Hub led panels for the 2022 Summer/Winter School on Human Rights and the Environment

For the second year running, the One Ocean Hub will share research findings and methods at the Summer/Winter School on Human rights and the Environment (20-28 June 2022) co-hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE). The School aims at raising awareness and building the capacity of human rights activists, researchers, and governments representatives from around the world on the basis of perspectives and experiences from the Global South. The theme of 2022 Summer/Winter School, “Water – from Oceans to Taps” is expected to shed light on the human rights challenges faced in relation to the freshwater, coastal and marine environment. The Hub co-developed with UNEP and the Global Network this year’s call for panels, and has co-developed six different panels at the GNHRE and UNEP Summer/Winter School 2022.

  1. Critical Human Rights Issues at the Ocean-Climate Nexus (21st June 10am-11:30 CEST)

A healthy ocean and the services it provides help satisfy the material conditions for everyone’s human rights to life, health food, water and culture. This illustrates the interdependencies of human rights, the climate and the ocean, and indicates the importance of integrated and inclusive governance to mitigate and adapt to the effects of global climate change.

This panel aims to explore the different human rights challenges arising from the interface of climate change and the ocean (the ocean/climate nexus). Participants will gain an understanding and appreciation of interactions between the relevant international legal instruments in this context, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and numerous international human rights instruments. Topics covered by international experts in this area include the intersection between the ocean and climate in science and law, ocean acidification, fisheries, and deep-seabed mining. Students will also gain insights into legal developments in this area, and better shape their legal thinking to a more integrated and inclusive approach, including as part of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture – 2022.


Chair: Professor Elisa Morgera, Director of the One Ocean Hub

(1) Mitchell Lennan, One Ocean Hub, “Introduction: Human rights at the ocean/climate scientific and legal nexus”;

(2) Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb, UEF Law School, University of Eastern Finland: “The human rights impacts of ocean acidification”;

(3) Julia Nakamura, One Ocean Hub: “The protection of human rights of small-scale fishers and their communities in the climate change context;”

(4) Joanna Dingwall, University of Glasgow: “The international regulation of seabed mining and its potential impact on climate change and human rights”.

  • Children’s rights to a healthy climate, healthy freshwater and a healthy ocean

(21st June, 12 pm to 1.30 pm CET)

This panel aims to explore different ways in which children’s human right to a healthy environment can be protected and exercised in different sites related to climate change, freshwater and the ocean and the need for an integrated approach in this connection. The panel will represent a diversity of experiences and perspectives, from activism to theoretical research, to illuminate barriers and progress in supporting genuine youth engagement in relevant decision-making processes and before courts, and consideration of children’s rights in the context of inter-generational equity.

The key messages from panellists and participants will be fed into:

  • the process of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to develop a General Comment on children’s rights to a healthy environment, with special attention being paid to the impacts of climate change;
  • the consultations on the implementation of the UN joint commitment on ensuring the promotion and recognition of the right of children to a healthy environment, which includes the goal to ensure that children are able to meaningfully participate in climate action and in the review and implementation of UN policies; and
  • the human rights-related events organized during the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture – 2022 by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and others.


(1) Saher Rashid Baig, Youth advocate for climate, ocean, gender and human rights: “Youth unite for Sustainable Development!”

(2) Aoife Daly, Law Lecturer, University College Cork, Ireland: “The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the right to a healthy environment and the ocean”

(3) Angeliki Papantoniou, Queen Mary University London: “A healthy marine environment for children: Environmental Principles and Children’s Rights”

(4) Elisa Morgera, Director, One Ocean Hub, “Hard Legal Edge: relying on children’s human rights to ensure inter-generational equity and meaningful youth engagement in international ocean governance”

(5) Marie-France Bakaï, Assistant Professor in Organic Chemistry at the University of Kara – Togo: “The right of children to have access to quality water: the case of the city of Kara in Togo”

  • Protecting human rights of small-scale artisanal fishing actors and achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (23rd June, 10 am-11:30 am CEST)

Small-scale fishers, fishworkers and their communities around the world are on the spotlight of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (2022). The International Year is meant to gather momentum and showcase their contributions to global food security, nutrition, poverty alleviation, and overall fisheries sustainability, fostering the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication. At the same time, the International Year provides an opportunity to address the barriers and injustices faced by small-scale fishers and better identify the responsibilities of States and non-state actors to respect the human rights of small-scale fishers, with a view to acting together, in various fronts, to tackle persisting challenges and issues this sector face, identify opportunities for small-scale fisheries’ sustainable development, and for the full realization of their human rights. This panel aims to explore the positive outcomes that collaborative and human rights-focused initiatives can bring to various small-scale fishing actors (from small-scale fishers, fishworkers, and their communities to governments and organizations working with them) simultaneously.


