Contributing to the Bonn Climate Conference’s Ocean Dialogue

The UN Climate Change Secretariat has invited the Hub to participate in two sessions of the Ocean dialogue to be held from 12-14 June 2023 during the Bonn Climate Conference. Hub early-career researcher Mitchel Lennan (Aberdeen University) has been invited to serve as the rapporteur for the Day–1 Session on “nature-based solutions and blue carbon” and moderator for the Day–2 Session on “fisheries and food security.” 

The invitation comes at a perfect time for Hub researchers to share new inter-disciplinary findings on the ocean-climate nexus from a human rights perspective, which are emerging from the preparation of the Hub-led special issue of the International Journal of marine and Coastal Law. Notably, Hub researchers from across law, marine and social sciences, have underscored in forthcoming research papers that: 

  • The protection of the marine environment is essential to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and needs to receive a proportionate amount of climate funding;
  • Ocean-based climate solutions need to ensure co-benefits in terms of biodiversity conservation and human rights protection, and to be co-developed through inclusive processes that integrate different knowledge systems and expertise; 
  • The BBNJ Agreement new provisions on regional Strategic Environmental Assessments provide an opportunity to advance ocean science on climate change, as well as address Global North/South equity issues and move towards a model of fair research partnerships, mutual capacity building and technology co-development to address the ocean-climate nexus; 
  • Children have a human right to be heard in international fora on the ocean-climate nexus, because adults have as much to learn from children: their imagination is different from adult cognition, and can ​thus ​provide innovative thinking for environmental decision-making; and children are increasingly acting as environmental human rights defenders
  • The knowledge of small-scale fishers and Indigenous Peoples needs to be respectfully included in international ocean and climate fora (and innovative art-based research co-development methodologies, such as those that the Hub will be sharing in New York for World Ocean Week can support this). 

These findings will soon be submitted, together with other Hub research, to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea to support its consideration of a request for an Advisory Opinion to clarify international obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment in relation to the deleterious effects that result or are likely to result from climate change, and protect and preserve the marine environment in relation to climate change impacts. 

Photo: Nessim Stevenson

Related SDGs:

  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions