A Comparative Evaluation of the Clean Bohai Sea Program and the Chesapeake Bay Program (Published)
This thesis offers a comparative evaluation of two Regional Ocean Governance [ROG] regimes: The Clean Bohai Sea Program [CBSP] in China, and the Chesapeake Bay Program [CBP] in the USA. This study compares and evaluates these two ROG regimes primarily from a governance and management perspective. The willingness to address ecological concerns, from a ROG perspective, is reflected in precisely how much participating jurisdictions are willing to divest themselves of unilateral power in order to cooperate across administrative boundaries. Is this central tenet of ROG actually being attempted by the participants in question? The principle objective of this paper is to evaluate how either regime compares to the theoretical framework of ROG, and whether or not the central concept of trans-jurisdictional integration is actually being attempted. First, this paper builds an analytical framework by offering a review of the basic concepts that define ROG. Secondly, this paper gives an overview of the CBSP and CBP regional ocean governance regimes and the places that define them. Finally, this study compares and contrasts the two ROG regimes in question. This study finds that while both the CBP and CBSP represent genuine attempts at ROG by their respective governments, the CBSP nonetheless deviates substantially from the basic principles of ROG as outlined in the literature. The CBSP’s management mechanism does not align with ROG principles and fails to truly instigate trans-jurisdictional integration. Stakeholder engagement is also not integral to the CBSP, and the CBSP’s monitoring network does not represent an integrated monitoring network. This study also finds that both programs have failed to achieve stated goals as outlined in program documents for reasons relating to the political economy of either program, and the inability of either program to garner enough political capital to make achieving program goals a reality. This is particularly evident in the case of the CBSP, due to the institutional impediments discussed above, which exacerbates this tendency. This study recommends that both programs adopt more internalized financing regimes, and that the CBSP adopt a more decentralized, integrated and transparent management structure.
Keywords: Bohai Sea, Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Program [CBP]., Clean Bohai Sea Program [CBSP], Governance, Regional Ocean Governance [ROG]