TURNING THE TIDE – Focus on the ocean-climate nexus

Reflections on the Dubai Climate Change Conference (COP28)

This blog post explores the significance for the ocean of the outcomes of the UN Climate COP28, held in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023. It provides some reflections on the outcomes of COP28, with a focus on loss and damage, the Global Stocktake, and children’s human rights, and concludes with an outlook for future Hub activities at the ocean-climate nexus.

By Mitchell Lennan

Artivism for a Resilient Future: Reflections from COP28

I recently had the privilege of participating in a panel at COP28 entitled “Artivism for a Resilient Future,” organised by Hivos and the Climate Development Knowledge Network. The discussions were inspiring and surfacing the often-overlooked role of Indigenous, traditional, and local knowledge in climate research and policy, and the role artists play in working in solidarity with Indigenous movements in the climate struggle and associated poly-crises.

By Dylan McGarry

How COP28 failed the world’s small islands

“While there were encouraging moments at COP28, the outcome failed to provide a scientifically grounded and equitable blueprint for keeping the Paris agreement’s goal alive. For SIDS (Small Island Developing States), the delivery of this mandate was a red line for the 2023 climate negotiations. However, SIDS have not put their eggs solely in the basket of the UN climate negotiations…” Hub researcher Alana Malinde S.N. Lancaster (University of the West Indies, Barbados) writes in the Conversation.

By Alana Malinde S.N. Lancaster

Hub early-career researcher delivers the first Climate Classroom dedicated to the ocean at COP28

On 13 December 2023, Hub’s early–career researcher, Holly Niner (University of Plymouth, UK), delivered the first Climate Classroom dedicated to the ocean at Climate COP28.  The Climate Classrooms are envisaged as “pop-up learning sessions held during major climate change conferences” covering key climate change topics for a wide audience, including negotiators and other delegates. 266 people attended the session, making it the most successful Hub-led online event.

By Milica Prokic 

Focus on ocean-climate nexus continued...

Providing inputs to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights on State obligations at the ocean-climate nexus

The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the One Ocean Hub have made a Submission to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, to provide inputs into the development of its advisory opinion to clarify State obligations at the ocean-climate nexus. This blog post explains what the Inter-American Court was requested to consider questions on climate obligations, and the key points made in the joint submission by the UWI and the Hub.

By Alana Malinde S.N. Lancaster

Accounting for the impacts of loss and damage from the adverse effects of climate change on human rights

In January 2024, the Hub submitted written evidence to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on “The impacts of loss and damage from the adverse effects of climate change on human rights.” Hub researchers  focused on concrete examples of ocean-related loss and damage; as well as data, mechanisms and tools to measure, monitor, report and evaluate the impacts of ocean-related loss and damage.

By Senia Febrica, Mia Strand, Alana Malinde S.N. Lancaster and Georgina Yaa Oduro

Spotlighting ocean defenders and the responsibilities of marine conservation organisations

On 29 November 2023, Hub researcher Taryn Pereira (Rhodes University, South Africa), UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment David Boyd and other experts participated in the webinar ‘A Global Spotlight on Ocean Defenders’ to call attention to the ongoing struggles and efforts of ocean defenders globally.  The webinar sough to explore potential actions that allied organisations and other institutions might take to support and protect ocean defenders. This blog post reflects on the key points raised at the webinar, and the ongoing work that the Hub is conducting on these issues.

By Taryn Pereira

Impact story: Research and action across scales - Expanding support for small-scale fishers as ocean defenders

We have distilled learning from the impact Hub research and partnerships have made Environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) draw attention to the links between unsustainable environmental decisions and negative impacts on human rights. The Hub recognises the key role of EHRDs in ocean governance and seeks to provide support at multiple levels to strengthen their protection and acknowledge their value.

Read the Impact Story >> 

Impact story: Research that supports livelihoods and cultural rights of women in small-scale fishing communities in South Africa

We have distilled learning from the research conducted over the past three years by early-career researcher Buhle Francis (Rhodes University, South Africa), who has been working with women in small-scale fishing (SSF) communities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. She is undertaking pioneering collaborative research at the nexus of environmental justice, gender equality, ocean livelihoods, and inclusivity in ocean-related decision-making processes. Through innovative and flexible funding to establish ocean economy-diversification projects, SSF women established sewing groups and obtained registration as a co-operative. These are now seeking access to government support, which may enable the continuation of these enterprises after Hub funding.

