Sharing the Seas

Since more than a few distinguished readers of this blog have expertise in matters dealing with fish and clean oceans in the Far East, and because environmental issues in East Asia are set to take center stage this year (Mount Paektu eruption, anyone?), I thought I might call your attention to an upcoming event:

Environmental Cooperation in Northeast Asia:Challenges and Prospects // A Conference at George Washington University, March 4, 2011

Rationale: In Northeast Asia, environmental degradation and competition over scarce resources have the potential to contribute to political tension in a region that still has many remaining territorial disputes and where distrust among neighboring countries is still an issue. Recently, the region has seen new efforts to improve inter-regional cooperation between states, such as Russia, China and Japan. Joint monitoring, cooperative research, and harmonization of standards and processes can serve the dual function of resolving common environmental problems and improving relations among states. On the other hand, it is pointed out that in most issue areas, the states of Northeast Asia have not yet developed a shared understanding of common environmental problems. They will discuss how we can evaluate the emerging environmental cooperation in the region, what is needed to promote further regional cooperation among states of the region on environmental issues.

Presentations include:

 

“Frenemies? Russia-China Interactions on Energy and Environmental Issues”// Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick, Montclair State University

 

Governing Russia’s Forests: When Are Transnational Initiatives Effective? //Dr. Laura A. Henry, Bowdoin College

 

Environmental Conservation of the Amur River and the Sea of Okhotsk: Regional Cooperation between China, Japan and Russia? //Dr. Yasunori Hanamatsu, George Washington University

Seattle, Washington, gateway to the Russian Far East

Keep your eyes peeled for future appearances and interviews on this blog with specialists on the above issues.  After all, in the process of enjoying life in Seattle this spring, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be smacked upside the head by interactions with some-high voltage scholars whose writings, thoughts, models, and way of life calls our attention again to the sea, and environmental impacts (and thus, again, politics!) of transnational maritime East Asia.

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies


and

The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES)

at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

and

The Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University

are pleased to invite you to:

Environmental Cooperation in Northeast Asia:

Challenges and Prospects

A Round-table discussion

Frenemies? Russia-China Interactions on Energy and Environmental Issues

Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick

Associate Professor of Political Science and Law, Montclair State University

Governing Russia’s Forests: When Are Transnational Initiatives Effective?

Dr. Laura A. Henry

Associate Professor of Government and Legal Studies, Bowdoin College

Environmental Conservation of the Amur River and the Sea of Okhotsk: Regional Cooperation between China, Japan and Russia?

Dr. Yasunori Hanamatsu

Visiting Scholar, IERES, George Washington University

Moderated by Dr. Henry E. Hale

Director, IERES, George Washington University

In Northeast Asia, environmental degradation and competition over scarce resources have the potential to contribute to political tension in a region that still has many remaining territorial disputes and where distrust among neighboring countries is still an issue. Recently, the region has seen new efforts to improve inter-regional cooperation between states, such as Russia, China and Japan. Joint monitoring, cooperative research, and harmonization of standards and processes can serve the dual function of resolving common environmental problems and improving relations among states. On the other hand, it is pointed out that in most issue areas, the states of Northeast Asia have not yet developed a shared understanding of common environmental problems. They will discuss how we can evaluate the emerging environmental cooperation in the region, what is needed to promote further regional cooperation among states of the region on environmental issues.

4 thoughts on “Sharing the Seas

  1. Sir, it will be very interesting to find out what Northeast Asia is going to do about those Environmental Issues affecting the region, especially when the countries does not like or want anybody in their business. Mount Paektu is suppose to be a sacred place for Korean and Chinese people, but does have different meanings, I guess depending on who you talk to, and is a natural national border between China and Korea. See you later, Angel.

    1. Precisely, Angel, and thus we arrive at the tension between narrowly defined national interest/nationalism and issues that really demand transnational cooperation. Whales and walruses don’t respect national boundaries, but they are better off living outside of Japanese territorial waters. And even an issue like timber has its transnational components — if Russia is overlogging (while using cheap North Korean labor!), it’s largely due to the demand in China, even as logging along the frontier might add to problems like erosion, sandstorms, etc. that will effect China.

      Paektu is another sore spot, will hope to comment on this further in a subsequent post.

  2. Whatever the future between North and South Korea, the DMZ should be maintained as it is now a great habitat zone for a wide variety of critters on the endangered list in that part of the world. Talk about maximum potential. A mix of eco-war tourism touches all the bases.

    1. Yes! I think young Jonathan Lee (a 14 year old and media saavy Korean American politician) has been pushing for this as well, but calling it a “Peace Park.” I don’t care what they call it, but you’re quite right, it could be a great ecological asset for the Koreas. North Korea recently showing it can play the game too, talking with Germans and others about exchanging carbon credits.

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