Tropical Geography ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 661-670.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003182

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Collaborative Environmental Management in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Based on Cross-border Rivers

Pan Zeqiang1, Ning Chaoqiao2, Yuan Yuan1()   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University//Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Institute of Urban Management Studies, Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, Guangzhou 510410, China
  • Received:2019-07-31 Revised:2019-09-29 Online:2019-09-10 Published:2019-11-08
  • Contact: Yuan Yuan


Over the past decade, concerns regarding cross-regional environmental management in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area have been increasing. However, problems still persist regarding the development of cross-border environmental governance and the lack of sustainable cooperation mechanisms. Pursuing a transition toward a more sustainable environmental management system has become imperative for solving cross-regional environmental problems encouraging multiple stakeholders’ participation. Collaborative environment management is of considerable significance for promoting cross-regional coordination of sustainable development. Scholars in China have paid particular attention to introduce collaborative environmental management approaches, but in practice, research is particularly oriented by problems, and such approaches lack a sustainable regional environmental management coordination mechanism. This paper examines the mechanism of the watershed collaborative planning at the cross-border rivers located in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The Danshui River, Shenzhen River, and Yayong Canal were chosen as cases for comparative analysis with the cross-border rivers, and the similarities and differences of these were studied. The results and conclusions are as follows. First, the management of the Danshui River is dominated by multi-level government departments, and the partnership process is gradational. The governance of the Shenzhen River is a collaborative process of policy and market coordination involving multiple stakeholders, and the partnership process is cyclic and alternating. Moreover, the governance of the Yayong Canal is a collaborative process dominated by government-based policies, and there is an asymmetric partnership. Second, the administrative system is the surface factor that affects the governance of cross-border rivers, and internal factors contribute to the differences in achieving partnerships between the stakeholders. Thus, the governance results are influenced by differences in collaboration models, planning information, and mechanism design. Third, to some degree, the cooperation mechanisms of Guangdong,Hong Kong and Macao could promote cross-border river management. In particular, the Shenzhen River mixed-management mode involving multiple stakeholders represents a progressive expression of cross-border river management. Furthermore, the cases mentioned above have common problems, such as lacking consistent planning objectives, multilateral cooperation, public collaboration, awareness, and a sustainable collaboration mechanism. In this context, establishing a sustainable, regional environmental management goal, innovating the regional environmental management coordination system, and improving public participation could be instrumental in the process of developing an environmental management coordination framework in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Key words: regional environmental governance, collaborative mechanism, multi-agent, partnership, public participation, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

CLC Number: 

  • TU984.3