Hub-led events in june 2022


For the second year running, the One Ocean Hub will share research findings and methods at the Summer/Winter School on Human rights and the Environment (20-28 June 2022) co-hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE). The School aims at raising awareness and building the capacity of human rights activists, researchers, and governments representatives from around the world on the basis of perspectives and experiences from the Global South. The theme of 2022 Summer/Winter School, “Water – from Oceans to Taps” is expected to shed light on the human rights challenges faced in relation to the freshwater, coastal and marine environment. The Hub co-developed with UNEP and the Global Network this year’s call for panels, and has co-developed six different panels at the GNHRE and UNEP Summer/Winter School 2022.

The human rights dimensions of ocean crimes and their impact on small-scale fishers

20 June, 5pm CEST
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Ocean crimes, including illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, directly impact on the sustainable use of the ocean, and are a barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG14, Life Below Water. Ocean crimes contribute to overfishing, threatening food security and livelihoods. Ocean crimes, such as human trafficking and slavery in fisheries, also have direct consequences for the achievement of a range of human rights. At the same time efforts to tackle the crimes can result in human rights violations against vulnerable groups such as small-scale fishers and their communities.  
The panel aims to explore the human rights, equity and justice dimensions of ocean crimes and their impacts on small-scale fishers. The panel presents the perspectives of researchers, on the conceptualisation of ocean crimes, its consequences for small-scale fisheries and the remit of possible human rights implications within the larger context of blue justice. Adopting a case study approach, the panel starts with an examination of the ideas of blue growth and its possible consequences for coastal communities, the social justice implications of rapid and unchecked ocean development, its impacts on livelihoods of small-scale fishers, and the human rights consequences of these developments in particular as it relates to ocean defenders; who defend and protect the marine and coastal environment and the human rights of coastal populations against existential threats including oceans crimes. This will be followed by an examination of the effects of recreational fisheries crime on the integrity of small-scale fisher development and the inequities between affluent fishers and poorer subsistence fishers in relation to efforts targeted at tackling recreational fisheries crimes.

Adopting South Africa as a case study, it will examine the consequences of recreational fisheries crimes on other ocean users, such as subsistence small-scale fishers. The panel will also examine the impacts of ocean crimes on the countries of the Caribbean, in particular the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries. The panel will examine the human rights consequences of ocean crimes considering efforts towards developing a sustainable blue economy for small island states.

Critical Human Rights Issues at the Ocean-Climate Nexus

21 June, 10am-11:30 CEST

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A healthy ocean and the services it provides help satisfy the material conditions for everyone’s human rights to life, health food, water and culture. This illustrates the interdependencies of human rights, the climate and the ocean, and indicates the importance of integrated and inclusive governance to mitigate and adapt to the effects of global climate change.

This panel aims to explore the different human rights challenges arising from the interface of climate change and the ocean (the ocean/climate nexus). Participants will gain an understanding and appreciation of interactions between the relevant international legal instruments in this context, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and numerous international human rights instruments. Topics covered by international experts in this area include the intersection between the ocean and climate in science and law, ocean acidification, fisheries, and deep-seabed mining. Students will also gain insights into legal developments in this area, and better shape their legal thinking to a more integrated and inclusive approach, including as part of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture – 2022.


Chair: Professor Elisa Morgera, Director of the One Ocean Hub

(1) Mitchell Lennan, One Ocean Hub, “Introduction: Human rights at the ocean/climate scientific and legal nexus”;

(2) Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb, UEF Law School, University of Eastern Finland: “The human rights impacts of ocean acidification”;

(3) Julia Nakamura, One Ocean Hub: “The protection of human rights of small-scale fishers and their communities in the climate change context;”

(4) Joanna Dingwall, University of Glasgow: “The international regulation of seabed mining and its potential impact on climate change and human rights”.

