Analysis results: levels of environmental problems
The environmental problems are spatially defocused. The most part of defocused points have the same transboundary “common pool” problem. On the other side these problems are heterogeneous. Their appearance is different on different levels. Nevertheless the specific pointed environmental problems dominate on different levels. The first step to levels analyses and structuring is their classification. It can be based on three criteria: natural economic territory (NET), institutionalization and politico economical level. These criteria make it possible to discern three levels of transboundary environmental problems in the region.
The level of NET is the level of inevitable environmental complication of transboundary economic ties. The complication includes increasing effect of energetic factor on transboundary and even transcontinental pollution. China, Russia and even remote countries appeared to be environmentally connected countries. The second specific and critical component of this level is deforestation which leads to the biodiversity loss. The situation was aggravated by the unreasonable Russian forestry trade policy which affected Russian Far East especially trade with China. Another peculiar trait of connected with marine pollution. Sakhalin projects were the first to raise probability of marine pollution through carbohydrates exploration and transport.
Institutional level is the level of problem which is not directly connected with environmental implication of high economic growth and intensive boundary cooperation. It is connected with Regional Environmental Governance. This is the level of countries ability to undertake joint coordinated actions to pursue environmental policy through appropriate system of institutions. This is the level which determines the possibility, scale, depth and rates of regional ecologic integration. Up to institutional level Northeast Asia is still one of the least institutionalized regions in the world, with few institutions for cooperation and dialogue including environmental issues.
Some positive developments in environmental collaboration in the region connected with trilateral summit in Fukuoka (December 2008). The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea signed the Action Plan for Promoting Trilateral Cooperation (2008), which also includes a special section on environmental protection . However, the experts conclude than “the environmental partnership in a multilateral mode is still essentially limited to only three Northeast Asian countries, with Russia remaining outside” .
The integral feature for environmental policy of modern China is undivided and rapt attention of Communist Party institutions and mass media with accent on positive content of information. The algorithm of data presentation includes leading experience on provincial level (1), its approval on highest level (2), an appeal to spread it (3). The example is an article about Fujian province with the most effective ecological policy. The success is provided through indices for valuations of 34 cities development. The index number one is the condition of environment .
Up to political level ecological degradation, resource scarcity, and population pressures aberration a potential source of conflicts. It is political level that determines quantity and quality of the institutions. The problems of this level are consequences of lag between resource project, environmental changes and policy actions. The revealing affair is recent rivalry between China and Japan for a route of the Russian oil pipeline “Eastern Siberia - Pacific ocean” . We can assume that it was not rivalry between Japan and China. The genuine contenders were in Russia and represented interests of Russian big business, Russian federal authorities and Russian regional authorities.
On the other hand, regional cooperation on environmental issues can promote confidence and enhance regional peace.