Friday, June 28 • 10:15 - 11:45
Narrating the Ocean. Public Discourses and Marine Governance

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Chaired by: Samantha Williams

What marine environment attributes are most important to coastal residents and how do these influence attitudes toward wave and tidal energy? A photo-elicitation study on the Bristol Channel, UK.
Andrew Edwards-Jones, Caroline Hattam, Nicola Beaumont
(Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, United Kingdom)

The UK Government is committed to a target of 15% of electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020. DEFRA’s 25-year environment plan also places a commitment on protecting the UK’s natural capital. To honour these commitments, the energy system needs to be decarbonised, albeit in a way that safeguards natural capital and provides acceptable trade-offs to the public. The marine environment is essential to achieving the UK’s renewable energy targets, with wave and tidal devices among the potential mechanisms for harvesting marine energy. While research has focused on engineering challenges, little is known about the social and cultural impacts of these devices and their public acceptability. This research had three main aims: to identify the cultural importance of the coast, to assess the trade-offs between cultural ecosystem services and a decarbonised energy system, and to reveal perceptions of wave and tidal energy. Three case study sites along the Bristol Channel were selected (Weston-super-Mare, Minehead, and Barnstaple), this area having great potential for wave and tidal energy while also holding environmental and cultural significance, attracting several million visitors annually and housing at least 250,000 people. A mixed-method approach was adopted, integrating photo elicitation and a questionnaire survey involving residents of the study locations. Data from interviews, participant photographs, and extracted survey data were analysed thematically, revealing attachment to place, aesthetic attributes, natural history and recreational use as being of particular importance, and highlighting a generally positive perception of wave and tidal energy development albeit with some clear ideas of acceptable trade-offs and concerns regarding impact on wildlife and the coastal environment. By drawing on data through methodological triangulation, greater depth is revealed about perceptions on what is important for individuals living in particular localities, and how these priority concerns underpin their attitudes toward wave and tidal energy.

Narratives around Livelihood Diversification among Coastal Communities in Southeast Asia: A Qualitative Evidence Synthesis
Timur Jack-Kadioglu, Karyn Morrissey, Felicity Thomas & Ruth Garside

Coastal areas in lower and middle-income countries are spaces in constant flux, with varied – and often competing – uses, contributing to growing pressure on increasingly fragile ecosystems. For the communities that inhabit these spaces, marine resources play a crucial role in supporting livelihoods and contributing to human well-being. Narratives about livelihoods and the human dimensions of marine resource use continue to be (re)constructed, within coastal communities, between broader coastal stakeholders, and by researchers and practitioners. The primary aim of this study – part of a broader empirical PhD study on livelihood-wellbeing linkages in coastal communities in Palawan, Philippines – is to examine and unpick perspectives and experiences of livelihoods from different members of coastal communities in Southeast Asia, and how values are shaped across gender, age, class, and ethnicity. To achieve this aim, the study uses a qualitative evidence synthesis – following a thematic synthesis approach – that extracts, analyses, and synthesises past bodies of qualitative literature to create novel interpretations that explore narratives around livelihoods diversification. The focus on qualitative evidence recognises the key role that qualitative research can play in understanding the nuances of complex socio-ecological processes in coastal and marine environments, in particular when examining power dynamics and marginalised groups. By exploring narratives in research about livelihoods among coastal communities in Southeast Asia, this study seeks to contribute to more equitable research and practice in the future by highlighting whose values are represented in dominant narratives. Early findings indicate the risks of focusing on livelihoods from an income-generating perspective, while ignoring the ways in which they (re)shape and (re)construct individual and collective identities. Further, narratives around livelihood diversification appear to be being shaped by and benefiting powerful actors within and outside communities, contributing to feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness among marginalised community members.

Discovering and knowing the paradise: historical overview of the scientific endeavor in Galapagos Islands
Maria Jose Barragan-Paladines

The Galapagos Islands are often imagined as “the paradise” and as “the natural laboratory for evolution”. These powerful metaphors have shaped the Galapagos territory and the way space, reality and truth is understood, specially through scientific practices, since Charles Darwin published his famous The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in 1859. This influential notion became the foundation of the Evolutionary Biology and determined the scientific endeavor, about the islands and their natural systems, that has been conducted in the Archipelago in the last 160 years.
It is claimed that the Galapagos Islands were ‘discovered’ by Fray T. de Berlanga in 1535, yet, evidence proves that pre-Hispanic cultures were present in the islands before that time. In fact, the ‘discovery’ and ‘exploration’ of the islands since then, have followed a unified format of characterization, labeling, cataloging and mapping of the discoveries made by scientific practices. This paper is descriptive in nature and follows a narrative-style format. It tells the story of the scientific practices, conducted by the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF), in Galapagos, since its creation in 1959. Being the first and most important scientific body in Galapagos, CDF has played a significant role in the scientific endeavor carried on. I posit that during these decades, varied paradigmatic changes have been experienced, at varied scales, within the research agenda, research objects, and research priorities in the Galapagos context. From a very purist scientific practices, we have shifted and currently conduct more comprehensive research, that recognize the role humans have played (and still do) in the co-existence and co-evolution of the social and natural systems, specially within the marine dimension. This science approach highlights the necessity to look at issues from varied disciplinary traditions.

Friday June 28, 2019 10:15 - 11:45
REC A1.05 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam