||The purposes of this study are to compare the designation processes and management approaches of the the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) located at the northwestern end of the Hawaiian island chain of the United States and the Dongsha Atoll National Park of Taiwan, two marine protected areas (MPAs) in their nature, and to examine the appropriateness of existing ocean conservation policies and approaches of this country through the results of this study. This comparative study was undertaken in three dimensions, namely, (1) the applicable policy tools/instruments in designating marine protected areas in these two countries, (2) the considerations and pressures faced with during the designation processes, and (3) the operation and management after designation, while the analysis was based on the examination of academic and government documents as well as the information acquired through on-site interviews with the officers of these two MPAs.|
Compared to the more comprehensive rules in the United States legislation enabling the designation of American MPAs, the relevant enabling Taiwanese legislation more often than not lacks of mechanism that ensures the regular participation of the general public and interest groups in both the designation and operation phases of MPAs. Furthermore, laws do not unequivocally define the enforcement agency operating within MPAs. Rather, it is currently through certain complimentary documents, such as memoranda or plans, to resign such enforcement tasks within MPAs to the Coast Guard Administration of the Executive Yuan.
With respect to the operation and management of MPAs, or PMNM in this case, the United States Government cleverly uses the “co-management mechanism” with which relevant Federal and State Government agencies jointly form a co-management agency so as to effectively integrate the limited administrative resources and to reduce the conflict resulted from different government agencies responsible for various operation or managment affairs. Taiwan currently stays with the “centralized management mode” for the management of all and every affairs of MPAs by one single agency. The management tasks in Dongsha Atoll National Park are relatively simple due to its geographical remoteness and not readily to be reached. However, in facing with the designation of national marine parks on the so-called “Four Southern Islets” of the Penghu Islands (or the Pescadores) and the “Three Northern Islets” off Keelung, two sites with much more human activities than those in the Dongsha Atoll National Park, it is desirable to apply the inter-agency and cross-level “co-management mechanism” for the integration of existing competent authorities and policy instruments and for the effective and assured fulfillment of very purposes of designating MPAs as well.