Sustainability meets geopolitics in the maritime domain: The case for cooperative governance

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Sustainability and geopolitics appear to have little in common when it comes to maritime spaces and populated coastlines. One speaks to cooperative governance and the other to competition and control. This can be observed in the Indo-Pacific region. Here converge the ‘Blue Pacific Continent’ of island nations at the mercy of rising sea levels, the ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ of expanding Chinese influence, and a new cold war narrative of Sino-US rivalry. This rivalry has seen the South China Sea become a ‘frontline’ conflict zone in which ecological vulnerability has been exacerbated. Through these examples, this paper concludes that sustainability in the maritime domain has become more consequential in terms of security for all stakeholders than contesting spheres of strategic influence. This means that national security strategies need to embed climate action and the cause of the biosphere as the primary source of security. The case for cooperative governance has never been stronger.

Additional information

Presentation only, no paper required.
Period13 Jun 202317 Jun 2023
Event titleEcoSummit Conference
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational