Global International Waters Assessment: South China Sea, GIWA Regional Assessment 54
This report presents the GIWA assessment of the South China Sea region, which lies in the global centre of tropical marine biodiversity and comprises nine nations: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines. The region supports a rapidly growing coastal population, and has rapidly deteriorating marine ecosystems with the likely immediate collapse of many of its coral reefs and pelagic fish populations. Habitat modification and overexploitation of living resources were found to cause the most severe transboundary environmental and socio-economic impacts in the region. The past and present status and future prospects of these issues are discussed, and they are traced back to their root causes. Policy options to mitigate these problems are proposed that aim to provide solutions to these fundamental issues, in order to enhance the management of the region's aquatic environment.