In the summary of the Colloquium Programme, it is stated: “Land use laws are invariably national and local, and rarely are examined in an international format.” The Second Colloquium of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law seeks to examine how land stewardship laws work when measured against transnational and global policies of environmental law and sustainable development. This chapter examines the experience of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which deals with such laws both at the international (i.e., regional) as well as the national level. Established in 1967, ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This chapter considers the role of ASEAN in developing laws relating to land stewardship that will cascade down to the national level. These laws in turn percolate up to establish a regional conservation framework, thus facilitating a coordinated implementation of regional and international instruments.
The “ASEAN Heritage Parks” (AHPs) (established under the ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks (ADHP) 2003 and adopted at the Ninth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment in Yangon, Myanmar, on 18 December 2003) and some ASEAN transboundary conservation areas (ATCAs) that have potential for transboundary protected areas (TPAs) provide an interesting study of ASEAN cooperation in land stewardship in natural resources at a regional level, calling for harmonization and collaboration among member states. They also provide an interface with international biodiversity instruments.