Innovative research for climate adaptation at the ocean-climate-human rights nexus

Mar 2022 — SCELG members of the One Ocean Hub have contributed to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) work on climate adaptation. Elisa Morgera, Bernadette Snow and Senia Febrica  contributed to a series of events around COP26 that the Hub’s funder — UKRI — organised on COP26 Adaptation and Resilience to showcase research that is collaborative, locally led, globally relevant and aligned to the UK COP26 presidency’s themes on adaptation, loss and damage. The UKRI has just published the report of this global event series, titled ‘Tackling climate change: adaptation and resilience opportunities’, which includes a section on the ocean that is dedicated solely to the One Ocean Hub-led event ‘Ocean and Climate Change: Building Adaptation, Mitigation, and Resilience’ (held on 27th  September 2021).


The report highlights the following key messages from the presentations delivered at the One Ocean Hub-led event:

  • Innovative research on ecosystems models and integration of socio-economic and cultural data can support decision-making on climate change and the ocean, to enhance adaptation and resilience for vulnerable ocean communities and ecosystems. This will help to remove barriers between biodiversity and climate change policy development (e.g. models to predict the impact of climate change on different species – biomass and spatial distribution, simulation of management actions, cumulative impacts and outcomes of management.
  • The integration of different knowledge systems in System Dynamic Models (including indigenous and local knowledge) can help to develop scenarios and discuss different possible outcomes of adaptation policy interventions.
  • Community-based climate adaptation (e.g. oyster farming) in Ghana can support sustainable fisheries, as well as address socio economic and cultural issues in the small-scale fisheries sector in particular.
  • Collaboration must be strengthened at the local, regional and global scales, across countries and conventions, to inform adaptation solutions for ocean communities and ecosystems as these are all interlinked by the ocean.
  • Human rights to life, health, food, water and culture depend on a healthy ocean. Guidance adopted under the Convention on Biological Diversity around the nexus between biodiversity, climate change and the ocean can support the protection of human rights and help to consider trade-offs and co-benefits of potential solutions (UKRI, 2022: 60). 

Hub Director Morgera participated in the Global Launch event of the UKRI series on 3rd June 2021; Hub Deputy Director Snow (University of Strathclyde, UK) participated in the ‘Pan-Africa Launch event’ on 29th July 2021 and ‘West and South Africa event’ on 8th October 2021; and Senia Febrica participated in the Final Event on 15th December 2021. They also contributed, together with SCELG and Hub researcher Mitchell Lennan, to the ‘Ocean and Climate Change: Building Adaptation, Mitigation, and Resilience’ event on 27th September 2021, with colleagues from University of Edinburgh, University of Cape Town, South Africa, and University of Cape Coast, Ghana. 

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