Workshop on “Regional Cooperation on Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea” held in Bali

December 1, 2019

From 29-30 November 2019, CSARC in collaboration with the National Institute for South China Sea Studies (NISCSS), and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesia, held a workshop on “Regional Cooperation on Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea” in Bali, Indonesia.

The 2-day workshop brought together about 30 participants from think tanks, research institutes, regional environmental protection organizations, and relevant government departments of China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In-depth discussions were held on issues such as regional cooperation mechanisms and recommendation, national policies, practices and international cooperation experiences in marine environmental protection, fisheries management, and future regional cooperation agenda and projects.

NISCSS President and CSARC Chairman of the Board Dr. Wu Shicun, along with CSIS co-founder and CSARC Vice Chairman of the Board Mr. Jusuf Wanandi delivered opening remarks. Dr. Wu pointed out that regional cooperation is not only imperative for the sustainable development of the South China Sea, but also conductive to the management and control of maritime disputes. China and ASEAN countries, based on consensus and existing practice, can draw on the successful experiences of other regions, such as Mediterranean Sea and Baltic Sea, and explore a feasible path for international cooperation on marine ecological and environmental protection that fits the situation and meets the needs of the South China Sea. He also put forwarded five suggestions. First, it is necessary to establish a new order of cooperation in the South China Sea based on rules and institutional arrangement; Second, CSARC should be built as an institutionalized exchange platform for marine environmental protection in the South China Sea, where experts from different countries and fields could share their thoughts in an efficient and transparent way; Third, it’s necessary to strengthen cooperation in fishery management and marine aquaculture in the South China Sea; Fourth, It is necessary to set up dedicated projects for marine environmental protection in the South China Sea based on the existing funding mechanisms for regional marine cooperation; Fifth, China and ASEAN countries should make institutional arrangements in advance for effective communication, coordination and cooperation to deal with potential threats such as oil spill and plastic waste.

Mr. Wanandi hopes that through this workshop, scientists and experts could pool wisdom, enhance mutual understanding and make concrete policy proposals for promoting regional cooperation, so as to make due contribution for the maintenance of peace and stability of the South China Sea through the track II channel.