New Learning Pathway ‘Ocean, Culture and Cultural Heritage’ published on One Ocean Learn 

By Aphiwe Moshani and Milica Prokic

One Ocean Hub early-career researcher Aphiwe Moshani (University of Cape Town, South Africa) is currently working as a trainee for the Hub partner UNITAR – the UN Institute for Teaching and Research (UNITAR), with whom we are co-developing the knowledge-translation platform One Ocean Learn. The Learning Pathway focuses on the interlinkages of the ocean, culture and cultural heritage – exploring ocean-related cultural values, history, heritage, and Indigenous and local knowledge systems. Among other issues, the Learning Pathway discusses how Indigenous and local ocean knowledge and cultural heritage, particularly intangible cultural heritage, as often underrepresented in ocean governance processes, such as Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Marine Protected Areas (MPA), highlighting the need for their integration into ocean management approaches.  

Illuminating the linkages of the ocean and cultural heritage  

The first of the three modules of the Learning Pathway introduces learners to culture and heritage in the ocean context. The second module illuminates ‘the linkages of the ocean with Indigenous and local knowledge systems. The third module discusses the ‘recognition of culture and heritage within ocean decision-making frameworks’.  

“The Learning Pathway delves into ocean culture and cultural heritage as ‘multifaceted notions, understood as not only spatial territory but also knowledge, governance, and politics encompassing both tangible and intangible elements of human interactions with the marine environment’” Aphiwe Moshani says.  

Moreover, the Ocean, Culture and Cultural Heritage Learning Pathway provides ‘insights into the significance of culture and heritage in ocean governance, in the context of sustainable development.’ 

The overall aim of the Pathway is ‘to offer learners a deeper understanding of the role of ocean culture, history, and heritage, and how the persistent marginalisation of these dimensions in ocean governance has reinforced inequalities and unsustainable practices’.