By Dr. J. Van Leeuwen & ir. T. de Rooij
It seems our salt water fields are changing from a hunter/gatherer stage to an agriculture/industrial one. With also the industrial kind of problems, e.g. pollution. How do all these upcoming activities change the view of our marine environment?
Oceans act as giant sinks and store not only natural compounds such as carbon and nitrogen, but increasingly also anthropogenic compounds such as plastics. But what do we know about the nature and effects of plastic pollution to marine and human life? And what are the challenges to capture plastic pollution and prevent a tragedy of our salt water commons? De Rooij and Van Leeuwen will share personal experience with a scientific expedition which investigated the present state of this so called plastic soups in the North Pacific and Atlantic; and look at some alternative initiatives from companies and NGO’s. Are these initiatives viable and effective alternatives to government intervention? Does the tragedy of the (salt) commons continue or is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
About Judith van Leeuwen
Judith van Leeuwen is Assistant Professor at the Environmental Policy Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her research focus lies on the changing role of public and private actors (especially industry actors) against the background of the increasing globalizing and fragmented nature of environmental and marine governance. Her PhD project analysed the changing authority of private and public actors in the environmental governance of offshore oil and gas production and shipping in the North Sea. During her post-doc she participated in the EU FP 7 project Options for Delivering Ecosystem-based Marine Management. Currently she is involved in the ENTIRE project on optimizing fresh water use by Industrial Zones in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Judith is, in particular, interested in the nexus between corporate social responsibility, private governance and authority and the change towards a circular economy. She teaches on environmental management and industry (ENP 20806), environmental policy (ENP 10806) and in the European Workshop for Environmental Sciences (ESA-60312)