One Ocean Hub legacy plans: continue co-developing innovative solutions for sustainable development

For more information on how to become part of the future of the Hub, please contact Hub researcher Nina Rivers.

For the past five years, the One Ocean Hub has transformed ocean governance by changing the way in which ocean knowledge is generated, shared and used in decision-making and implementation. As the current funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is coming to an end in September 2024, we are focusing on developing new research proposals for new research trajectories building on the innovations and impacts of the One Ocean Hub research and partnerships and are actively seeking funders to continue co-developing innovative solutions for sustainable development.


Innovative and dynamic approach

The knowledge translation platform ‘One Ocean Learn’ is one of the One Ocean Hub’s most innovative projects/approaches, that the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) appreciates. We have continued to rely on the dynamic, timely, right-holders centered, relatable and relevant resources the platform offers. There’s definitely room for future engagements, to build together on the ongoing incredible work of amplifying the need for a human rights-based approach in ocean governance.

MERCY OBONYO, Regional Programmes Lead – Business and Human Rights, and Sustainable Oceans, NANHRI

Hub’s leadership in promoting gender equality

“Fully aware of the current challenges in achieving gender equality in ocean sciences and policy, I believe the One Ocean Hub’s leadership in promoting gender equality is an important contribution to address this challenge.”

MS VALENTINA GERMANI, Senior Legal Officer and Programme Advisor for the United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programmes, UNDOALOS

ensuring references to biodiversity and the ocean

“The One Ocean Hub has made notable impacts on international policy-making, particularly in ensuring that references to biodiversity and the ocean were included in the UN General Comment 26 on children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change.”

JONI PEGRAM, Founder and Director, Project Dryad

On partnership

“The One Ocean Hub has been one of our valued partners in supporting the increased engagement and the sharing of expertise between human rights actors and institutions specialised in environmental law issues on human rights and fisheries.”

CAROL RASK, Chief Advisor and Team Lead, Human Rights and Sustainable Development, Danish Institute for Human Rights

Scaling up and across innovations for ocean governance

Ocean systems are highly interconnected, and so are the multiple threats that the ocean faces. Yet responses to these challenges have historically been provided in silos, characterised by disconnects across scales and sectors, and by artificial distinctions between ‘land’ and ‘ocean’ issues. These disconnects have been mirrored in the process of evidence generation, constrained by disciplinary boundaries and – crucially – have long left out the voices, experiences and knowledges of the people who have the closest connections to the ocean. The One Ocean Hub has co-developed innovative approaches to bridge these gaps by connecting different areas of knowledge (across marine social sciences, law and arts, the knowledge of Indigenous peoples, small-scale fishers, women and children), as demonstrated in these impact stories.

The Hub’s vision for “fair and inclusive decision-making for a healthy ocean whereby people and planet flourish” sees us working collectively across regions (Africa, South Pacific and Caribbean) and locally in Africa (Ghana, Namibia and South Africa), using inter and transdisciplinary approaches and methodologies, in particular human rights-based and participatory arts-based approaches to meet our intended goal for a fair governance system. This has been recognised by the United Nations in 2023, when the Hub was endorsed as the UN Ocean Decade Implementing Partner.

Under this mandate, the Hub offers a comprehensive methodology for profound understanding of the ocean and the many human needs that depend on it; upholding inclusive, respectful, and fair ocean research practices across Global North and South through our program entitled “Transdisciplinary Toolbox of Ocean Knowledge Co-Production for Transformative Governance.”  We aim to build a multi-funded, multi-institutional approach to the future of marine and coastal protection, as well as sustainable use of marine resources for poverty eradication: co-designed, co-developed, and co-delivered with Indigenous peoples and coastal communities to meet multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) connections with climate biodiversity, blue economies and society, international development and impact, fisheries and marine spatial planning
“SDG14 is the most interconnected of all the SDGs. This is why an interdisciplinary approach is so vital”, Hub Director Elisa Morgera says.

“You may think the One Ocean Hub is only addressing SDG14, but SDG14 is actually the most interconnected of all the SDGs. This is why an interdisciplinary approach is so vital because it is not possible to address challenges in silos, and we need to bring people together to deliver impact and make progress against the SDGs”, Elisa Morgera, Hub Director says and continues:

“SDG14 is the least funded of all SDGs which presents as a missed opportunity for delivering on multiple SDGs through the SDG14.”

Transferring learnings to tackle various Sustainable Development Goals

We have been internationally recognised in uniquely foregrounding both ecosystem and human rights-based approaches to biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation, and sustainable and equitable access to resource for – and the nexus between these – has led to cross scale development impacts. The Hub has also brought to the surface the multiple values of inclusion of gender dynamics, inter-generational dialogues, and communities’ customary laws, tangible and intangible cultural heritage. We have shed new light to the interdependence of human and planetary health, and the role local people play as environmental human rights defenders.

We are now ready to engage with new partners to explore how to transfer our learnings and methods to tackle other Sustainable Development Goals, such as SDG13 (Climate Action), SDG5 (Gender Equality), SDG15 (Life on Land) and SDG3 (Good Health and Wellbeing).

Bridging gaps between international and national biodiversity conservation and climate strategies

The Hub is committed to research for development and implementation and delivery projects to continue to bridge the gaps between international and national biodiversity conservation and climate strategies, with the lived experiences and priorities of Indigenous communities and local people.

The strategy for the future of the Hub is to build on our approach to fair partnerships and our growing network of trusted global and local partners. We have co-developed solutions and connected efforts across different UN bodies while linking them with insights and needs of local communities of Indigenous people, women, and children.

We are ready to continue to demonstrate that fair international research-for-development partnerships are both possible to address intractable global challenges and to achieve lasting change.

Text by Philile Mbatha, Deputy Director, One Ocean Hub.

“Our vision for the One Ocean Hub legacy is to advance and expand learnings and lessons from Hub experiences from over the past 5 years, and to continue to refine and further develop our innovative action and participatory research approaches co-produced through fair international partnerships – for the next phase of the Hub. Our mission is for Hub legacy to have direct impact on the implementation of the SDGs, the climate change agenda and on improved human-nature relationships beyond the ocean realm”

Philile Mbatha, Deputy Director, One Ocean Hub

For more information on how to become part of the future of the one ocean Hub – please contact Hub researcher Nina Rivers