Investigate the negotiations of a new legally-binding treaty under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea aiming at the protection of marine biodiversity (WP1).
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
MARIPOLDATA aims to overcome gaps in how marine biodiversity data and monitoring within international politics is understood, studied and practiced. The project will significantly advance our knowledge of how marine biodiversity science is represented, developed and used in international negotiation settings and national monitoring programmes.
This will allow empirically grounded conclusions on how science-policy interrelations materialise and transform the governance of the global commons. The overall objective of the project is to develop and apply a new multiscale and interdisciplinary methodological approach for grounding the analysis of science-policy interrelations in empirical research.
The application of this approach to the newly emerging field of marine biodiversity politics will transform our understanding of the role of data in governing the oceans by producing fine-grained analyses of global and national monitoring policies and practices. The MARIPOLDATA project has four specific objectives, which are linked to four interrelated work packages and a specific set of research questions:
The MARIPOLDATA project develops and applies a methodology that allows data collection at different field sites, policy levels and spatial scales. A set of qualitative and quantitative methods will be applied to empirically investigate how scientific concepts, criteria and indicators travel between different scales, as well as between sites of policy-making, assessment and monitoring. This will reveal the actual impacts and outputs of “big science” networks and activities on international negotiations and national monitoring infrastructures. By combining international and national scales, the research team will investigate how the positioning of governments related to science and technology within two international negotiation settings is linked to the actual policies and practices of national monitoring and data infrastructures (including investments, science policy, training programmes and big data management and analysis).
This will produce an unpresented understanding of the role of science and technology in governing and sharing benefits from marine biodiversity. The projects charts representations of marine science and data from the international level to the national levels, using moments of contestation to identify the different interests in marine biodiversity data and analyse the different expectations associated with its use. An important aspect of this is how these moments of contestation relate to the numbers, concepts and scientific criteria used at the national level – namely, the actual knowledge and data infrastructures developed and used in the pursuit of monitoring marine biodiversity.
Data will be collected and analysed across different policy-levels and spatial scales by combining 1) ethnographic studies at intergovernmental negotiation sites with 2) a comparative analysis of national biodiversity monitoring policies and practices and 3) bibliometric and social network analyses and oral history interviews for mapping marine biodiversity science.
Work Package 1 investigates the negotiations on a new international legally binding instrument under the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The project team participates in the negotiation sessions of the Intergovernmental Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York and conduct ethnographic research. Particular attention will be placed on the role and representation of marine biodiversity science and data in the negotiations and how different governments use and contest scientific knowledge throughout the negotiating process.
Presentations & Talks
Vadrot, Alice; Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. “Scientific Representations of the Ocean for Protecting High Seas Marine Biodiversity” Section: S40 – The Politics of the Ocean and Polar Regions”, EISA – 14th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, 13-17 September 2021.
Vadrot, Alice; Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. “United Nations Negotiations for the Future of Marine Biodiversity. A Conversation among Academics and Practitioners on the BBNJ Negotiations” (Panel), 2021 Bratislava Conference – Earth System Governance in turbulent times, 7-9 September 2021.
Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina; Vadrot, Alice. “Negotiating Ocean Science? Avenues for and Struggle over the Uptake of Science in Marine Biodiversity Negotiations”, 2021 Bratislava Conference – Earth System Governance in turbulent times, 7-9 September 2021.
Langlet, Arne; Vadrot, Alice. “Authority relations in the emerging marine biodiversity regime complex”, 2021 Bratislava Conference – Earth System Governance in turbulent times, 7-9 September 2021.
Vadrot, Alice; Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. “Studying Science-Policy interfaces in Multilateral Negotiation Settings”, Panel organisation at ECPR General Conference 2021, 30 August-3 September 2021, Online.
Langlet Arne; Vadrot, Alice. “Negotiating Scientific Institutions to Monitor the Ocean – the case of the Clearing-House Mechanism and the Scientific and Technical Body under the BBNJ Agreement”, 11th MARE People and the Sea Conference, 30 June 2021, Online presentation.
Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina; Vadrot, Alice. “Pathways for Science into Marine Biodiversity Negotiations”, 11th MARE People and the Sea Conference , 29 June 2021, Online presentation.
