||Regional Seas Programmes (RSPs) are supporting mechanisms with which United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) focuses its efforts to control marine pollution and develop marine and coastal resources management on the regional level. By establishing each RSP, UNEP facilities negotiations among coastal States for cooperation on marine environment protection. In the end of those negotiations, RSPs generally favor adopting multilateral convention on regional level in order to support their respective cooperative regime. Up to these days, ten out of thirteen RSPs developed under the auspices of the UNEP have adopted regional multilateral conventions (or termed as “typical programme”).|
To the contrary, three RSPs developed under the auspices of the UNEP, South Asian Seas, East Asian Seas and the Northwest Pacific Region, respectively, have not yet adopted regional multilateral conventions (or termed as “non-typical programme”). To explain the reasons of such a result accruing from negotiations, this thesis suggests two hypotheses:
I. If States fail to agree on regional-level convention, the relevant global-level convention may serve as an outlet for consensus reaching, or an approach to solving the problems;
II. Due to conflicts or political mistrust, States are incapable of entering into cooperation.
Through reviewing the negotiation processes of these three RSPs, analyzing whether there existed divergences over the regime or content of regional cooperation, and taking the global-level conventions to be the outlet for consensus reaching or approach to problem solving, this study so tested the Hypothesis I; through reviewing the conflicts between/among States within the region on territorial, maritime delimitation or political disputes, and analyzing whether such conflicts or mistrust in the political engagement contributed to non-cooperation, this study so tested the Hypothesis II.
This study found that the above-mentioned two hypotheses were all able to explain the reasons why the three “non-typical RSPs,” namely, the South Asian Seas, the East Asian Seas, and the Northwest Pacific Region, all failed to establish regional-level multilateral marine environmental convention. Under such circumstances, these three RSPs are unlikely to undertake regional cooperation on marine environmental issues in the short terms.