Development, security and the oceans

31 May 2017

World Oceans Day

A networking event to celebrate World Oceans Day has been organised by Cardiff University.

The University’s Crime and Security Research Institute has teamed up with the Sustainable Places Research Institute to host an afternoon event sponsored by the British Academy’s Sustainable Development Programme. The event will explore the important, yet underdeveloped, relationship between ocean development, governance and maritime security and the sustainable development of coastal and island communities.

The event brings together Cardiff University expertise in maritime affairs and socio-ecological policy and includes speakers from both a law enforcement, security and a sustainable development background.  It will facilitate discussion on recent research results as well as providing a networking opportunity for researchers in the region with an interest in maritime, island and coastal zone research from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.

Dr Christian Bueger from the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University said: “The blue economy and maritime security are two sides of the same coin, while the former highlights the opportunities of the sea, the latter emphasizes its perils and dangers. Whether it is tourism, wind farms, fishing, or offshore oil platforms, these require a secure environment which is not threatened by criminal activity.”

Professor Susan Baker from the school of Social Sciences and co-host of the event said: “Our combined research highlights the importance of paying attention to the need to promote sustainable futures for communities that rely upon the oceans resources for their wellbeing.”

Understanding the security-development nexus at sea is crucial in realising the goals of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14), which seeks to promote sustainable use of the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources through conservation and sustainable development.

As the research carried out in Cardiff has shown, in maritime spaces such as the western Indian Ocean, maritime criminality, such as illegal fishing, damages prospects for the sustainable development of Somalia’s ocean resources, provides a justification for piracy within disadvantaged coastal communities and undermines trust in national institutions and international capacity building efforts. Therefore, it is crucial that both agendas are considered together. This will open the path to new collaborations and contribute to safer and more sustainable management of the world’s ocean resources and the promotion of sustainable futures for island and coastal communities.

The annual World Oceans Day, which was conceived in 1992, takes place on the 8th of June this year with the theme "Our Oceans, Our Future". It runs from 2pm-7pm in the Council Chamber, Glamorgan Building. Places are free and can be reserved here.