One Ocean Hub panels for the 2023 GNHRE & UNEP Summer/Winter School for Human Rights & the Environment
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.
The School runs from 11-15 September 2023, and the timetable of the sessions is available here.
The School is held in collaboration with the University of Southampton Law School, with ongoing support from the Hub.
The Hub is leading the co-organisation of five separate panels including:
3. Transforming ocean conservation and sustainable use: rethinking blue economies in terms of environmental and socio-cultural justice. Wednesday, 13 September 2023, 6pm-7.30pm CEST. More information here. Register here.
5. Transitioning from the past, through the present to potential futures of knowledge hierarchies in ocean biodiversity governance research. Thursday, 14 September 2023, 6pm-7.30pm CEST. More information here. Register here.
1. Ocean and human health: transitioning and transforming to an era of interdisciplinary competencies.
A healthy ocean, from coastal waters to remote high seas and deep seabed areas, is integral to human health, wellbeing, and survival (Jenkins et. al., 2023). Despite its critical role in human health and wellbeing, the ocean is under threat from climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. Although more is known about areas that are near the coast, the seabed beyond national jurisdiction and the high seas, comprising 64% of the surface of the ocean and nearly 95% of its volume, are critical to both ecosystem and human health. However, much of the work done on the relationship between ocean and human health has been siloed, which has resulted in narrow perceptions of inter-relationships, limited information, and relatively unexplored aspects of both areas. There are, therefore, critical knowledge gaps for those seeking to develop effective policies for the sustainable use of marine resources and the protection of the human right to health.
This panel will represent a diversity of experiences and perspectives, from a diverse range of disciplines, spanning ocean science, human rights, planetary health and health law, to illuminate barriers and progress to marrying the two disciplines.
The key messages from panellists and participants will be fed into:
- the work of the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights & the Environment and Human Rights & Climate Change
- the UN guidance on economic, social and cultural rights and sustainable development
- the anticipated implementation of the agreement on conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ agreement)
- the development of a pandemic treaty by the World Health Organization (WHO)
- work on the nexus between the ocean and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
1.Why does global health depend on the ocean? (Prof Mat Upton, One Ocean Hub and University of Plymouth).
2. The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment in the context of the ocean (Dr Alana Lancaster, One Ocean Hub and University of the West Indies, Barbados).
3.Interconnections between the deep seabed and the high seas and human health (Prof Elisa Morgera, One Ocean Hub and University of Strathclyde, UK).
4.The interlinkages between equity in the context of the ocean and global health in the case of the WHO’s pandemic treaty (Dr Stephanie Switzer, University of Strathclyde, UK).
2.The transformative role of children’s rights to a healthy ocean
Children’s historical contributions to the protection of human rights and the environment have gained them recognition worldwide as “agents of change”. However, the climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental pollution crises pose an urgent and systemic threat to their life and most basic human rights, prompting former Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment John Knox to state that children are the population endangered the most by the triple environmental crises. Whilst the principles of intergenerational justice and equity are gaining traction within international and regional decision-making processes, there exists a perception that children’s voices are heard, but not truly understood or meaningfully taken into account.
Against this background, we want to take the opportunity of the recent adoption of the UN General Comment 26 on children’s human rights and a healthy environment, with a special focus on climate change, to explore the transformative role of children’s right to a healthy environment especially focusing on ocean governance and marine spaces. Accordingly, the panel will underscore the importance of children’s right to be heard in ocean governance decision-making fora, addressing the scope of State obligations to ensure respect of children’s rights and interests, and offering reflections on more ambitious approaches to integrating intergenerational dialogue within such processes on the basis of good practices in the context of the protection of children’s human rights. In this regard, we firmly believe that a healthy and sustainable ocean is key to the full enjoyment of a wide range of children’s rights.
1. Andrea Longo, One Ocean Hub and University of Strathclyde (chair).
2. Sophie Shields, One Ocean Hub and University of Strathclyde.
3. Britney Nurse, University of the West Indies, Barbados.
4. Dr Mitchell Lennan, One Ocean Hub and University of Aberdeen, UK.
5. Mia Strand, One Ocean Hub, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.
3. Transforming ocean conservation and sustainable use: rethinking blue economies in terms of environmental and socio-cultural justice.
Discussion on blue economies often portrays the ocean as the driver of economic growth and a vast space that attracts diverse actors such as shipping companies, deep-sea mining enterprises, and fishing industries. Whilst, blue economies have received significant attention, the social-cultural justice implications of the fast and unchecked development of blue economy activities are often overlooked. As governments, industries, and different international actors around the world engage with the blue economy, the key questions to ask is: what checks and balances are in place to support ocean-based economies, whilst ensuring inclusivity and appropriate stewardship of marine resources for future generations?
