Tag Archives: Environmental Impact

A thousand cuts: Greed and politics are destroying some of Asia’s most valuable coral reefs

THE giant clams that lurk in the coral reefs of the South China Sea can live for more than a century and grow more than a metre wide. Their shells are coveted by China’s rich as swanky furnishings or cut into trinkets, such as jewellery. Large specimens can sell for thousands of dollars. The trade […]

Establish a Marine Protected Area in the South China Sea

The Coral Triangle section of the South China Sea is one of the richest marine ecosystems anywhere on Earth. It is recognized as the global center of marine biodiversity and a global priority for conservation. It is also called the “Amazon of the seas.” Today this region is under threat: China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, […]

South China Sea: the far-reaching consequences of island-building

WASHINGTON – What has been largely overlooked in the conversation to date around China’s campaign of dredging and construction in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea is the necessary synthesis between the geopolitical and environmental aspects of the issue. In recent months, U.S. Navy patrols in the South China Sea and denouncements […]

The Cost to Doing Nothing in the South China Sea

President Obama’s visit to the Philippines this week will train a spotlight on the fiercely contested South China Sea. Both he and his hosts will likely call on China and other claimants to maintain the status quo in the region until their various differences can be resolved. Yet while that may be the best one […]

Science and Politics in the South China Sea

This past summer, a scientific research vessel from the Philippines was crewed and provisioned, ready to set sail to the heart of the South China Sea to survey coral reefs, collect coral, fish, and other samples, and measure rising ocean temperatures. Then the Philippine government called it off—rising geopolitical tensions had scuttled the trip. Scattered […]

China’s island building is destroying reefs

The geopolitical maneuvering in the South China Sea (SCS) is taking a heavy toll on the marine environment, scientists believe. The Spratly or Nansha Islands, a cluster of coral reefs and atolls, has become the focus of a territorial dispute between China and its neighbors. To the dismay of other countries bordering the SCS, China […]

South China Sea – A Hot Debate On The Horizon

The latest satellite imagery of the South China Sea clearly shows that the Chinese have stepped up a notch in terms of completing the construction of an artificial island in a bid to gain a stranglehold of the region, a measure that has really annoyed quite a few regional players and has also ruffled a […]

China’s Artificial Islands in the South China Sea Are Killing Ocean Life

Marco Rubio raised fears about China’s “artificial islands” blocking ocean traffic in the South China Sea during the recent GOP debate, but scientists think shipping lanes are the least of our concerns. A new article in the journal Science points out that the man-made islands are already taking a huge toll on the environment. China’s […]

South China Sea Images reveal impact on coral of Beijing’s military bases

As China races to extend its military reach, it is turning pristine habitats into permanent islands. Satellite images of the South China Sea show rapid destruction of some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world. The reclamation of land in the contested Spratly archipelago to build runways, military outposts and even small towns […]

China Is Building a New South China Sea Fleet for its Maritime Militia

China is building a new South China Sea fishing fleet for its maritime militia in a move that could intensify regional disputes, an expert told a conference at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) Wednesday. China’s maritime militia – one of the more understudied agencies in the exercise of Chinese maritime power – typically uses […]