Integrating ecosystem services into coastal and marine governance: An economic institutionalist perspective based on Chinese practice

Ruiqian Li


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    This thesis aims to provide a comprehensive institutional understanding of the extent to which ecosystem services (ES) thinking is integrated in Chinese coastal and marine governance. It draws on a multi-level case study analysis (local, municipal, and national levels) and attempts to clarify the importance of attuning institutional arrangements with coastal and marine ecosystems, thereby providing lessons to improve the quality of governance. Results illustrate a certain level of consideration of ESs in policies, recognizing human dependence on coastal and marine ecosystems in different ways. However, some fundamental ESs and relevant indirect impacts are implicit, which requires characterizing more broadly all possible ESs and account for ES interrelationships. The analysis also reveals that Chinese practice lacks evidence on developing institutional solutions to ecological issues at an appropriate geographical scale. To increase the capacity of dealing with complex ES issues, coastal and marine governance demands institutional adjustments and cooperation to integrate ecological entity and different geographies. In China, the valuation and use of ESs wields a rising influence at the strategic level of governance but encounters limited acceptance among organizations. This suggests further efforts to clarify the ES concept, improve knowledge learning and communication, and increase the reliability of valuation. Finally, this research clearly shows that institutional arrangements can significantly influence the ES integration. Chinese policies highlight regulatory support for facilitating economic incentives as a way to allocate ESs. However, a higher level of voluntary negotiations and exchanges between actors should be encouraged under the required regulations.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Woltjer, Johan, Supervisor
    • van den Brink, Margo, Co-supervisor
    Datum van toekenning2-mrt-2017
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    Gedrukte ISBN's978-90-367-9580-7
    Elektronische ISBN's978-90-367-9579-1
    StatusPublished - 2017

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