Regional maritime security: The maritime security of Southeast Asia reflects a range of enduring and dynamic factors. Enduring factors are mainly the geography of the region with its complex pattern of archipelagos, islands, bays and gulfs and narrow shipping channels; its heavy dependence on shipping for both domestic and intra-regional trade; and the importance of regional seas and their resources to the well-being of regional peoples. The dynamic factors include sovereignty disputes, the increasing levels and density of shipping traffic in the region, increased exploitation of marine resources, deteriorating fish stocks and marine habitats, growing naval budgets and higher levels of naval activity. The combination and complexity of these enduring and dynamic factors highlight the challenges of promoting maritime security in the region. Meeting these challenges is exacerbated by both the rate of change and the lack of truly effective regional forums in which to develop appropriate cooperative and coordinated measures to deal with them.