Environmental Security: A Crucible in the South China Sea


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When: May 3 2016 - 12:30pm until May 3 2016 - 2:00pm
Where: 1819 L St NW, Sixth Floor Conference Room, Washington DC, 20036

The East-West Center in Washington invites you to an Asia Pacific Seminar:


Environmental Security: A Crucible in the South China Sea




James W. Borton

Faculty Associate,
Walker Institute, University of South Carolina


Dr. Nong Hong

Executive Director & Senior Fellow, Institute for China-America Studies


Dr. John McManus

National Center for Coral Reef Research, Rosenstiel School, University of Miami

Environmental Security: A Crucible in the South China Sea from East-West Center on Vimeo.



The growing use of the ocean as a laboratory has global scientific, environmental, legal and policy implications. The panelists explained relationships between marine scientific research and the marine environmental provisions of the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea on the following panels: James Borton - "The Convergence of Science and Geopolitics in the South China Sea;" Dr. John McManus - " Damage to the Coral Reefs of the Spratly Islands: Regional Consequences and a Peace Park Solution;" and Dr. Nong Hong - " Environmental Security as a Driving Force of Cooperation in the South China Sea.”


 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 


James W. Borton is a faculty associate at the Walker Institute at the University of South Carolina. He’s still engaged as a contributing foreign correspondent for The Washington Times writing about environmental policy issues on the Mekong River and in the South China Sea. Borton's seminal book Venture Japan: How Growing Companies Worldwide Can Tap into the Japanese Venture Capital Markets, Chicago: Probus1992. He has edited The Art of Medicine in Metaphors (Copernicus Healthcare) 2013 and most recently The South China Sea: Challenges and Promises in 2015. He’s past editor of New Asia Review (Greenwood Press) and has been engaged in SE Asia reporting for over 20 years. Borton holds both a B.A and a M.A with honors in English and American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland and has been a former National Endowment Fellow at Yale University. He has also been an active member of the President's Circle of The Asia Society in New York City and the Foreign Correspondents Clubs in Hong Kong and Phnom Penh. He is a National Fellow in The Explorers Club, an American-based international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research.


Dr. Nong Hong heads the Institute for China America Studies (ICAS), an independent, non-profit academic institution, based in Washington, D.C. She holds a joint position of research fellow with China Institute, University of Alberta (CIUA), National Institute for South China Sea, Nanjing University. Dr. Hong received her PhD of interdisciplinary study of international law and international relations from the University of Alberta, Canada and held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University’s China Institute. She was ITLOS-Nippon Fellow for International Dispute Settlement (2008-2009), and Visiting Fellow at the Center of Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia (2009) and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (2007). Her most recent publications include, UNCLOS and Ocean Dispute Settlement: Law and Politics in the South China Sea (Abingdon, New York: Routledge, 2012); UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the South China Sea, co-edited with Wu Shicun and Mark Valencia (Surrey:Ashgate, 2015).


John W. McManus, PhD is a Professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries, and Former Director of the National Center for Coral Reef Research (NCORE) at the Rosenstiel School of the University of Miami. In 2007, he chaired the Five-Year Review of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, which led to major changes in its structure and activities. As the former Leader of the Aquatic Environments Program of the WorldFish Center in Southeast Asia (formerly ICLARM), he was the founder of ReefBase: the Global Coral Reef Database, and the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN). He is known for innovative approaches to science in support of coastal and watershed management which ranging from simple approaches by which villagers can assess their resources to cutting-edge science and technology. He and his wife Dr. Liana McManus were recognized by the World Technology Network for being among ‘the most innovative individuals in the world in 2006’. A pioneer in decision-support and scenario-testing modeling applications in the marine environment, he teaches annual courses on “Object-Oriented Programming and Agent-Based Modelling”, “Coral Reef Science and Management”, and “Introduction to Marine Science”. An author of over 100 publications, his current work includes studying the relationships among food webs, ecological dynamics, reef geomorphology, human impacts, and climate change, as well as developing a new coastal ecohydrology modelling approach to facilitate integrative research and management decision-making. He also continues to assist efforts to develop a large Spratly Island International Peace Park in the South China Sea, an idea often attributed to his early reef connectivity study.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
Phone: 202-327-9755