Author: John W. McManus
The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, Volume 32, Issue 2, 2017, pages 199 – 237
Offshore coral reefs of the South China Sea are subject to complex overlapping sovereignty claims by up to six regional nations. Escalating tensions have led to widespread structural reinforcement of military outposts on many reefs via dredging and filling. Satellite images indicated at least 160 km2 of coral reef damage, including 17 km2 of essentially permanent damage from filling and channel/harbour dredging, and 143 km2 of decadal-scale damage from dredging for building materials and giant clam harvesting. This damage will exacerbate the growing regional overfishing problem. Options to lessen tensions include (1) the establishment of a Greater Spratly Islands Peace Park, and (2) the collaborative management of fisheries, the environment and mineral resources across the entire Sea. Both options require freezes on extant claims and activities in support of claims. No matter how it is achieved, regional peace would greatly enhance fisheries stability and economic growth among all claimant nations.
Some General Economic Factors
Trade and Investment Relationships
Coral Reef Wave Protection and Sea-Level Rise
Damage Assessment of Offshore Reefs in the South China Sea
National Aspirations and Precedents
The ‘Tied-Hands’ Dilemma
Steps toward Peace
Essentials for a Binding Code of Conduct
The Transboundary Peace Park Option
Full text of the article was originally published at http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15718085-12341433
A copy of the paper is available at maritime archives.wordpress.com.
Joint Cooperation and Development in the South China Sea: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/category/joint-development/
Marine Environment Issues in the South China Sea: https://seasresearch.wordpress.com/category/events-and-analyses/marine-environment-issues/