASEAN instruments. Nonetheless, the issue of marine plastic pollution is considered a contemporary environmental catastrophe in the region, demanding Member States to prioritize compliance. Hence, this study delves into two key issues: (1) the ASEAN Way and compliance and (2) regional mechanisms to bolster Member States’ adherence in combating marine plastic pollution. 

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How to Cite
Wierma Putri, Ria, and Febryani Sabatira. 2023. “THE PARADOX OF ASEAN WAY IN MARINE PLASTIC POLLUTION: THE CHALLENGE OF COMPLIANCE AMONG MEMBER STATES”. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 9 (3):248-64. https://doi.org/10.47305/JLIA2393228wp.
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Author Biographies

Ria Wierma Putri, Faculty of Law, Universitas Lampung, Indonesia

Ria Wierma Putri is an international law lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Universitas Lampung, Indonesia, holding a Ph.D. from Kanazawa University in 2020. She has guided Ms. Sabatira since her Bachelor's and now during her Master's degree. Collaboratively, they have published works on marine environmental preservation, including the recent "Global Governance in Protecting Marine Environment" by the International Law Association in 2023. Beyond teaching, Ria actively contributes to academic discussions. At the Women in the Law of the Sea Conference organized by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), she co-presented with Ms. Sabatira on "ASEAN Regional Mechanism in Tackling Marine Plastic Pollution", emphasizing vital strategies to combat this global issue. Ria Wierma Putri's dedication to marine conservation through research and teaching is commendable, significantly impacting international law and fostering a more sustainable world.

Febryani Sabatira, Faculty of Law, Universitas Lampung, Indonesia

Febryani Sabatira is a dedicated Master of Laws student at the University of Lampung, Indonesia. As an associate researcher, she focuses on environmental protection under international law and collaborates with various academic institutions. Sabatira's published work, "Southeast Asia Regional Cooperation in Tackling Marine Plastic Litter," showcases her expertise in addressing marine pollution. Beyond academia, she co-founded the Lampung Sweeping Community, promoting environmental awareness and conservation through action, education, and social initiatives in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia. With a deep commitment to environmental causes, Sabatira actively engages in programs and initiatives aimed at preserving the marine ecosystem and promoting sustainable practices.