The once pristine and rich marine environment of the South China Sea is degrading at an alarming rate due to the rapid socioeconomic development of the region. Despite this, and due mainly to complicated sovereignty and maritime disputes, coastal States have not been able to develop effective regional cooperation to safeguard the shared marine environment.
Marine Protected Areas Network in the South China Sea discusses legal and political measures to support the development of a network of marine protected areas in the South China Sea. Such a network, if properly developed, would not only help to protect the marine environment and resources of the region but also contribute to decreasing the tension among its coastal States. These measures are suggested in accordance with international law, based on the specific geopolitical context of the South China Sea region and take into consideration experiences in developing regional networks of marine protected areas from other marine regions.
Chapter II. Context: the South China Sea and marine protected areas
Chapter III. International legal framework for marine protected areas and networks of marine protected areas
Chapter IV. Regional cooperation relating to marine protected areas and a network of marine protected areas in the South China Sea
Chapter V. Marine protected areas in the national laws of China, the Philippines and Vietnam
Chapter VI. Developing a network of marine protected areas under the Mediterranean action plan: lessons for the South China Sea
Chapter VII. Moving forward: options
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Vu Hai Dang is a member of the South China Sea Studies Center, Vietnam Academy of Diplomacy. He holds a Doctorate in the Science of Law in marine environmental law from Dalhousie University (2013).