This event will engage panellists and attendees in a discussion on the contentious social-cultural justice issues surfacing as ocean-based economy development expands at scale. The solution-focused event will spotlight the pressing need to integrate transdisciplinary research approaches, process, and innovation as viable routes to sustainable and inclusive blue economies and wider ocean governance. Transdisciplinary research implies working with stakeholders, ocean experts from varied disciplines, and different knowledge holders in the co-design and co-production of solution-oriented research.
The event will share findings from the One Ocean Hub and partners research to demonstrate trade-offs and inequities that surface as blue economies rapidly scale and develop. During the event our panellists will explore the impacts of blue economy initiatives on Indigenous Peoples and local communities, the conflicts emerging among different ocean stakeholders over marine space and resources, and actions needed to achieve a just, inclusive, and healthy ocean.
1. Professor Elisa Morgera, One Ocean Hub and University of Strathclyde, UK.
3. Taryn Pereira, One Ocean Hub, Coastal Justice Network and Rhodes University, South Africa.
4. Gender-transformative approaches to environmental protection: Women, Girls & the Ocean.
The entanglement of gender and climate issues has been flagged up as one of the greatest global challenges of today. To echo the UN Women’s warning, the coupling of gender inequality and climate crisis jeopardises livelihoods, health, safety and security for women and girls around the world. The challenge has, too, been making crucial links between gender, social equity, and climate change among climate change scientists, researchers, and policymakers.
Girls and women are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation, but they are powerful environment and ocean stewards. However, their agency and distinctive knowledge are often overlooked, their capacities unleveraged, while gender-based constraints exacerbate their vulnerability.
This panel aims to discuss the protection of the human rights of women and girls at the climate-ocean nexus, exploring empowerment of girls and women in the law of the sea, marine sciences, and ocean management, including in the specific context of small-scale fisheries. The panel will also reflect on the specific role of girls and women as environmental and ocean human rights defenders and their transformative potential for more sustainable ocean governance.
1. Ms Valentina Germani, UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (chair) TBC.
2. Dr Georgina Yaa Oduro, One Ocean Hub and University of Cape Coast, Ghana (speaker).
3. Dr Philile Mbatha, One Ocean Hub and University of Cape Town, South Africa (speaker).
4. Dr Buhle Francis, One Ocean Hub and Rhodes University, South Africa (speaker)
5. Ms Martha Jonas, One Ocean Hub and University of Namibia (speaker)
6. Prof Elisa Morgera, One Ocean Hub and University of Strathclyde, UK (discussant)
5. Transitioning from the past, through the present to potential futures of knowledge hierarchies in ocean biodiversity governance research.
Knowledge hierarchies refer to the systematic ordering, ranking, and valuation of knowledge and its production according to their perceived authority, legitimacy, or status. Knowledge hierarchies have become embedded and continue to be reinforced across marine biodiversity governance and associated research. Knowledge and associated processes of production are steeped within histories of colonisation and the parallel development(s) of environmental marine (social) sciences and Western-dominated conservationism.
As researchers address modern ocean biodiversity and conservation challenges, researchers must not only be aware of the history of knowledge extraction, imposition, and assumption within their fields, they must also actively work to continuously acknowledge and address these in their work. Yet, even within research that recognises the need to implement paradigm shifts and transformations, knowledge hierarchies have proven to be multi-layered and perpetuating, even within the context of conscious attempts to address hierarchies through such methods as the integration or ‘bringing together’ of diverse knowledge systems. Researchers from a diversity of disciplines are interrogating the challenges and commitments required to address imbalances created by knowledge hierarchies, even within the construct that favours the status quo.
The Panel will reflect on research undertaken as part of the One Ocean Hub and will interrogate three questions, utilising a combination of case studies and experience in their diverse disciplines:
- Why are knowledge hierarchies an issue?
- How have knowledge hierarchies arisen with respect to marine biodiversity governance and how are they perpetuated?
- How does our research respond (or engage with) to their presence/the issue of knowledge hierarchies?
1. Dr David Wilson, One Ocean Hub and University of Strathclyde, UK (chair)
2. Dr Alana Lancaster, One Ocean Hub and University of the West Indies, Barbados.
3. Dr Holly Niner, One Ocean Hub and University of Plymouth, UK.
4. Marly Muudeni Samuel, One Ocean Hub and Glasgow School of Art, UK.
Artwork by: Margherita Brunori