Children’s rights to a healthy climate, healthy freshwater and a healthy ocean

21 June, 12 pm to 1.30 pm CET

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This panel aims to explore different ways in which children’s human right to a healthy environment can be protected and exercised in different sites related to climate change, freshwater and the ocean and the need for an integrated approach in this connection. The panel will represent a diversity of experiences and perspectives, from activism to theoretical research, to illuminate barriers and progress in supporting genuine youth engagement in relevant decision-making processes and before courts, and consideration of children’s rights in the context of inter-generational equity.

The key messages from panellists and participants will be fed into:

  • the process of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to develop a General Comment on children’s rights to a healthy environment, with special attention being paid to the impacts of climate change;
  • the consultations on the implementation of the UN joint commitment on ensuring the promotion and recognition of the right of children to a healthy environment, which includes the goal to ensure that children are able to meaningfully participate in climate action and in the review and implementation of UN policies; and
  • the human rights-related events organized during the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture – 2022 by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and others.


(1) Saher Rashid Baig, Youth advocate for climate, ocean, gender and human rights: “Youth unite for Sustainable Development!”

(2) Aoife Daly, Law Lecturer, University College Cork, Ireland: “The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the right to a healthy environment and the ocean”

(3) Angeliki Papantoniou, Queen Mary University London: “A healthy marine environment for children: Environmental Principles and Children’s Rights”

(4) Elisa Morgera, Director, One Ocean Hub, “Hard Legal Edge: relying on children’s human rights to ensure inter-generational equity and meaningful youth engagement in international ocean governance”

(5) Marie-France Bakaï, Assistant Professor in Organic Chemistry at the University of Kara – Togo: “The right of children to have access to quality water: the case of the city of Kara in Togo”

Oceans, Art and Environmental Defenders

22 June, 10am-11:30 am CEST

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Art in all its multiple forms (drawing, animation, film, dance, sound, and performance) is widely considered a useful medium of popular communication. As the creative processes in this session explore, it can do far more than this. Drawing on the strength of the aesthetics to enable us to imagine differently and across the fractures we have constructed amongst ourselves, an expanded conceptualisation of art recognises it as a powerful force for activism and advocacy towards ocean wellbeing. Art can be used as a translation protocol between knowledge canons for more equitable ocean governance frameworks, as a form of research to inform and provide evidence within legal processes, to support social movement building, to engage in public storytelling, to offer ritual, catharsis, and tend to ecological grief, as well as re-narrate and create history – from below- of coastal people and environmental defenders. This session draws on examples from three different country contexts, to explore the many ways in which art contributes to the environmental defence of the oceans. It offers a space for artists, environmental defenders, researchers, and policy makers, amongst others, to discuss the possibilities of the creative arts in their own work towards ensuring the wellbeing of the ocean that sustains us all.


Chair: Dr Saskia Vermeylen, University of Strathclyde, UK

  • Dr Dylan McGarry, Rhodes University and Kira Erwin, Durban University of Technology, South Africa: “A Story with Fins.”
  • Yuvan Aves, India: “Art in the Pulicat Lagoon and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu campaigns.”
  • Meghan Judge – Interlude
  • Michaela Howse, South Africa: “The Keiskamma tapestry – rewriting ocean narratives.”
  • Anna Naupa, Vanuatu: “Vanuatu – reclaiming our language for the oceans”
  • Dr Dylan McGarry – Epilogue: “The  Blue Blanket

The Hub is also organizing a panel on “Ocean crime, human rights and defenders.” Information on the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) is available here. The GNHRE and UNEP Summer Winter/School 2022 website with information on how to register to attend the above sessions will be released soon.

