Oceans, which cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, drive our planet’s natural systems; they are the home of vast biodiversity, and are a vital link in the livelihoods of billions of people. But threats from climate change, pollution, overfishing, and coastal habitat loss are drastically impacting the delicate balance between ocean processes and populations.
UNU examines human–ocean relationships to help ensure mutual welfare. Our fisheries training programmes are building the capacity of scientists, resource managers, and policymakers to boost livelihoods in small island developing states, improve small-scale fish processing in vulnerable African communities, and foster sustainable, profitable yields for European Union fisheries in distant waters. Our work on oceans blends fisheries knowledge with traditional management practices to support marine and coastal habitats, and foster the sustainable use of marine resources.
ASSOCIATE ACADEMIC OFFICER, UNU-EHS
“River deltas are fertile and highly populated landscapes, housing 360 million people worldwide. They are also climate change hotspots at risk for disasters like flooding, cyclones, and saline water intrusion. I am passionate about finding solutions that reduce risks to these vital landscapes, and to those who call them home.”
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, UNU-IAS
“Conservation and sustainable use of fisheries are key to maintaining healthy coastal marine ecosystems. Fishers are custodians of the sea, but I believe everyone has a part to play. My research focuses on multi-stakeholder cooperation to sustain the livelihoods of coastal communities and to preserve the health of our oceans.”
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, UNU-INWEH
"Finding water in water-scarce areas is key to sustainable development. My research at UNU aims to trigger international cooperation on the use of unconventional water resources. I am passionate about bringing water to those without, through innovative means, and informing future water policy and investment towards this end."
Small Island Developing States are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. But these states have strong potential to build economies based on ocean resources — the blue economy. This initiative aims to foster growth in the maritime sector by targeting capacity development and research activities for fisheries scientists and policymakers.
This research project uses an integrated social-ecological systems approach to assess terrestrial and marine natural capital and ecosystem services, and their governance, in Japan.
Although 20 per cent of fish caught by the European fleet is obtained from outside EU waters, there is little discussion on improving the status of unregulated fishing in international seas. To address this issue, the FarFish project aims to provide the knowledge, methods, and management tools to support sustainable fishing outside of European marine areas.