Dr. James Randall, Chair of the Executive Committee, Institute of Island Studies, UPEI. and the Co-Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He presented four development models of island economy, as well as the influence of countries, sub-nationals, supranational organizations and China in island research.
Randall pointed out that the current global island economy has developed four specific paths and models, are 1) Resource development model ; 2) MIRAB model （Migration/ Remittances/ Aid/ Bureaucracy）；3) PROFIT model （People/Resource Management /Overseas Engagement/ Finance/ Transportation）；4) Small Island Tourism Model. For most of island residents, it is difficult to achieve sustainable development in the context of climate change. However, as long as the development model is accurately positioned, the island economy will achieve greater potential development.
Regarding the jurisdiction of island governance, Randall distinguishes between independent island states, supranational island organizations, and subnational island jurisdictions. He believes that island governance requires coordination at the global level. And island governance efforts should not only come from island countries, but require global solutions and multilateral assistance.
Finally, regarding China’s rise in interdisciplinary research in island governance and China’s future role in island governance, Randall believes that ‘The way China apply international experience to its own island governance and apply own successful experience into other areas, will be the core advantages for China’s participated in the global island governance program.’
Pang Zhongying, Executive Director of Academic Committee at Grandview Institution, Dean of the Ocean Development Studies Institute (ODSI) at the Ocean University of China, use the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ theory to analyze the problems of global ocean governance and the role of China. He believes that the current global ocean governance and global governance face the same problem, that is, the coordination between the various components is not tightly enough, even in a competing and conflicting situation. The ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ theory in global ocean governance indicates that the diverse and fragmented ocean governance has not yet formed a truly global ocean governance system.
Professor Pang Zhongying provides a series of ideas and actions put forward by China as a positive path to solve the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ in global ocean governance. He believes that China proposes to build a global marine fate community and marine partnership, to solve ocean problems through the establishment of bilateral, multilateral, regional, global and other types of cooperation. In today’s international system, China is becoming the most active force for global governance, not only deeply participating in global governance, but even playing a leading role.
Wang Xiaohui, chief engineer of the National Marine Data and Information Service, based on years of experience in blue economy research, shared the concept of blue economy and global ocean governance with the guests, and introduced the island ecological and development assessment system by taking island governance as an example.
Wang Xiaohui proposed that the blue economy is an economic model derived from the openness, mobility, complexity, multi-level and diversity of the ocean. It also has the market value of marine economic activities, non-market value of marine ecosystem services, as well as the ocean governance balanced between them. She also analyzes the relationship between the island economy, the blue economy, and the global ocean governance, from perspective of eight elements of ‘Good Governance’ and the three principles of ocean governance, the three circles and a standard. The key points and breakthroughs of the current global marine sustainable development are islands governance.
Researcher Wang also introduced the island comprehensive evaluation system, including island basic elements and data systems, island resource elements and economic development, island environmental factors and disaster assessment, island ecological elements and compensation mechanisms, ecological islands and development assessment, national monitoring system and island resource checking framework. She took Taohua Island in Zhejiang Province as an example, emphasized to present island ecological index and development index evaluation. At the meanwhile, she spoke highly of the Island Ecological Index and Development Index Evaluation Research Report, which was organized by the National Oceanic Administration’s Island and Regulations Department, and the co-edited by the First Institute of Oceanography and the National Marine Data and Information Service. The report contains scientific evaluation methods, complete indicator systems and data based on fieldwork, evaluating the 40 islands Ecological Index and 30 islands Development Index in China’s Huanghua and Bohau Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea.
Randall agreed with China’s island governance model and experience introduced by Professor Wang Xiaohui. He believes that innovative island governance is conducive to China’s new approach to global ocean governance.Liang Jiarui, Research Fellow in Research Center for Pacific Island Countries of Liaocheng University, interprets ocean governance for South Pacific Region in the perspective of global ocean governance. He believes after European Union’s Joint Statement on Global Ocean Governance, global ocean governance has a theoretical basis and framework, but there are still many problems left in practice. For instance, the South Pacific region is faced with ocean survival and development problems. In the long-term governance process, the region has a holistic ocean governance subject, object and norms, and effectively practices the global ocean governance theory. Therefore, we could treat the South Pacific region as a forerunner in global ocean governance.
Dr. Liang believes the case in the South Pacific imply three ways contributed to global ocean governance, which are a) strengthening coordination and cooperation among regional organizations; b) building a global partnership for ocean governance; c) matching regional and global marine governance concepts effectively.
Guo Danfeng, Research Associate of Grandview Institution, analyzed the concept and pathway of blue economy in small island developing countries. During her long-term follow-up study, she found that the marine economy is not only the most important component of the national economy of small island countries, but also the key to drive terrestrial economy development. Therefore, for developing small island countries, the blue economy is an inevitable stage for its sustainable marine development and a core concern in global ocean governance.
Dr. Guo used the Small Island Country Retrieval Database established by the Grandview Institution, to conduct a structured analysis of the social opinions and marine activities in small island countries. Small island countries have special appeals for the blue economy and sustainable development. In their view, the Blue Economy has far more connotations than the Marine Economy, because Blue Economy model provides small island developing countries with a sustainable development framework of accessing, developing and sharing marine resource benefits equally. In addition, unlike the Blue Economy concept in developed countries, in small islands they state places more emphasis on inter-state equality, social equity and inclusive growth.
In the discussion session, relevant representatives and guests from national marine related management institutions, university scientific research institutions, and international organizations expressed their views on the theme. Zhu Xuan, assistant researcher of the China Institute for Marine Affairs, said that Professor Randall’s ‘negotiating ability’ of the small island countries is significance. The superb negotiation skills and techniques have helped the small island countries gain the attention and support of the international community. At the UN Ocean Conference held in June last year, a quantity of countries and international organizations submitted their commitments to promote sustainable development of the oceans according to their own wishes. Among the more than 1,400 voluntary funding commitments received by the United Nations, the highest amount is the $8 billion provided by the European Investment Bank, which supports the small island countries’ climate change response capacity project. From another perspective, it proves the issues of small islands sought-after among international ocean affairs. Zhu Xuan believes that the study global ocean governance in small island countries requires to analyze the global political interests and economic interests behind the ‘Island heat’, which is also a problem that future small island countries need to pay more attention to.