Screening of the film 'Indlela Yokuphila' at the Pacific Human Rights Film Festival a resounding success

On 29 November 2023, Empatheatre’s short animation film Indlela Yokuphila (Soul’s Journey) was screened at the third Pacific Human Rights Film Festival organised by the Pacific Community, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, the government of Sweden, the University of the South Pacific, and the Pacific Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The film was ‘incredibly well received’ according to the festival Director, at an event attended by over 200 people.

By Senia Febrica

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

The new Learning Pathway focuses on the interlinkages of the ocean, culture and cultural heritage and explores the cultural values, history, heritage, and Indigenous and local knowledge systems related to the ocean. Among other issues, the Learning Pathway discusses how Indigenous and local ocean knowledge and intangible cultural heritage are often underrepresented in ocean governance processes, such as marine spatial planning and marine protected areas. The Learning Pathway thus highlights the need and shares some innovative methods for the integration of ocean culture and cultural heritage into ocean management approaches.

 By Aphiwe Moshani and Milica Prokic  

Hub early-career researchers shortlisted in the ‘Heroes’ category of the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards

The inter-disciplinary team of 37 Hub early-career researchers (ECRs) are recognised for their efforts in ‘working on groundbreaking and innovative approaches towards the goal of inclusive and equitable ocean governance, whereby people and the environment can flourish.’ “The Hub’s ECRs combine passion and creativity with academic rigour in their research, using innovative participatory methods that often transcend disciplines. The ECRs are now leading integration efforts across the Hub, to ensure better understanding of our transferable findings and methods across academic disciplines” Hub Director Elisa Morgera (University of Strathclyde, UK) says.

By Milica Prokic

New short film: ‘Understanding the Deep Sea’

Narrated by early-career researcher Kirsty McQuaid (University of Plymouth, UK and South African National Biodiversity Institute), the film talks about the benefits and challenges of deep-sea research and describes key focus areas of the Hub’s research, such as habitat mapping and medical microbiology. The film also highlights The African Network for Deep-water Researchers that was established as a response to the fact that ‘Africa has been identified as lacking capacity for deep-sea and offshore research, a critical limitation in the management of key deep-water Blue Economy sectors’.

By Laura Merilainen

Watch the Film >> 

The report of the Hub capacity development deep-sea cruise is out

In 2023, a capacity-building offshore cruise advanced the capacity, technology, and multidisciplinary knowledge of early-career researchers and postgraduate students from South Africa and Namibia for the benefit of better management of South Africa’s ocean. The final report of the cruise is now available:

Spotlight on early-career researcher: Lysa Wini (University of Strathclyde, UK)

Q: How does your work contribute to shaping the One Ocean Hub’s interdisciplinary endeavours? 

A: By intricately weaving together the threads of colonial history, legal geography, and Indigenous epistemology and ontology, the knowledge produced in my research offers a profound appreciation and heightened awareness of the intricacies inherent in the theories of Indigenous communities, particularly the imola i asi.

Podcast on gender and the ocean – featuring early-career researchers Aphiwe Moshani and Buhle Francis

In the fourth episode of the Hub’s podcast series, focusing on gender and the ocean, Knowledge Exchange Associate Milica Prokic (University of Strathclyde, UK) speaks to early-career researchers and the British Council Scotland SGSAH EARTH Scholarship winners, Aphiwe Moshani (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Buhle Francis (Rhodes University, South Africa) about their research in South Africa. They talk about women’s knowledge of the ocean, their distinctive ocean-related practices, including seaweed harvesting, and the challenges they face, from experiencing and witnessing climate change, to their struggle to  ensure gender equality in the context of the blue economy. The podcast guests also share their own complex experiences as women conducting ocean research in the Global South.  

Earth scholarship awarded for the second time to a Hub early-career researcher

Hub early-career researcher Aphiwe Moshani (University of Cape Town, South Africa) has been awarded an EARTH scholarship by the British Council Scotland, which is thematically focused on environmental arts and humanities and their interdisciplinary connection.  Aphiwe is currently also acting as research trainee at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, working on the knowledge-translation platform One Ocean Learn. The scholarship will support Aphiwe in undertaking research at the University of Strathclyde (UK) from April-July 2024 on the human rights dimensions of her research findings.

By Aphiwe Moshani

Mia Strand becomes a Research Fellow at Ocean Nexus focusing on equity in ocean literacies and children’s rights

Early-career researcher Mia Strand (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa) was recently appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Ocean Nexus, in collaboration with the One Ocean Hub. Her research explores cognitive justice and equity in ocean literacies and children’s rights to a healthy ocean.

