UN World Ocean Week

Welcome to our UN World Ocean Week side-events taking place at the UN Plaza in New York 7-9 June. The in-person events offer a different perspective on the ways in which we can learn from Indigenous and local knowledge, and a wealth of key insights for more inclusive and integrated ocean research and governance. The three events are organised together with Peace Boat and Blue Planet Alliance.

Live theatre performance “Lalela Ulwandle” (Listen to the Sea) and a conversation on inclusive ocean governance

Experience multi-generational stories of evolving connections to the ocean from the perspectives of small-scale fishers, traditional healers, marine scientists and educators, and reflect on the importance of history, cultural heritage and different forms of knowledge for inclusive and integrated ocean governance.

2. International premiere of the animation “Indlela Yokuphila: The Soul’s Journey” - When indigenous and scientific knowledge work in solidarity towards inclusive ocean decision making

Experience the wonder of Indigenous knowledge on the role of the ocean in planetary ecological processes and areas of contact between Indigenous knowledge and ocean science, and discuss ways in which ocean researchers and decision-makers can work together with Indigenous and local knowledge holders.

3. Arts-Based research and solidarity practices with Indigenous Knowledge Holders in Plural Ocean Governance - lessons from South Africa

Explore a variety of art-based research approaches that support knowledge co-production on the ocean across different disciplines and cultures, and discuss how creative methods to respectfully engage with, and protect the human rights of, Indigenous and local knowledge holders within ocean governance could be adapted to collaborative projects and inclusive decision-making processes.

4. “Blue Perspective Spotlights” speaking slot at the United Nations World Ocean Day (8 June)

Empatheatre will deliver a 5-minute presentation on using theatre and art more generally to connect with the ocean. The Empatheatre team will be represented by Mpume Mthombeni, an award-winning performer, storyteller, and theatre-maker from Umlazi, Durban, South Africa, and the co-founder of Empatheatre.

For virtual attendance at the UN World Ocean Day:

Contributing to the Bonn Climate Conference’s Ocean Dialogue

The UN Climate Change Secretariat has invited the Hub to participate in two sessions of the Ocean dialogue to be held from 12-14 June 2023 during the Bonn Climate Conference. Hub early-career researcher Mitchel Lennan (Aberdeen University) have been invited to serve as the rapporteur for the Day–1 Session on “nature-based solutions and blue carbon” and moderator for the Day–2 Session on “fisheries and food security.”

Influencing the WHO negotiations of a new pandemic instrument

Hub research on fair and equitable benefit-sharingOne Health and fair research partnerships is contributing to the negotiations of a new international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery under the aegis of the World Health Organisation (WHO). On 26 April 2023, Hub Director Elisa Morgera was invited to speak at a hybrid event titled “Averting a collision course? Beyond the pandemic instrument and the International Health Regulations” (Geneva, Switzerland), with the participation of international negotiators and WHO experts. The new draft text of the pandemic instrument (May 2023) has taken on board some of Morgera’s suggestions.

Reflecting on SDG14 in the lead-up to the 2023 SDG Summit

The Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future invited Hub Director Elisa Morgera  to contribute to the “Countdown to the 2023 SDG Summit“ webinar series, which is supported by the UN Department on Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Union on how to enable integrated approaches to implementing the SDGs.

Further integrating human rights in the global plastics treaty negotiations

In the lead up to the next phase of the global plastics treaty negotiations (29 May – 2 June 2023, Paris), which are also tasked to deal with ocean plastic pollution, a new research paper and policy brief addressed to international negotiations advances understanding of the implications of the human right to health for State obligations currently being discussed in. The paper and policy brief have been written by Hub researchers Stephanie Switzer and early-career researcher Graham Hamley (University of Strathclyde).

Engage event launched planning for ‘Hub 2.0’

During the ‘Engage with Strathclyde’ week in early May 2023, a Hub event brought together researchers and partners to help scope future opportunities for collaboration at the human rights and environmental sustainability nexus. The event’s opening words were delivered by Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde University. In his insightful speech, Sir Jim highlighted the role of higher education in meeting the challenges of climate change, and the importance of transdisciplinary research for supporting systems thinking in the context of sustainable development.

Contributing to a UN Call for Inputs on Youth Participation in Inter-governmental Forums

Hub early-career researchers Andrea Longo and Sophie Shields, and Hub Director Elisa Morgera, participated in the call for input for a forthcoming thematic report by the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order on “youth participation in intergovernmental forums: challenges and opportunities.” The report aims at identifying “good practices of inclusive participation of youth in intergovernmental forums at the global level to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Including blue economies into the UN call for inputs on extractives and human rights

Hub director Elisa Morgera contributed to the call for inputs on “Extractive Sector, Just Transition and Human Rights” issued by the UN Working Group on business and human rights. The call is meant to contribute to a report providing guidance to States, enterprises and other stakeholders on how to best design and implement just, inclusive and rights-based energy transition programmes and investments.

The threat of plastic pollution in Ghana

This blog post aims to address the critical issue of plastic pollution in Ghana. Hub researchers Bhavani Narayanaswamy and Geslaine Goncalves (Scottish Association for Marine Science, SAMS, UK) are working together with Joseph Aggrey-Fynn and Benjamin Nyarko and students at the University of Cape Coast (UCC, Ghana) exploring the challenges posed by plastic consumption and disposal, and their detrimental effects on the environment and communities. 

Dr Holly Niner

Q: How has the Hub enhanced your leadership skills?

A: I had the opportunities to lead research collaborations with others across various disciplines and career levels (from early career to established academic rock stars). These collaborations have been extremely influential on my thinking and the way that I now approach my research…

Cross-disciplinary Summer School on the Ocean (12–16 June 2023)

Hub Director Elisa Morgera and early-career researcher Nina Rivers will participate in ‘The Use and Regulations of World Oceans – a Cross-Disciplinary Conversation’ at The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea – The Arctic University of Tromsø, Norway. On 13 June, Morgera will present the paper ‘Trans-Disciplinary Approaches for the Transformative Application of International Marine Biodiversity and Human Rights Law’.

GNHRE & UNEP Summer/ Winter School on Environmental and Human Rights

On 11-15 September 2023, the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will host their third annual online Summer/Winter School on Environment and Human Rights. This year the Summer/Winter School will focus on the theme Transformations and Transitions. The School is held in collaboration with the University of Southampton Law School and continues to receive support from the One Ocean Hub, which contributed to shape the Call for abstract and papers that can be found here.


Integrating Indigenous and Local Knowledge in Marine Spatial Planning – policy brief authored by Nina Rivers, Bernadette Snow, Mia Strand, Denning Metuge, Anne Lemahiu and Alex Benkenstein (2023). SAIIA Policy Briefing No 268.

Read publication here >>   

‘Fishing’ for recognition of customary law: a preliminary reflection in the fisheries context by Julia Nakamura (FAO), Bolanle Erinosho (University of Cape Coast, Ghana) and Mia Strand (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa) (2023). Published on the FAO website, The Development Law Service.

Read publication here >>

Plastics and (The Right to) Health by Graham Hamley & Stephanie Switzer (University of Strathclyde). To appear in Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Plastics (forth 2023), now available on SSRN.

Read publication here >>


Guardian: 'Design news: how to live on water, Issey Miyake and the best of the biennales'

“…Undercurrents is a project from Glasgow School of Art which brings together community arts projects from around the world depicting people’s relationship with the ocean…”