Environmental and Human Rights Law
A heathy environment, including a healthy ocean, is necessary for the fulfilment of everyone’s very basic needs (life, health, food, water). This is now clearly recognised internationally as the inter-dependence of human rights and the environment, although often attention is focused on land, as opposed to the dependency of human well-being on a healthy ocean.
In addition, there is increasing understanding that the exercise of human rights as the right to a healthy environment, to freedom of expression and association, to education, information, participation and effective remedies are vital to the protection of the environment. But we are lagging behind in applying these human rights in relation to the marine environment: once again, more progress has been made on land.
Against this background, the One Ocean Hub is seeking to advance understanding of how basic human rights are affected (positively or negatively) by the ocean, notably by marine ecosystem services, with a view to including these considerations in decision-making at all levels. We are interested in exploring the full potential of human rights to back up legally the integrated (social and natural) scientific evidence base and practical tools needed for socially and economically just, and ecologically sustainable, ocean management.
In addition, we are working with communities that are entitled to heightened levels of protection (indigenous peoples, small-scale fishing communities, women, children) to understand their needs, knowledge, and experiences of exclusion and negative impacts from decisions on the ocean. We are exploring with them and other actors locally, nationally and internationally how the protection of their human rights can support more sustainable and just decision-making on the ocean.