Focus on: Ocean and Climate
The second Hub-led special issue is online: Applying a Human Rights Lens to the Ocean-Climate Nexus

The latest special issue of the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law addresses priority research questions identified on the basis of the interdependencies of human rights, the climate and the ocean in several international processes and fora.  The special issue includes two inter-disciplinary articles across the marine, social and legal sciences, as well as international law articles by early-career researchers.  Among several research findings, it puts forward innovative proposals on a new multi-actor coalition on ocean-based climate action, and a new framework on facilitating children’s participation in international processes at the ocean-climate nexus.  

Reflecting on the range of views submitted to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea on Climate Change

After 30 years of science on the ocean-climate nexus, 2023 is to be remembered as the year when the international community has scaled up climate change action to the level of international courts and tribunals. This blog post reflects on the complementarity of the points made in the One Ocean Hub’ssubmission to the ITLOSwith the arguments made in some of the 51 written statements submitted by States and non-State actors to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). 

Ensuring sufficient attention to the link between the ocean, climate change and the right to food

The Hub’s written submission on the impacts of climate change on the human right to food in the context of ocean governance has been included in the UN Secretary-General’s Report on “Adverse impact of climate change on the full realisation of the right to food”  (A/HRC/53/47). The Hub submission aimed to ensure that enough attention is paid to the negative impacts of climate change on food security at the ocean-climate nexus.

New learning pathway on ocean and climate change is published

The knowledge exchange platform One Ocean Learn has published a new learning pathway titled ‘Ocean and Climate Change’. The pathway covers a wide range of subjects, from the ocean’s role in regulating the global climate to climate change impacts on marine life and ecosystems, from the recognition of the role of the ocean in the context of UN Climate Summit to the role of other international processes at the ocean-climate nexus. “Understanding the ocean-climate nexus is key to securing a better future for our planet and safeguarding human rights.”, Josefina Ashipala, Training Specialist, UNITAR says.

Global Coalition on the Human Right to a Healthy Environment, of which the Hub is part, honoured with the 2023 UN Human Rights Prize

The Global Coalition of over 1350 civil society organisations, Indigenous peoples, social movements and local communities for the universal recognition of everyone’s human right to a healthy environment, of which the One Ocean Hub is part, has been awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize 2023. 

UN Guidance on children’s human right to a healthy environment calls for protecting marine ecosystems, transforming industrial fisheries, and preventing marine pollution

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has published its awaited new General Comment No. 26 on children’s rights and the environment, with a special focus on climate change. The General Comment clarifies that States must take immediate action to protect children from the triple planetary crisis (climate emergency, biodiversity loss and pervasive pollution) as “an urgent and systemic threat to children’s rights globally,” including by protecting marine ecosystems, preventing marine pollution and transforming industrial fisheries. 

Mapping for justice: towards an accessible, transparent database of mining along the West Coast of South Africa

Hub researchers, at the Environmental and Geographical Science Department of the University of Cape Town, have been monitoring, documenting, and mapping the many prospecting, mining, and oil and gas activities on the west coast of South Africa. Over the past two years this work has highlighted the rapid increase in the number of applications for prospecting and mining for heavy mineral sands and diamonds along the west coast of South Africa as well as applications for oil and gas exploration and production.

Hub article on fisheries subsidies downloaded over 2,000 times!

The article “Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies” published by early-career researcherMitchell Lennan(Aberdeen University, UK) and Stephanie Switzer(Strathclyde University, UK) has had 2,170 downloads since it was published in The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law earlier this year. This article provides the necessary background to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies Agreement and examines three key provisions of the Agreement namely, the prohibition of subsidies to (1) illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, (2) the fishing of overexploited stocks, and (3) fisheries on the high seas outside the competence of regional fisheries management organisations.  

SAFER LAB has been selected to host the 11th World Recreational Fisheries Conference

The Southern African Fisheries Ecology Research (SAFER) Lab, a working group under the leadership of Hub researcher Warren Potts(Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, South Africa) has been selected to host the next World Recreational Fisheries Conference in 2026, for the first time to convene on the African continent. 

DEEP Fund projects highlighting Indigenous connections to the ocean presented to local community and decision-makers in Vanuatu

Following the highly successful launch of the Undercurrents exhibition in Glasgow, and subsequent pavilion at Somerset House in London as part of the 2023 Design Biennale, recent DEEP Fund activities have been held in Vanuatu to reflect on the centrality of local customs for inclusive ocean governance. 

