The Sea Within: Maritime tenure and cosmopolitical debates
Recent texts on the rights of indigenous peoples clearly show that indigenous ownership of marine and coastal spaces must be respected. In addition, their rights to their sea spaces must be guaranteed according to local perceptions, and this is masterly described by some articles in this book. This is expressed in the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in the articles dealing with territoriality (from 25 to 27). The UNDRIP emphasis on coastal and maritime spaces exists to support the deep tradition of international law considering the sea to be an area of free circulation. Indigenous minorities are staking claims as they seek to preserve or restore their rights on maritime environments to which they
have close ties. State recognition of these claims entails political and legal translations. Inter-state disputes over maritime territorial expansion have proliferated. And finally, environmental crisis raises new issues, and calls for new types of practical response and negotiation. As an unprecedented climate emerges around maritime questions, the sea is, more than ever before, permeated by human affairs. Social anthropologists, whose attention to the sea was previously quite timorous, are becoming more keenly interested in the socialization of maritime space.