SCELG contributes to European Commission’s study on EU-Africa cooperation on ocean governance

Sept 2020 – Prof Elisa Morgera, member of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance and Director of the One Ocean Hub, has been interviewed as part of the preparations of a study commissioned by the European Commission, DG MARE (Maritime Affairs and Fisheries), which explores the need for further work with Africa to develop a joint ocean governance agenda, including the development of sustainable fisheries and blue economy. The study aims in particular at assessing the feasibility and modalities for setting up an EU-Africa Task Force for policy cooperation and dialogue on international ocean governance.


Photo by Lawrence Hookham on Unsplash

Prof Morgera drew on the experience of the One Ocean Hub and the findings of her study for the European Parliament on biodiversity as a human right and its implications for the EU’s external relations, to suggest:

  • the need to include a range of marine and social scientists, together with lawyers and economists, in the proposed task force;
  • for the task force to focus on:
    • the strengthening of the science-policy interface for international ocean governance (through more strategic and coordinated use of various EU instruments such as financing for research and civil-society projects, political dialogues, and capacity-building activities);
    • the connectivity across various ocean challenges and land-based activities (on which EU-Africa cooperation is more established);
    • the inter-dependency of ocean health and human rights, with a view to integrating relevant considerations in joint initiatives or coordination in international negotiations on the ocean, human rights and the environment;
  • the need for the task force to be “inclusive” in terms of connecting directly with local-level stakeholders and rights-holders in a meaningful way, with the role of local academic and civil-society organizations to support that; and
  • for the task force to develop a full understanding of ongoing and planned initiatives on ocean governance in Africa, with a view to ensuring complementarity and value added of any new proposed EU-Africa initiatives.