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APOLIMER means literaly POLItical Anthropology and ecology of the SEA. It was founded in 2015 by Camille Mazé, social scientist at the University of Western Brittany (UBO) at the time. First, it started as a network of social scientists interested by the sea. In a few years, it has grown into an interdisciplinary international research program on Ocean governance.

Is « Nature » governable? How to overcome « the great divide » between Nature and Culture, Human and non-humans? How to govern and manage sustainably and adapt to change and complexity? What does it mean to be sustainable and for whom?

Why do we exist?

Ocean sciences are still in majority dominated by natural and engineering sciences. However, we cannot understand Ocean, seas and coastline complexity without getting interested in coastal communities, local and Indigenous people, women’s rights, and relations of power between different stakeholders (private companies, governments, NGOs, scientists, etc.). To transform our societies and ecological environments into sustainable systems, we need to analyze and understand their governance and management.

Our work is deeply linked to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in the framework of the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the United Nations Decade for Ocean Science on Sustainable Development 2021-2030.

We work thanks to political anthropology, political ecology, ethnography, marine sciences, engineering sciences and environmental humanities.

Conserving and exploiting sustainably the Ocean is not only a scientific or economic issue, it is highly political hence social and cultural.

Our main goals

  • Combine and build a bridge between social scientists/humanities, natural/engineering sciences and decision-makers
  • Strenghthen sustainability and transform social and ecological systems towards sustainability & resilience
  • Rebuild social-ecological systems
  • Improve governance of human-nature relationships and marine resource management
  • Promote integrated science focused on ocean governance and its links with climate, biodiversity and society

Our method

  • Run field missions and research projects at the international level
  • Provide a thoughtful analyze and critical approach on complex systems’ governance
  • Implement social and human environmental sciences in public policy instruments
  • Be a ressource group thanks to our dialogue and interdisciplinary approach

Our areas of research and work

  • Fishing & aquaculture
  • Gender & women in ocean science
  • Adaptation to climate change on the coastline
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Cultural heritage
  • Communities rights