  • Elisa Morgera, Kira Erwin, Bola Erinosho and Tapiwa Warikandwa, One Ocean Hub: “Knowledge co-production with small-scale fishers as a way to protect their human rights in ocean-related decision-making.”
  • Ana Maria Suarez-Dussan, Human Rights Specialist, FAO: “Strengthening legislative responses to the protection of small-scale fishers’ human rights.”
  • Stefania Tripodi, Human Rights Officer, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Title of presentation TBC.
  • Ariella D’Andrea, Legal Adviser (Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture), Pacific Community-SPC: “Implementing the rights of small-scale fishers through community-based fisheries management in Pacific Islands.”
  • Tulika Bansal, Senior Adviser (Human Rights and Business) and Sille Stidsen, Senior Adviser (Human Rights and Development), The Danish Institute for Human Rights: ‘Challenges and lessons learnt in assessing the human rights impacts in small-scale fisheries case studies from Bangladesh and Chile’
  • Defending the ocean at the kelp roots: Stories from Small scale fisher ocean defenders in South Africa (28th June, time to be confirmed)

This panel engages small-scale fishers who face the double-edged burden of 1. constant exclusions from decisions affecting the ocean, and exclusions from the ocean commons through blunt conservation and regulation measures and 2. playing a critical role in defending the ocean against large scale extraction and damage. As custodians of the ocean for the common good, the perspectives of small-scale fisher, ocean defenders hold significant guidance for movement building and coastal justice. Panellists will reflect on their involvement in resisting and seeking alternatives to ocean oil and gas exploration, coastal mining, enclosure of the ocean commons and un-democratic ocean governance.


  • Christian Adams – Small Scale Fishers Collective, South Africa
  • Ntsindiso Nongcavu- Coastal Links Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Hilda Adams – Small Scale Fishers Collective, South Africa
  • Taryn Pereira – Coastal Justice Network / Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Aphiwe Moshani – Coastal Justice Network / University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Oceans, Art and Environmental Defenders (Wednesday 22nd  June at 10am-11:30 am CEST)

Art in all its multiple forms (drawing, animation, film, dance, sound, and performance) is widely considered a useful medium of popular communication. As the creative processes in this session explore, it can do far more than this. Drawing on the strength of the aesthetics to enable us to imagine differently and across the fractures we have constructed amongst ourselves, an expanded conceptualisation of art recognises it as a powerful force for activism and advocacy towards ocean wellbeing. Art can be used as a translation protocol between knowledge canons for more equitable ocean governance frameworks, as a form of research to inform and provide evidence within legal processes, to support social movement building, to engage in public storytelling, to offer ritual, catharsis, and tend to ecological grief, as well as re-narrate and create history – from below- of coastal people and environmental defenders. This session draws on examples from three different country contexts, to explore the many ways in which art contributes to the environmental defence of the oceans. It offers a space for artists, environmental defenders, researchers, and policy makers, amongst others, to discuss the possibilities of the creative arts in their own work towards ensuring the wellbeing of the ocean that sustains us all.


Chair: Dr Saskia Vermeylen, University of Strathclyde, UK

  • Dr Dylan McGarry, Rhodes University and Kira Erwin, Durban University of Technology, South Africa: “A Story with Fins.”
  • Yuvan Aves, India: “Art in the Pulicat Lagoon and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu campaigns.”
  • Meghan Judge – Interlude
  • Michaela Howse, South Africa: “The Keiskamma tapestry – rewriting ocean narratives.”
  • Anna Naupa, Vanuatu: “Vanuatu – reclaiming our language for the oceans”
  • Dr Dylan McGarry – Epilogue: “The  Blue Blanket

The Hub is also organizing a panel on “Ocean crime, human rights and defenders.” Information on the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) is available here. The GNHRE and UNEP Summer Winter/School 2022 website with information on how to register to attend the above sessions will be released soon.