L-R: Professor Derrick Armstrong, Associate Professor Ann Cheryl Armstrong, Dr Katy Soapi, Professor Jeremy Hills, Associate Professor Gilianne Brodie, Professor Matt Allen, Dr Morgan Wairiu, Associate Professor P-J Bordahandy.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) researchers from the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) One Ocean Hub Global Challenges Research Fund project joined the international team for a planning workshop on the first week of August in Cape Town, South Africa.
Sixty-six (66) researchers from eight countries met to undertake detailed planning for the next five years.
The One Ocean Hub aims to transform USP’s response to the urgent challenges facing our ocean.
Its research seeks to bridge current disconnections in law, science and policy and integrate governance frameworks to balance multiple ocean uses with conservation. It strives to empower the communities, women and children, those most reliant upon the oceans, to make informed decisions based on multiple values and knowledge systems.
USP was well represented by Professor Derrick Armstrong , Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and International, Associate Professor Ann Cheryl Armstrong of the School of Education, Dr Katy Soapi from the Institute of Applied Science, Professor Jeremy Hills from the Institute of Marine Resources, Associate Professor Gilianne Brodie from the School of Biology and Chemical Sciences, Professor Matt Allen from the School of Governance and Development Studies, Dr Morgan Wairiu, Deputy Director of Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development and Associate Professor Pier Jean Bordahandy from the School of Law.
The key objectives are to predict, harness and share equitably environmental, socioeconomic and cultural benefits from ocean conservation and sustainable use.
The Hub will also identify hidden trade-offs between more easily monetised fishing or mining activities and less-understood values of the ocean's deep cultural role, function in the carbon cycle, and potential in medical innovation.
The Hub specifically addresses the challenges and opportunities of South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Fiji and Solomon Islands, and will share knowledge at regional (South Pacific, Africa and Caribbean) and international levels.
It is a major global research programme linking social and natural sciences together via innovative methods and approaches that will influence ocean health and governance for sustainability has been announced.
The One Ocean Hub is one of twelve £20 million innovation hub programmes approved by the UK Research Innovation’s Global Challenges Research Fund to respond to the global challenge of ocean health and governance across borders.
USP launched its One Ocean Hub research programme in February this year. USP researchers have since been awarded an initial £1.6m to lead key areas of the research making USP one of more than 50 partners, including world-leading research centres, development organizations, community representatives, governments and multiple UN agencies.
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