Dunshirn, Paul. “Governance of marine genetic resources in waters beyond national jurisdiction”, IASC 2021 Knowledge Commons Virtual Conference, 11 June 2021, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “FSS diskutiert….Meeresschutz zwischen Wissenschaft und Politik“, Forum St. Stephan, 9 June 2021, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “The role of the social sciences in and for conservation”, Digital Synthesis Workshop “How to preserve biodiversity? Best practices and failed programs” organised by the BMBF Research Initiative for the Preservation of Biodiversity (FEdA), 2 June 2021, Online Event.
Vadrot, Alice; Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. “Power disparities and epistemic inequalities in the politics of marine biodiversity”, ISA Annual Convention, 6 April 2021, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “Der Schutz der Weltmeere: Wissenschafttliche Fakten und politische Agenden“, Haus des Meeres, Science Day 2021, 21 January 2021, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “MARIPOLDATA presentation”, Polar and Marine Policy Group Meeting, German Political Science Association (GPSA), 14 January 2021, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice; Tolochko, Petro. “Studying scientific cooperation patterns for protecting marine biodiversity”, Bristish Ecological Society 2020 Annual Meeting, Festival of Ecology, 15 December 2020, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “Multilateralismus, Wissenschaft und der Schutz der Ozeane: Eine politikwissenschaftliche Untersuchung”,Vortrag im Rahmen der Klassensitzung der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Klasse der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 16 October 2020, Vienna, AUSTRIA.
Vadrot, Alice. “Studying the role of science during/in treaty negotiations: The marine biodiversity case“, Sciences Po Center for International Studies webinar, 29 September 2020, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “MARIPOLDATA presentation”, Part I: What is co-designed,solution-oriented research in the context of the Decade?, The Ocean Decade Virtual Series: Co-designing the science we need for the Ocean Decade, 24 September 2020, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice; Langlet, Arne. “COVID-19 effects on marine biodiversity negotiations: A new pathway for digital diplomacy?”, ECPR Virtual General Conference, 25 August 2020, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “Does the Common Heritage Principle make any difference? The case of marine biodiversity in the digital age”, 4S Annual Meeting, 18 August 2020, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “Multilateralism as a “site” of struggle over environmental knowledge: the marine biodiversity case”, ITA – Institute Of Technology Assessment Seminar, 23 June 2020, Online presentation.
Vadrot, Alice. “MARIPOLDATA – The Politics of Marine Biodiversity Data”, Meeting of the Law of the Sea Working Party (COMAR), 5 March 2020, Brussels, BELGIUM.
Vadrot, Alice. “Science-Policy Interrelations in and for Protecting Marine Biodiversity”, Biodiversity and the cultural landscape Symposium organized by Contemporary Matters, 15 January 2020, Vienna, AUSTRIA.
Vadrot, Alice; Langlet, Arne; Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina; Tolochko; Petro. “Uncertainties in current Ocean Politics”, Fourth Annual Conceptual Workshop “Uncertainty”, 29 November 2019, Vienna, AUSTRIA.
Vadrot, Alice. “Negotiating conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the high seas: insights into science and politics”, Keynote speech at the 4th International conference for Ocean Governance for Sustainability, 26 November 2019, Piran, SLOVENIA.
Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. “Knowing how to govern the oceans”, Polar and Marine Policy Group Meeting, German Political Science Association (GPSA), 1 October 2019, Bielefeld, GERMANY.
Vadrot, Alice. “Science-Policy Interfaces for Protecting the Oceans: A Social Science Perspective”, Marine Regions Forum, 30 September 2019, Berlin, GERMANY.
Vadrot, Alice (with Hannah Hughes, Cardiff University). “Conducting research at global environmental negotiations”, ERC MARIPOLDATA Workshop, 10-11 September 2019, Vienna, AUSTRIA.
Vadrot, Alice (with Sarah de Rijcke, Centre for Science and Technology Studies). “Exploring Policies and Practices of Studying and Monitoring the Oceans: Innovations and Interruptions in Ocean Science”, Open Panel organization at 4s Annual Meeting, 7 September 2019, New Orleans, USA.
Vadrot, Alice. “The role of oral histories in understanding science-policy interrelations”, ERC MARIPOLDATA Workshop organized in cooperation with the Centre for Science and Policy, 25 June 2019, Cambridge, UK.
Vadrot, Alice. “The Politics of Marine Biodiversity Data: Global and National Policies and Practices of Monitoring the Oceans”, 18 June 2019, Cambridge, UK.
Vadrot, Alice. “Epistemic Selectivities in Global Environmental Politics: The case of Biodiversity”, Justice and the Global Environment Colloquium, Rutgers University, 10 April 2019, New Jersey, USA.