Protecting human rights of small-scale artisanal fishing actors and achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals

23 June, 10 am-11:30 am CEST

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Small-scale fishers, fishworkers and their communities around the world are on the spotlight of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (2022). The International Year is meant to gather momentum and showcase their contributions to global food security, nutrition, poverty alleviation, and overall fisheries sustainability, fostering the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication. At the same time, the International Year provides an opportunity to address the barriers and injustices faced by small-scale fishers and better identify the responsibilities of States and non-state actors to respect the human rights of small-scale fishers, with a view to acting together, in various fronts, to tackle persisting challenges and issues this sector face, identify opportunities for small-scale fisheries’ sustainable development, and for the full realization of their human rights. This panel aims to explore the positive outcomes that collaborative and human rights-focused initiatives can bring to various small-scale fishing actors (from small-scale fishers, fishworkers, and their communities to governments and organizations working with them) simultaneously.


Elisa Morgera, Kira Erwin, Bola Erinosho and Tapiwa Warikandwa, One Ocean Hub: “Knowledge co-production with small-scale fishers as a way to protect their human rights in ocean-related decision-making.”

Ana Maria Suarez-Dussan, Human Rights Specialist, FAO: “Strengthening legislative responses to the protection of small-scale fishers’ human rights.”

Stefania Tripodi, Human Rights Officer, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Title of presentation TBC.

Ariella D’Andrea, Legal Adviser (Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture), Pacific Community-SPC: “Implementing the rights of small-scale fishers through community-based fisheries management in Pacific Islands.”

Tulika Bansal, Senior Adviser (Human Rights and Business) and Sille Stidsen, Senior Adviser (Human Rights and Development), The Danish Institute for Human Rights: ‘Challenges and lessons learnt in assessing the human rights impacts in small-scale fisheries case studies from Bangladesh and Chile’

Ocean Plastic and Ocean Waste

24th June, 3pm CEST

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This panel will discuss and explore questions and case studies related to the complex and under-regulated problem of ocean plastic and waste.

The ocean problem is a complicated one for a number of reasons:

  • The sheer scale of the quantity of waste that has entered the ocean in the past five decades along with the scale of the receiving environment makes management and clean up of the existing ocean plastic and waste extremely challenging. This coupled with the fact that much of the impacted environment – the oceans – fall outside of state jurisdiction, complicates the question of responsibility for the costs and work involved in addressing ocean waste. Add to this, recent discoveries that floating masses of plastic have become habitats to sea life, which raises questions about what ocean waste management should look like and whether waste removal should always be the goal. This all suggests the need for international cooperation and the development of international law standards, a process that has begun with UNEA’s adoption of the End Plastic Pollution resolution in March this year.
  • While plastic and waste make its way into the ocean, beyond state jurisdiction, suggesting the need for international solutions, plastic waste originates on land and addressing this demands national level solutions. However, poor regulation and infrastructure in regard to waste management is a problem for countries across the globe. The quantity of waste generated each year far exceeds the capacity of many states to collect, process and store it and only a small percentage of plastic waste is recycled.
  • Communities with the least freedom and choice to manage their generation of plastic waste are denied access to facilities to manage that waste. Economic drivers often push those most affected by plastic waste – including small scale fishers – to make use of cheap, disposable, single-use or quick-wearing plastic products. At the same time, lack of waste management and collection in impoverished communities has immediate and deleterious effects on environmental health and water quality, and on the ability of small scale and sustenance fishers to fish.

This panel will examine the complexity of regulatory, policy and scientific responses to the problem of ocean plastic and waste, at different and intersecting geographic scales. This panel will provide important insights into the full picture of the problem of ocean waste, including through presentations on international efforts at a global treaty and discussions of local case studies of community activism.

Defending the ocean at the kelp roots: Stories from Small scale fisher ocean defenders in South Africa

28th June, 8am CEST

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This panel engages small-scale fishers who face the double-edged burden of 1. constant exclusions from decisions affecting the ocean, and exclusions from the ocean commons through blunt conservation and regulation measures and 2. playing a critical role in defending the ocean against large scale extraction and damage. As custodians of the ocean for the common good, the perspectives of small-scale fisher, ocean defenders hold significant guidance for movement building and coastal justice. Panellists will reflect on their involvement in resisting and seeking alternatives to ocean oil and gas exploration, coastal mining, enclosure of the ocean commons and un-democratic ocean governance.


