V. The Implementation of Comprehensive Marine Management

The UNCED Agenda 21, formulated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, recommends that a comprehensive marine management system be established by countries with sea coasts to ensure sustainable utilization of the sea and coordinated development of the marine programs. This recommendation has received endorsement from all the countries in the world, including China. In recent years China has established and perfected state marine management organs as well as local organs in coastal regions, with a fairly large contingent of personnel engaged in marine law enforcement, management, monitoring and scientific research. Marine-related laws and regulations have been formulated and comprehensive management exercised.

China has also improved its legislation work concerning maritime matters. The National People's Congress has adopted the Law of the People's Republic of China on Its Territorial Seas and Adjacent Zones, Marine Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China, Maritime Traffic Safety Law of the People's Republic of China, Fisheries Law of the People's Republic of China, Mineral Resources Law of the People's Republic of China and other related laws. The State Council has promulgated administrative regulations, encompassing the Regulations on the Exploitation of Offshore Petroleum Resources in Cooperation with Foreign Enterprises, Regulations on the Administration of Sino-Foreign Oceanographic Surveys, Regulations Governing the Laying of Submarine Cables and Pipelines, and Procedures for the Registration and Administration of Mineral Resources Survey Zones and Sectors. In content, these laws and administrative regulations are all consistent with the principles and relevant provisions contained in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The formulation and implementation of these laws, rules and regulations has, on the one hand, protected China's state sovereignty and marine rights and interests, and on the other, promoted the rational development of marine resources and the effective protection of the marine environment. Comprehensive management of China's marine areas is beginning to be contained within a legal framework.

Aiming at the scientific, effective and comprehensive management of marine areas, from 1989 to 1995 a total of 3,663 marine zones have been divided into different functional types by the relevant departments of the central and coastal area governments, encompassing development and utilization zones, control and protection zones, nature preservation zones, special function zones and reserved zones. From 1991 to 1994, these departments worked out the National Plan for Marine Development, in which the strategic objective of marine development, marine industrial production and distribution planning, and regional marine development planning were put forward, along with policies and measures to promote marine development.

In recent years, China has achieved gratifying successes in comprehensive management experiments in the coastal zones. The Comprehensive Survey of China's Coastal Zones and Tideland Resources, which was carried out from 1979 to 1986, has accumulated abundant information for further efforts to be made in this field. Since 1994, construction of the Coastal Zone Model Comprehensive Management Area has been going on in Xiamen, with joint efforts by the Chinese government, the UN Development Program (UNDP) and other organizations. This project, which has achieved good results, has been praised by international organizations and provided experience for China and other countries to draw on for work in this regard. In 1997, China again cooperated with the UNDP in coastal zone comprehensive management experiments carried out in Fangcheng in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Yangjiang in Guangdong Province and Wenchang in Hainan Province.

The basic objective of comprehensive marine management is to ensure a healthy marine environment and the sustainable utilization of marine resources. To make a greater success in this, China will make further efforts in this field, as follows:

It will perfect the legal system pertaining to the use and administration of sea areas;

It will set up and perfect an information system to bolster comprehensive marine management, and expand the survey and appraisal of marine resources and the marine environment;

It will formulate large-scale offshore functional divisions and plans for comprehensive marine development and protection;

It will set up an overall policy-making mechanism to promote the coordinated development of marine programs;

It will gradually perfect the multi-functional force of marine supervision and law enforcement personnel so as to form an integrated air, sea and onshore marine surveillance and management system;

It will mobilize people from all walks of life to take part in the protection of marine resources and the marine environment and enhance their consciousness of the need to cherish and protect the ocean.