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Prof Elisa Morgera


Personal statement

Elisa Morgera is Professor of Global Environmental Law and Co-Director of Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance. She specializes in international, European and comparative environmental law, with a particular focus on the interaction between biodiversity law and human rights (particularly those of indigenous peoples and local communities), equity and sustainability in natural resource development, oceans governance, and corporate accountability. Elisa has also researched the environmental dimensions of the external relations of the European Union (EU).




Has expertise in:

    Elisa has direct experience of international law-making in the areas of biodiversity, oceans and corporate environmental accountability; and of participatory reform of national legislation on natural resources (forests, fisheries, mountains, organic agriculture, wildlife).


    Elisa speaks Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. She has conducted field work (for the UN or on academic research projects) in Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Comoros, Croatia, Dominica, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Jordan, Malaysia, Namibia, Niue, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Syria, Tonga, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Uruguay.



Fair and equitable benefit-sharing
Morgera Elisa
Principles of Environmental LawPrinciples of Environmental Law, (2018)
Realizing the objectives of public international environmental law through private contracts : the need for a dialogue with private international law scholars
Morgera Elisa, Gillies Lorna
Public and Private International LawPublic and Private International Law, (2018)
Marine Policy special issue : SDG synergies for sustainable fisheries and poverty alleviation
Diz Daniela, Morgera Elisa, Wilson Meriwether
Marine Policy, (2017)
Linking small-scale fisheries to international obligations on marine technology transfer
Morgera Elisa, Ntona Maria
Marine Policy, (2017)
Enviromental Law
Morgera Elisa
European Union LawEuropean Union Law, (2017)
Connecting SDG 14 with the other sustainable development goals through marine spatial planning
Ntona Maria, Morgera Elisa
Marine Policy, (2017)

more publications

Research interests

Prof Elisa Morgera was awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant (2013-2018) on the legal concept of fair and equitable benefit-sharing in different areas of international law (environment, oceans and human rights) and a grant under the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme (funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)) investigating specifically fair and equitable benefit-sharing in international fisheries law and policy (2015-2016). Both projects are inter-disciplinary in nature.


Elisa has recently guest-edited a special issue of the Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL) on comparative environmental law (volume 24:4, 2015); and coordinated two edited volumes: the Research Handbook on International Law and Natural Resources (forth late 2016, Edward Elgar), co-edited with Prof Kati Kulovesi; and an Encyclopedia on Nature Conservation Law (forth March 2017, Edward Elgar), co-edited with Prof Jona Razzaque.

Professional activities

UN Convention on Biological Diversity (External organisation)
European Commission (External organisation)
Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (Journal)
Guest editor
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (External organisation)
Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (Publisher)
UN Convention on Biological Diversity (External organisation)

more professional activities


Nagoya Protocol Article 4(4)
Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 15-Mar-2018
EBSAs & SOI Global Dialogues
Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator)
Period 15-Oct-2017 - 31-Jul-2018
Legislative Study on the Right to Water for Food and Agriculture
Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator) Sindico, Francesco (Co-investigator) Vermeylen, Saskia (Co-investigator) Webster, Elaine (Co-investigator)
Period 10-Aug-2017 - 31-May-2018
Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Jul-2016 - 31-Oct-2018
Sharing the benefits of sustainable fisheries: from global to local legal approaches
Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator)
"How can science be translated into law in ways that encourage more sustainable fishing that benefits the poor? This inter-disciplinary project explores whether and how the innovative legal tool benefit-sharing can be integrated with the concept of marine ecosystem services to reduce the systemic poverty of coastal societies who depend upon marine resources for both food security and income generation. Benefit-sharing and ecosystem services are rapidly maturing concepts aspiring to reduce overexploitation of the world's diminishing natural capital. Each, however, has evolved in relative disciplinary isolation, missing potential synergies when considered together.

Fisheries remain a highly contested ecosystem service arena, challenged by complex and fragmented arrays of legal instruments that affect access to and management of marine resources by developing countries and by small-scale fishing communities. The ability of marine ecosystems to provide abundant fish and fish products has been compromised by unsustainable fishing practices and associated biodiversity loss. Developing countries, especially least developing countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), and their coastal inhabitants are the most vulnerable to these marine ecosystem services losses, as they are deeply reliant on fisheries for income and food, and are some of the poorest societies in the world.

The hypothesis is that benefit-sharing when framed as part of ecosystem service sustainability can address poverty issues among and within States, in the context of sustainable fisheries management. A combination of science, policy and legal research is needed to understand whether, how and to what extent benefit-sharing can effectively support both developing countries and small-scale fishing communities within these countries to achieve sustainable fisheries. Ultimately, this project aims to provide a better understanding of the role of law in equitably regulating sustainable fisheries as a provisioning ecosystem service, thereby contributing to a fairer regime among States, and to poverty alleviation within States.

The project is designed around interdisciplinary partnerships, with a number of envisaged beneficiaries at the international, national and local levels. Through its policy outputs (think-pieces), the project will benefit international policy-makers by translating standards dispersed through several instruments into workable guidance to ensure consistency in relevant international processes. Furthermore, the think-pieces will provide a clear understanding of emerging international guidance for national law-makers and managers responsible for their implementation at national and local levels, by clarifying whether and how legal arrangements for benefit-sharing can enable sustainable livelihoods through the conservation and sustainable management of marine ecosystems. Similarly, the think-pieces will target NGOs, think tanks and bilateral donors that support regional, national and sub-national decision-making and implementation processes related to marine ecosystems. By targeting decision-makers and advisors at various levels, the project aims to reach as its ultimate beneficiaries small-scale fishing communities (over 50 million people) in developing countries, especially LDCs and SIDS.

In addition to the wide distribution of think pieces in English, French and Spanish, the project seeks long-lasting impacts on non-academic stakeholders through: its project website (including Twitter, blog posts, Facebook); an open-access legal journal article and interdisciplinary edited collection; and the identification of champions for change among the selected international experts involved in the project. In sum, the project aims at focusing and guiding practical approaches to marine ecosystem services for poverty alleviation on global-to-local legal approaches."
Period 01-Sep-2016 - 31-Mar-2017
Issues and Myths in Protected Area Conservation: Tradeoffs and Synergies (IMPACTS)
Morgera, Elisa (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Mar-2017 - 28-Feb-2018

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