By Mia Strand


A risk assessment for the remote ocean: the case of the Southeast Atlantic Publication authored by Niner HJ, Rees SE, La Bianca G, McQuaid KA, Howell KL (2023) in Frontiers in Marine Science. Vol. 10.

Read publication here >> 

The progressive development of international biodiversity law from the 1972 Stockholm Conference to the synergistic protection of biodiversity and human rights, including at the ocean-climate nexus Publication authored by Morgera E, in J Ebbesson and D Langlet (eds), International Environmental Law in Perspective (Cambridge University Press, forth 2024), available online

Read publication here >>

‘When ancestors are included in ocean decision- and meaning-making’ by Dylan McGarry (Rhodes University) in Tamara SheferVivienne BozalekNike Romano (eds),  Hydrofeminist Thinking With Oceans Political and Scholarly Possibilities (Routledge, 2024), P. 15

Read publication here >>


Policy Brief: Integrating the General Comment 26 on Children’s Rights and a Healthy Environment in the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework Read Here >>

Policy Brief: Integrating the General Comment 26 on Children’s Rights and a Healthy Environment in the implementation of the FAO Guidelines on Small-scale Fisheries  Read Here >>

Recording: In November 2023, Hub Director Elisa Morgera contributed to the session on marine genetic resources, including questions on the sharing of benefits at the 8th International Conference on the Law of the Sea, titled “Law of the Sea for the Next Generation: BBNJ Agreement, from Definition to Regulation”. The recording of the session is now available Watch Here >>

Recording: Hub Director Elisa Morgera presenting at the WWF Fuller Seminar Series – Beyond Inclusive Conservation: Centering Human Rights in Conservation. Morgera’s presentation starts at 39:10 min. Watch Here >>

(Full event details on Hub website)
The 9th World Fisheries Congress in (Seattle, Washington)

Hub researchers Kieran Hyder (CEFAS, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK) and Warren Potts (Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, South Africa) are attending the 9th World Fisheries Congress in Seattle, Washington (US) that takes place from 3-9 March 2024.

UN Decade UK National Committee Meeting (Edinburgh)

The Hub has been invited to take part in the next meeting of the UK’s National Decade Committee in Edinburgh on 5 March 2024. Hub Deputy Director, Philile Mbatha (University of Strathclyde, UK), will speak at the Committee meeting and Knowledge Exchange Associate Milica Prokic (University of Strathclyde, UK) will also be in attendance.

UN Ocean Decade Conference (Barcelona)
  • The Hub will organise a 2-hour Satellite Event (9th April, tbc) to launch its Transdisciplinary Toolbox for Transformative Ocean Governance that the Hub is developing as the Decade Implementing Partner.
  • Alongside this event, Hub researchers from the University of Plymouth will be delivering another Satellite Event, as a member project of Challenger 150. Programme
  • In addition to the Satellite Events, Hub early-career researcher Nina Rivers (University of Strathclyde/Nelson Mandela University) will be presenting a poster entitled ‘Weaving it all together: Inter and transdisciplinary co-design of ocean science for a sustainable and equitable future – a case study from Ghana’
Workshop: “Children’s rights and the right to a healthy environment – intersections and opportunities” (Oñati)

Hub Director Elisa Morgera (University of Strathclyde, UK) and Hub researcher Alana Malinde S. N. Lancaster (University of the West Indies, Barbados) will contribute to an invitation-only workshop on “Children’s rights and the right to a healthy environment – intersections and opportunities” (11-12 April 2024) at the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Spain.

WWF “Science for Nature” concluding webinar (Online)

Hub Deputy Director Philile Mbatha (University of Strathclyde, UK), has been invited to speak at the webinar “Towards a More Inclusive Conservation Science” organised by WWF at 7:00 AM PT/10:00 AM ET on the 30 May 2024.

World Biodiversity Forum 2024 (Davos)

The 3rd World Biodiversity Forum 2024 will be held in Davos, Switzerland, from 16-20 June 2024, under the theme is “From Science to Action.” Hub Director Elisa Morgera (University of Strathclyde, UK), Hub researchers Lynne Shannon (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Stuart Jeffrey (Glasgow School of Art, UK) and early-career researcher Lisa McDonald (Glasgow School of Art, UK) will present at the Forum.