2021 People & the Sea Conference

The 11th MARE People and the Sea Conference will take place from the 28th of June to 2nd of July, 2021. This year, the conference will be held virtually. Our online conference platform can be found here.

Theme description: Limits to Blue Growth?
For decades sustainable development has served as guiding concept for policy makers, including those concerned in coastal and ocean governance. At the same time, the ‘blue economy’ and ‘blue growth’ have nowadays become popular concepts in marine policy. Notions on blue growth especially ask attention for new uses of the oceans, such as renewable energy (wind at sea), deep sea mining and deep-sea fishing but also aim at highlighting ecosystem services that have societal value (coastal protection, CO2 storage and biodiversity). The concept aims to reconcile two seemingly opposing uses of the oceans: exploitation and conservation, in the same way as was intended with the use of ‘sustainable development’. The concept also seems to promise that there still is a new, not yet reached frontier for economic expansion.

MARE Policy Day 2021: Coastal & Maritime Cultural Heritage
Marine and coastal regions provide space for the movement and intersection of peoples and cultures and are gateways connecting land and sea. Coastal and maritime cultural heritage (CMCH), rooted in specific land- and seascapes, buildings, stories, traditions, language, and cultural practices, is lauded as an essential part of society. CMCH contains the unique ethos and identity of places, and includes fishing villages, working waterfronts, and other sites, which developed through connections and interactions with the sea. Nonetheless, there are multiple constraining conditions, emerging from environmental threats and resultant risks, and from changing economic, political, and social conditions. With calls for the sustainable utilization of CMCH in the name of Blue Growth, there is a need to think through its management and governance.

In this year’s MARE Policy Day, we will draw upon the work done in various research projects, including the EU funded PERICLES and FisherCoast, among other initiatives in and beyond Europe. We will examine how to meet CMCH’s integration challenges understood in the following ways: (1) the integration of cultural and natural heritage, (2) horizontal integration across sectors and various marine policy areas (e.g., MSP, ICZM, regional development), and (3) the integration of different knowledges, values, interests, and participation of diverse stakeholders. Our objective, like in other MARE policy days, is to hear from decisionmakers, practitioners, and managers regarding their experiences and to open a space for discussion and dialogue. We will close the day with reflections on the integration of lesser-known heritage narratives, including painful and uncomfortable histories, and how we can address omissions of the past and develop a rich understanding of CMCH.

Keep an eye on the MARE website for the programme of the policy day, which will be posted in April 2021. We look forward to meeting you there!