Vadrot, Alice. “The Role of National Focal Points in Intergovernmental Organisations”, ISA Annual Convention, 29 March 2019, Toronto, CANADA.
Vadrot, Alice. “Presentation of MARIPOLDATA”, Science Talk 2019, Vienna University, 12 March 2019, Vienna, AUSTRIA.
INTERACTIVE DASHBOARD: SHOWING THE EVOLUTION OF THE MARINE BIODIVERSITY FIELD SINCE 1990
This interactive entry allow you to dive into the scientific field of marine biodiversity. We show how the field of marine biodiversity has been evolving in the past 30 years in terms of content. Marine biodiversity can be defined as “an aggregation of highly interconnected ecosystem components or features, encompassing all levels of biological organization from genes, species, populations to ecosystems […]” (Cochrane et al. 2017).The interactive dashboard allows to dive deeper into this aggregation and the different aspects covered by the concept. The dashboard is designed to show what has been written about marine biodiversity, more specifically what keywords authors use, when writing scientific publications in the field, and how the keywords are related to each other. Since the field of marine biodiversity is a rather diverse in and of itself, this visualization allows to trace the patterns of keywords and the scope of the discipline, which was continuously increasing in the last 30 years.
This visualization is based on 26.000 scientific abstracts from 1990 until 2019 (retrieved from Web of Science), and you can choose any year within this time period to see whether the keywords, or their patterns of co-occurrence have changed over time. The keywords are connected if they appear, or “co-occur” in the same abstract. By default, the visualization shows the top (highest frequency) 100 keyword pairs from the selected year, but you can select to show top 50 to top 750 pairs.
The interactive dashboard will evolve over time with more functionality and more interesting data added. We will keep you posted.
An article has been published on the MARIPOLDATA blog about this dashboard: https://www.maripoldata.eu/maripoldata-interactive-dashboard-showing-the-evolution-of-the-marine-biodiversity-field-since-1990/
(Note: the colors are mainly for aesthetic reasons and should not be over interpreted.)
SURVEY `THE BBNJ DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS´
The rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to quarantine measures worldwide and resulted in the cancellation or postponement of a significant number of global meetings. The fourth conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Instrument) – was no exception. It is not yet known when it will take place. This greatly affected the international agenda and strategies set for the ocean in 2020.
One important pillar of MARIPOLDATA is to investigate the negotiations of a new legally-binding treaty under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, aiming to protect marine biodiversity based on collaborative event ethnography.
Since conducting field research (WP1) was impossible, the MARIPOLDATA team developed a survey in May 2020 to assess how the COVID-19 outbreak affects the various parties working on the BBNJ Treaty, and its impacts on the activities carried out towards the conclusion of an agreement. This study targeted all actors interested or actively working on the BBNJ Treaty. Any answers provided were confidential and resulted in a publication in Global Environmental Politics and a special report summing up the findings.
The survey results led to the research note “ Marine Biodiversity Negotiations During COVID-19: A New Role for Digital Diplomacy?” (Vadrot et al. 2021), published in Global Environmental Politics in March 2021. This publication identifies online initiatives and communication channels set up to maintain negotiation momentum. It also examines the challenges and opportunities of digital diplomacy for multilateral environmental agreement making and the study thereof. We discuss future avenues for global environmental politics research and conclude that digital ethnographies provide an entry point to study some of these dynamics but need to be adapted to the study of negotiation settings and the specific context of multilateral environmental diplomacy.
Vadrot, Alice B.M. Langlet, Arne. Tessnow-von Wysocki, Ina. Tolochko, Petro. Brogat, Emmanuelle. and Ruiz-Rodríguez, Silvia C. 2021. Marine Biodiversity Negotiations During COVID-19: A New Role for Digital Diplomacy?. Global Environmental Politics
This report presents the MARIPOLDATA Corona Survey results from a geographical angle, exploring how respondents from different continents are affected by the COVID-19 situation and estimate its effect on the BBNJ process. The data was gathered via an online survey conducted shortly after the peak of the COVID-19 related lockdown in Europe, between May 04 and May 26 2020, using the formr framework for online surveys (Arslan, Walther, and Tata 2020). The objective was to obtain a representative sample of all stakeholders involved in BBNJ negotiations, such as government representatives, Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs), Nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs), business/industry representatives, research institutes/universities, as well as UN Staff and Media. In total, 366 persons were contacted, 709 accessed the survey site, and 105 completed the questionnaire.