Hub highlights connections between art, culture, heritage and ocean governance at UNDP archipelagic and island states event

By Senia Febrica and Lisa McDonald

Hub researchers, Prof Stuart Jeffrey and early-career researcher Dr Lisa McDonald (Glasgow School of Art) were invited speakers at the conference, “Archipelagic and Island States Blue Innovation Solutions: Ignite the Blue.”, The event was co-organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum and the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, and was held in Glasgow 6-7 November 2023. The AIS Forum is a platform that brings together 51 archipelagic and island nations to collectively address usage of ocean resources for sustainable economic growth, climate change resiliency, ocean pollution elimination, emergency management, and the enhancement of sustainable fisheries. The event was attended by over 100 participants including students, academics, government officials and representatives of UNDP.  

Prof Jeffrey and Dr McDonald presented at the plenary sessions “Sustainability and Communities.” During the session they highlighted the interrelatedness of art, culture, heritage and ocean governance, with particular focus on nine community-based art projects carried out under the Hub’s Deep Emotional Engagement Programme (DEEP) Fund. Key messages that they shared included:

  •  The importance of working with communities and grassroot organisations to address sustainability challenges given their local knowledge and networks.
  • The centrality of the ocean to diverse worldviews and cultural wellbeing.
  • That currently the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) overlook the importance of culture, as also discussed here.
  • That loss and damage caused by climate change should also be viewed from a cultural perspective. Climate change destroys lives, livelihoods, culture, traditions and heritage.

At present, Prof Jeffrey and Dr McDonald are working with communities to co-author a book that focuses on the Hub’s DEEP Fund projects.

photo: senia febrica

Related SDGs:

  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water