Wednesday 11th October, 12pm
SGP1.02 connecting to AT3
PERC proudly presents the seminar ‘Marine Resource Politics, Ocean Frontiers, and Tracking the Blue Economy.’ Hosted by Associate Professor Jennifer Silver, from the University of Guelph, Canada, this talk “overviews my research program and then delves further into one area of it: international oceans governance. First, I will describe my background as a political ecologist and interdisciplinary social scientist. Next, I will trace the emergence of the term ‘Blue Economy’ concurrent with the preparatory process and gathering of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (i.e., Rio+20). Delegates used the term freely and in different ways, and, unlike the more widely known and hotly contested Green Economy, it was not associated with a particular set of economic relationships or property arrangements. Finally, I will discuss work in progress that tracks the ‘Seychelles Debt Restructuring for Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Program’. Convened by the NatureVest division of The Nature Conservancy International and publicized as a Blue Economy success story, the initiative will allow the government of The Republic of Seychelles to buy back nearly US$22 million in external debt. In turn, the government commits to multi-use marine spatial planning throughout the full extent of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). While the financial arrangement at the heart of the initiative is novel in some ways, my analysis raises questions about the value it assigns to marine ecosystems and about who it empowers. Contextualizing the initiative in terms of Small Island Developing State debt and International Monetary Fund oversight also reveals the Seychelles’ EEZ as both subject to and an asset in neoliberal restructuring.”
Jennifer is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Topically, many of her publications have centered on oceans, coastal and Indigenous communities, and marine resources. Her research program is currently funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence Fund.