Christian Adams – Small Scale Fishers Collective, South Africa

Ntsindiso Nongcavu- Coastal Links Eastern Cape, South Africa

Hilda Adams – Small Scale Fishers Collective, South Africa

Taryn Pereira – Coastal Justice Network / Rhodes University, South Africa

Aphiwe Moshani – Coastal Justice Network / University of Cape Town, South Africa

past events:



When: 6th June 2022, 13:00-15:00 GMT

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This two-hour roundtable is organised by the One Ocean Hub with the support and technical assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The event will explore the need for a comprehensive understanding of the human rights of small-scale fishers and how different mandates across the United Nations System can contribute to enhancing the protection of the human rights of small-scale fishers, fisherworkers, and their communities. This event will bring together the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, FAO, and representatives of small-scale fishers, national human rights institution, and researchers to share views on key challenges for the protection of SSF’ human rights. This roundtable discussion is aimed to advance awareness of the need for a holistic approach to the protection of the human rights of small-scale fishers and fish workers, and to explore the different UN mandates that can contribute and opportunities to better international support for small-scale fishers representatives and advocates. The key messages identified during the roundtable discussion will be shared with other partners and international fora for further dialogue and action as part of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture.


  • Elisa Morgera, Prof Global Environmental Law (University of Strathclyde, UK) & Director, One Ocean Hub
  • Nicole Franz, Fishery Planning Officer, FAO
  • David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment
  • Sisay Yeshanew, Development Law Specialist, FAO
  • Eastern Cape traditional small-scale fisher, South Africa
  • Representative of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty, Bangladesh
  • Sebastian Mathew, Executive Director, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers,
  • Sille Stidsen, Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • Dr Bolanle Erinosho, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Dr Tapiwa Warikandwa, University of Namibia, Namibia


When: 7th June 2022, 13:00-14:30 GMT

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More attention needs to be given to the human-cultural dimension of the ocean and its use. Recognising the role of ocean cultures and heritage in contributing to sustainable ocean governance, this event will discuss key messages in a forthcoming book entitled the Palgrave Handbook of Blue Heritage. The book highlights that while nature is inherently valuable, humans hold diverse, intrinsic and cultural connections with the ocean and coasts. The book represents a novel interdisciplinary collaboration between One Ocean Hub and global researchers, involving more than 25 authors worldwide, including scholars from Australia, US, Seychelles and India. It is edited by Professor Rosabelle Boswell, Nelson Mandela University (South Africa), Dr David O’Kane (Max Planck Institute, Germany) and Professor Jeremy Hills, University of South Pacific (Fiji). As part of the event, panellists will discuss the role of arts and innovative methodology, such as Empatheatre, to creative praxis in ocean management and the role of singing in fisher-folk personhood and power in Ghana. Mpume Mthombeni, an award-winning performer, storyteller and theatre-maker from Umlazi, Durban and the co-founder of Empatheatre contributes to the second part of the event. She will read from Between Worlds, Professor Boswell’s third poetry anthology which articulates the nuances of human relations with the sea and the imagined responses of both animate and inanimate marine worlds.

Chair: Mr Eden Charles, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Deputy Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority for the Enterprise and the Chairman of the Advisory Board of One Ocean Hub UKRI.


  1. Professor Rose Boswell, Anthropology, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  2. Dr Kira Erwin, Urban Sociology, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
  3. Dr Eric Otchere, Arts, University Cape Coast, Ghana
  4. Dr John Ansah, Sociology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  5. Dr Georgina Yaa Oduro, Sociology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  6. Dr Bolanle Erinosho, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  7. Dr David Wilson, History, University of Strathclyde, UK
  8. Ms Anthea Christoffels-Du Plessis, Law, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  9. Dr Chelsea Koch, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
  10. Mr Paul Antion, Blue Ventures
  11. Mr Symphorien Nihala Maniry Soa, Blue Ventures