Screening ‘Cocooned in Harmony’: reflections and the way forward

This blog post reflects on the local, national and international screenings and other developments related to the documentary ‘Cocooned in harmony’. The documentary demonstrates how the songs of Ghanaian artisanal fishers point to issues of identity, power/inequality, agency, gender, and emotional connections to the ocean among others. It has aired twice on Ghanaian national television and translations of it into Fante and Ewe have been screened in local fishing communities who contributed to the documentary.

Advancing considerations of equity in the negotiations of the Pandemic Treaty

Questions of equity have been centre-stage in discussions around how we might better respond to future pandemic disease events. In the aftermath of significant global inequalities during the COVID-19 pandemic around issues such as vaccine access, Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have been negotiating on an international legal instrument – thePandemic Treaty. This blog post reflects on recent workshops focused on equity as an underpinning principle and expected output of these negotiations. 

Taking a human rights-based approach to shipping

A recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Marcos Orellana, highlights the relevance of the work of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for human rights (A/HRC/54/25/Add.2), and calls on the IMO to embrace an explicit human rights-based approach. In this blog post, we summarise key recommendations relevant to marine biodiversity and meaningful participation in ocean governance. 

Considering the human rights of future generations in ocean governance

The newly published Maastricht Principles on the Human Rights of Future Generations mark a significant step in clarifying States’ obligations in the context of intergenerational equity, which is a pillar of international environmental law, including climate change and biodiversity law, as well as of the law of the sea. This blog post reflects on the relevance of the Maastricht Principles for children, future generations and the ocean.

Andrea Longo

I am a Research Associate in Law based at the University of Strathclyde since April 2023. I defended my PhD in June this year at the crossroad between international human rights law and the law of the sea – specifically fisheries law – and addressed the protection of people on board fishing vessels at sea. Since joining the Hub, I started focusing on the nexus between the ocean, biodiversity and climate change law, while expanding my work on ocean governance and human rights protection. 

Consultation on strengthening the partnership between civil society and the United Nations to advance the human right to a healthy environment

Online, 6 September 2023

The Hub Director, Elisa Morgera, has been invited by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to contribute to this forum for the UN system and civil society organisations to share experience and discuss how the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights can be leveraged to support and enhance strategic engagement on human rights and the environment and strengthened protection for environmental human rights defenders. 

Hub panels for the 2023 Summer/Winter School for Human Rights & the Environment

Online,11-15 September 2023

The Hub collaborates again with Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in  co-organising a series of panels for the GNHRE & UNEP Summer/Winter School for Human Rights & the Environment. This year the School will examine the themes of transformative governance, (just) transition and the many dimensions of ‘change’ that enhance or threaten human rights and the environment. 

Breaking Barriers: Advancing the One Health Agenda with a Focus on Environment

Berlin, 12-13 October 2023

The event will bring together decision-makers, scientists, and implementers taking action related to the environmental pillar of the One Health approach to push the agenda towards action. It is organised by the Quadripartite Collaboration on One Health (FAO, UNEP, World Health Organisation, and the World Organisation for Animal Health), the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the German Agency for International Cooperation and the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade. Hub Director Elisa Morgera will speak on the topic of “connecting to policy & legal frameworks”. 

FAO Workshop: Towards creating an enabling environment for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries

Rome, 14-16 November 2023

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) invited Hub Director, Elisa Morgera, to a workshop that brings together regional and global partners, as well as from various countries, and small-scale fisheries organisations, for experience sharing and learning on the work conducted to support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines worldwide, as well as exploring potential areas of future work and collaboration and further enhancing awareness and knowledge of the SSF Guidelines. 

Danish Institute’s Expert Meeting on Human Rights, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Copenhagen, 2-3 November 2023 

The Danish Institute for Human Rights has invited the Hub to contribute to an expert meeting on the theme, “Human Rights and the Sustainable Use and Management of Marine Resources.” The meeting aims to explore the key human rights issues currently affecting small-scale fishers, fish workers and fishing-dependent communities; share emerging good practices to address these issues and explore new areas for future attention; and learn of new methodologies and approaches for securing the integration of human rights within relevant policy and legal frameworks and in industry practices. The Hub Director, Elisa Morgera, will provide insights in particular on “New Frontiers in Environmental Law, its interplay with Human Rights Law, and its Particular Relevance for Coastal Communities.” 

