Carnegie Endowment for International Peace under its Indian Ocean Initiative has released a new interactive map to help better visualise and understand this region, its key players, major facts and dynamics at play.
As per this initiative, the Indian Ocean has played an important role and has been an essential commerce route for hundreds of years.
“The ocean is critical to the geopolitical and economic fortunes of both its littoral states and outside powers. As they have for centuries, ships squeeze through its narrow straits and sail into its deep waters, plying busy trade routes that span the globe from Africa to the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.”
The interactive map was released by Darshana M. Baruah who is a fellow with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Darshana leads the Indian Ocean Initiative and her research focuses on maritime security in Asia.
The Indian Ocean is usually divided among the many South Asian, African, and Center Japan areas.
It is residence to three major chokepoints that help in transport activity: the Strait of Malacca, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb.
The interactive map, presenting the maritime boundaries, is designed to present the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean in modern times.
Presently, there are fifteen ongoing territorial disputes that point to the Indian Ocean’s colonial legacy.
The map presents the Indian Ocean as one “geostrategic space” rather than subregions of continents.
“This map is meant to fill a gap by revitalizing awareness of this region’s importance as a whole.”
The map includes geographic, diplomatic and economic data from various nations that are situated along the Indian Ocean.
According to Carnegie, the next phase of mapping will include military, strategic, economic and environmental challenges in this region.
India and Australia rely heavily on Indian Ocean shipping lanes to receive seafood, major commodities and critical energy resources.
The two countries also have territories within the Indian Ocean which makes them natural partners in all collaborative initiatives: trade, maritime security and sustainable futures.