Sharing Blog

Ocean, ocean knowledge, and human rights

Elisa Morgera

One Ocean Hub

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  • human rights,
  • United Nations,
  • marine environment,
  • Environmental defenders
Target Group
  • Students,
  • Teachers,
  • Youth,
  • Community workers
  • English
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Learning about the ocean and sharing ocean knowledge is increasingly recognized as essential to contribute to the protection of human rights.

Protecting and preserving the ocean is vital to upholding human rights, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. The ocean is crucial in providing support and benefits, including food, jobs, and biodiversity, as well as combating climate change and enhancing human wellbeing. However, there is a lack of understanding of the interdependence of human rights and the marine environment. The article highlights the need to consider civil and political rights, social, economic, and cultural rights, and the right to science in the context of ocean conservation and sustainable use. There is a need for a systematic approach to multilateral and bilateral fora to ensure the voices of human rights holders are heard. The article also emphasizes the importance of protecting “ocean defenders,” environmental human rights’ defenders, who may be attacked for speaking up against ocean degradation. Finally, transdisciplinary ocean science, which involves academic and non-academic partners, is essential in respecting and contributing to the realization of human rights.