Contributing to the UN Biodiversity Summit

By Elisa Morgera

The One Ocean Hub contributed to two side-events at the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), held in Montreal, Canada, from 7-19 December 2022, on small-scale fishers and on biodiversity-health linkages.

Small-scale fishers

The Hub partnered with WWF and the Aquatic Blue Food Coalition, in organising the side-event “Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture, Rich Reservoirs of Biodiversity and Nutrition to Preserve, Cultivate and Sustainably Consume” on 7 December 2022. The Hub facilitated a contribution by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, David Boyd, following up on his participation in the Hub-led event at World Oceans Week 2022 on small-scale fishers’ human rights. The CBD event served to explore the crucial role of small-scale fisheries in preserving marine biodiversity, supporting coastal ecosystems, and contributing to global food security.

The Hub will advance its collaboration with WWF and the Aquatic Blue Food Coalition in preparation for the closing events for 2022 – International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in Rome at the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in March 2023. This will build on the joint policy brief on the protection of small-scale fishers’ human rights and the achievement of the SDGs that the Hub published on 10 December 2022, International Human Rights Day, together with FAO and the UN Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Biodiversity-health linkages

Hub Director Morgera was invited to speak at an event titled “One Health at the global governance level: synergies for advancing the health of people and the planet” on 12 December 2022. Following presentations on linking environment and health agendas in a national and global context, and views from environment, health, and youth stakeholders including from the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (which is a member of the Hub’s Advisory Board), Morgera offered views on international governance. The event also included remarks by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment David Boyd.

Morgera underscored:

• Relying on the linkages between human rights and ecosystem services as a programmatic approach to bridge siloes, achieve policy coherence and bring together new allies;

• Integrating consideration of marine ecosystems in biodiversity-health conversation, taking into account the need to further fund and make progress in research on deep-sea ecosystem services;

• Ensuring consideration of the linkages in biodiversity and the human right to health in national planning processes;

• Creating, at the international level, institutions that can allow for participatory governance in relation to equity, solutions co-development and iterative learning, such as a WHO pandemic treaty, and the UN negotiations on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ);

• Considering children’s human rights at the biodiversity-health nexus, considering that the draft UN General Comment 26 by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has made an explicit link between marine pollution and children’s health.


Hub researchers will reflect on the outcomes of the UN Biodiversity Conference in our next newsletter (January 2023), including with a view to assessing to what extent the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, expected to be adopted at the Conference, has advanced the perspectives of integration and human rights.