The ocean is one and inter-connected, and yet it is managed by laws and policies covering specific areas from local, national, regional, and international scales. Activities in deep waters can affect coastal waters and those who live on land. Achieving SDG 14 will require ocean management approaches to be integrated across different geographies and scales, as well as across different sectors of ocean use.
The design and monitoring of international law and policy for the ocean must be informed by the knowledge and experience of those who are most reliant on the ocean for their livelihoods, social, or cultural needs. This is a primary focus of our research. In turn, we will explore how the implementation of international laws, particularly human rights and environmental law, can affect change on the ground in the protection of groups who are often marginalised in decision making but often most affected by the outcome. We are focusing particularly on small-scale and artisanal fishing communities, indigenous peoples, women and children.
We aim to support better recognition of human rights for sustainable and just decisions on the ocean by:
- Offering new legal interpretations on the links between human rights and a healthy ocean;
- Developing an integrated evidence base on real-life challenges for indigenous peoples, small-scale fishers, women and children; and
- Developing inter-disciplinary guidance on integrating marine ecosystem services and human rights, including the right to fair participation in decision-making processes
In doing this, we hope to contribute to the development of inclusive, integrated, transparent and sustainable blue economies and societies.