UN World Oceans Day 2023 - Event Highlights Recap Video

A Framework for Facilitating Children’s Participation in International Processes at the Ocean-Climate Nexus – Authored by Shields, S., Morgera, E., Strand, M., & Longo, A.  (2023).

A Multi-Partner Coalition to Protect and Restore the Ocean’s Contributions to Climate Regulation, Human Well-Being and Planetary Health – Authored by Morgera, E. and Lennan, M. (2023).

Ten things you need to know about State ocean jurisdiction – Authored by Vrencken, P., (2023).

Integrating human rights in the regulation and oversight of blue economies and just transitions – Authored by Prof Elisa Morgera, (2023).


Review of the Central and South Atlantic Shelf and Deep-Sea Benthos: Science, Policy, and Management – Publication authored by Bridges AEH , Howell KL, Amaro T, Atkinson L, Barnes DKA, Bax N, Bell JB, Bernardino AF, Beuck L, Braga-Henriques A, Snow B|+ 35 more. (2023) in Oceanography and Marine Biology 1st Edition. 

Read publication here >>

Local purse-seine fishers’ economic losses owing to endangered seabird conservation measures – perceptions and realityPublication authored by Gifford, T., Lombard, A.T., Snow, B. et al. Journal of Coastal Conservation 27, 41 (2023).  

Read publication here >>

Ocean-based Climate Action and Human Rights Implications under the International Climate Change Regime. Publication authored by Morgera, E., Lennan, M., Kulovesi, K., La Bianca, G., Niner, H. J., Harrould-Kolieb, E., Recio Piva, E., Hills, J., Ntona, M., Lancaster, A. M. S., Strand, M., Snow, B., Erwin, K., Shannon, L., Rees, S., Hyder, K., Engelhard, G., & Howell, K. (2023). The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (published online ahead of print 2023).  

Read publication here >>

Addressing the Ocean-Climate Nexus in the BBNJ Agreement: Strategic Environmental Assessments, Human Rights and Equity in Ocean Science – Publication authored by Morgera, E., McQuaid, K., La Bianca, G., Niner, H., Shannon, L., Strand, M., Rees, S., Howell, K., Snow, B., Lancaster, A. M. S., & Sauer, W. (2023). The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law(published online ahead of print 2023). 

Read publication here >>

Introduction: Applying a Human Rights Lens to the Ocean-Climate Nexus. Publication authored by Morgera, E., & Lennan, M. (2023). The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (published online ahead of print 2023). 

Read publication here >>

International Legal Responses for Protecting Fishers’ Fundamental Rights Impacted by a Changing Ocean – Publication authored by Nakamura, J., Cirne Lima Weston, J., & Lennan, M. (2023) The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law(published online ahead of print 2023). 

Read publication here >>

Children’s Human Right to Be Heard at the Ocean-climate Nexus Publication authored by Shields, S., Longo, A., Strand, M., & Morgera, E. (2023) The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (published online ahead of print 2023).  

Read publication here >>

Protecting Children’s Rights to Development and Culture by Re-Imagining ‘Ocean Literacies’ Publication authored by Strand, M., Shields, S., Morgera, E., McGarry, D., Lancaster, A., Brown, L. and Snow, B., (2023)  Available at SSRN 4506603. Available from 

Read publication here >>

Coastal tourism recovery amid COVID-19: insights from a participatory system dynamics approach Publication authored by Vermeulen-Miltz, E., Clifford-Holmes, J.K., Lombard, A.T. and Snow, B., (2023) Tourism and Hospitality, 4(3), pp.435-450. 

Read publication here >>

The complexity of evaluating, categorising and quantifying marine cultural heritage Publication authored by Strand, M., Rivers, N. and Snow, B., (2023) Marine Policy, 148, p.105449. 

Read publication here >>

A two way process–Social capacity as a driver and outcome of equitable marine spatial planning Publication authored by Jacob, C., Diederichsen, S.D., Fullbrook, L., Lombard, A.T., Rees, S.E., Rivers, N., Snow, B., Strand, M., Zuercher, R. and Niner, H.J. (2023) Marine Policy, 149, p.105507.

Read publication here >>