One Ocean Hub collaborates with UNEP on SDG 14, marine litter and environmental justice
Jul 2021 — The One Ocean Hub, of which SCELG member Prof. Elisa Morgera is the director, has developed a close collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to work on a range of pressing environmental issues. The One Ocean Hub is co-developing with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) an e-learning course on SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and a series of tools on marine litter, including the environmental justice dimensions of ocean plastics. They will be developed by autumn 2021 and be integrated into UNEP e-learning platform InforMEA (the UN Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements) and the Law and Environment Assistance Platform.
Image by Marek Okon via Unsplash
SDG 14 Course
This course will survey the full range of SDG 14 targets with a view to clarifying how multilateral environmental agreements and international human rights law contribute to their achievement, including marine pollution, marine ecosystem management, ocean acidification, fishing, marine protected areas, fishing subsidies, and the sustainable use of marine resources, research and technology transfer, and small-scale fisheries.
Marine Litter Toolkit
This activity builds on a consultancy carried out by Hub PhD researcher Tallash Kantai and PhD researcher Naomi Kenney from the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance in 2020-2021 drafting an interactive, step-by-step guide for legislators to develop laws to better manage single-use plastic waste. The regulatory approaches illustrated in the guide included restricting the production, distribution and used of certain single-use plastics, labelling plastics to ensure their correct disposal, producer responsibility, and taxing certain plastic products to dissuade their use. This guide will now be complemented by an inter-disciplinary team of Hub researchers with a toolkit specifically focused on marine litter, including examples of case-studies from Hub countries to inform stakeholders of best practices and approaches.
Marine Litter E-learning Course
Building on the insights arising from the development of the marine litter toolkit, Hub researchers will develop an in-depth e-learning course on marine litter, with a strong focus on plastic pollution from an international legal and policy framework combining environmental and human rights instruments and approaches.
Environmental Justice and Marine Litter
After contributing to online discussions and peer-review of UNEP’s seminal report “NEGLECTED: Environmental Justice Impacts of Plastic Pollution” launched in April 2021, the One Ocean Hub will co-develop with UNEP a series of awareness-raising materials on the interlinkages between environmental justice and marine litter to highlight how plastic pollution hinders the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and how the entire lifecycle of plastics —from source extraction to waste— disproportionately affects marginalized communities around the world.
Children’s rights to a healthy environment
Going forward, the Hub will also be collaborating with UNEP and other members of the international Children’s Environmental Rights’ Initiative on ensuring proper attention to a healthy ocean in the context of the:
- new process for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to develop a General Comment on child rights, environment and climate change; and
- the UN Joint Commitment to promote the right of children, youth and future generations to a healthy environment and their meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels, in relation to climate action and climate justice, as one of the key actions of the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights.