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30% – ‘Re-percent-ing’ ocean governance

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Valerio Donfrancesco.

30%. That is the proportion of the world’s oceans, which have been targeted by the United Nations as marine protected areas by 2030. This goal follows an earlier numerically based target of 10%, one that the United Nations failed to reach, being undeniably ambitious. But is it necessarily ‘good’ for ‘saving’ oceans facing increased pressures ranging from marine pollution, acidification, warming, and overfishing? It is surprising, given the vast array of ocean work that has explored both representations and constructions of oceans, alongside work critical to modes of oceanic protection – that percentages and their political economies have alluded critical examination. Percentage targets underscore particular spatial logics of how oceanic recovery can be achieved, by whom, and for whom. Drawing on the 30×30 campaign, this paper scrutinises the past, present, and futures of ‘re-percent-ing’ oceans, instead highlighting the need to listen to more relational and plural ocean imaginaries.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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