Regional cooperation on ecosystem and environmental protection in the South China Sea: reflection and prospect

CHEN Jia1 YANG Cuibai1

(1.College of Law, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China 610207)

【Abstract】Though China refuses to admit the effect of the jurisdiction and admissibility award by the Arbitration Tribunal about seven claims, including marine environmental protection in the Philippines v. China South China Sea Arbitration, it is an undeniable fact that abundant fishery resources and important ecosystems in the South China Sea are suffering negative effects from economic activities of different marine uses and coastal residents’ living. Though arrangements on management, recovery and conservation of ecosystems in the South China Sea are made through international legislation and regional mechanisms, in a long run, subject to the generality of treaties, broadness in adjusting objects and weakness in implementation, countries around the South China Sea are unwilling or unable to truly and fully respond to environment risks in the South China Sea. In contrast to traditional marine environmental protection, the construction of a marine protected area network based on ecosystems faces a series of challenges. However, a practical cooperation mechanism on a targeted and process-oriented basis may help balance ecosystem protection and proper utilization, ease national conflict and maintain regional peace and stability.

【Keywords】 South China Sea; environmental protection; regional cooperation; ecology;


【Funds】 2014 Key Project under the “2011 Program” of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South Sea China Studies

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(Translated by ZHANG guoqing)


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This Article


CN: 35-1054/C

Vol , No. 02, Pages 33-43

June 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 International legitimate rule on the ecosystem and environmental protection in the South China Sea
  • 2 Review of regional cooperation on ecosystem and environmental protection in the South China Sea
  • 3 Outlook of regional cooperation on the South China Sea ecosystem: centering on the construction of a marine protected area network
  • 4 Conclusion
  • Footnote