The Establishment of Marine Protected Area Networks in China
In recent decades, stimulated by declining ocean health and recognition of limitations of current conservation efforts, international and regional agencies have been promoting the establishment of MPA networks as a promising strategy to sustain marine ecosystems and amplify socio-economic benefits (PISCO 2007; IUCN-WCPA 2008; UNEP-WCMC 2008). As a country with over 30 years’ experience of managing MPAs, China has established 260 MPAs in its coastal and marine areas (SOA 2015). However, a number of factors have hindered the development of MPAs and there is little use of systematic and scientific approaches to guide MPA planning in China. With China’s commitments to expand the MPA coverage in its waters (CBD 2011; SOA 2012; SOA 2013) and develop an “ecological barrier” along the coast by connecting MPAs and islands (The State Council 2015), this study aims to assess frameworks for the establishment of MPA networks in China, with a focus on critical components that would contribute to a successful and effective network from China’s perspective.
- Marine affairs