The scalable image coding is an important objective of the future image coding technologies. In this paper, we present a kind of scalable image coding scheme based on wavelet transform. This method uses the famous EZW (Embedded Zero tree Wavelet) algorithm; we give a high-quality encoding to the ROI (region of interest) of the original image and a rough encoding to the rest. This method is applied well in limited memory space condition, and we encode the region of background according to the memory capacity. In this way, we can store the encoded image in limited memory space easily without losing its main information. Simulation results show it is effective.