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Theory and Practice in Convergence of Revisions of Marine Functional Zoning at Provincial and Municipal Levels: A Case Study of Revision of Putian Marine Functional Zoning in China

Author(s): Faming Huang, Yanhong Lin, Rongrong Zhao

Marine spatial planning (MSP) promotes the realization of marine ecosystem-based ocean management by regulating the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in the oceans and coastal areas. Marine functional zoning (MFZ), as an implementation form of marine spatial planning in China, is one of the three major systems defined in the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Sea Areas. Due to most of the advanced maritime countries in the world adopts “bottom-up management”. The upper level of these countries only plays a strategic and policy guide to the lower level, there was no outstanding the contradiction between the upper and lower levels. However, China adopts an “up-bottom management”, and the upper level has clear constraints and restrictions on the lower level. As a result, there are problems in the process of compiling the marine functional zones in different levels, such as inflexible boundary convergence, single spatial function planning, and unreasonable allocation of control indicators. Therefore, in the process of formulating and implementing MFZ, how to make a good convergence between provincial and municipal levels of MFZ, which had become a pressing problem. This paper studies and discusses the three aspects of the convergence of control boundaries, compatibility of different functions, and the allocation of control indicators in the marine functional zones. It proposed a solution for the convergence between provincial and municipal levels of MFZ, and applied it to the revision and practice of MFZ in Putian, China. The results shown that the research program for the convergence of control boundaries, compatibility of dominant and auxiliary functions in marine functional zones and the allocation of control indicators of provincial and municipal levels in the marine functional zones could realize the effective and reasonable convergence between provincial and municipal levels of MFZ revision. The research results would provide a reference for the revision of provincial and municipal levels of MFZ in other regions of China and the convergence of different levels of MSP in other countries.

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