Ocean Space (leader Signe V. Busch)

The aim of WP I Ocean Spaces is to investigate and problematize the limits and possibilities of the current spatial architecture of the oceans.

Foto: Signe V. Busch
Ocean spaces and ecosystems are often connected in complex and multiscale ways and resist fixed legal delineations. In spite of this, UNCLOS divides ocean space into different maritime zones, fragmenting the ocean environment and subsuming each fragment to a different legal regime. WPI sets out to analyze the current regime in light of the epistemic challenges posed to the law of the sea and ocean governance (LOSOG) by the novel ecological perspective.

WPI explores whether the current spatial architecture can respond to the challenges posed to it by ocean connectivity of currents, species and domains. A particularly important dimension is the land-sea interface, where WPI will investigate the limits and possibilities of thinking land and sea together within the current LOSOG framework, assessing to what degree the relevant legal regimes are able to address and respond to the emerging issues threatening the marine environment, such as climate change, marine plastic pollution and ocean acidification. Finally, WPI will explore alternative legal constructions of ocean space.

The research conducted in WPI will shed light on one of the main hypothesis of the Aurora Center: The legal architecture of ocean space is not suited to ensure ocean resilience and sustainability, and contribute to the main research question of the Centre: What are the limits and possibilities of the current LOSOG framework to adapt and respond to the intertwined systemic challenges? And what are the possible future trajectories for LOSOG?

Key participants: BuschDahlDe LuciaHeyLottMolenaarPoto, Ranganathan, Solski.

International partners: Braverman, Trevisanut, Scott, Kotsakis