Change the world


The world’s oceans cover 70% of the planet and are a critical source of oxygen, food, marine resources, employment and subsistence. Knowledge of what is being done to conserve our oceans and to ensure that the so-called blue economy is sustainably developed is therefore vital.

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the Resolution 70/1, Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the preamble of this historic document, the UN General Assembly resolved to “free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet”.

It also indicated that it was “determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path” and pledged that “no one will be left behind”. 

Sharing the same resolve, determination and pledge, Nelson Mandela University is hosting the Transformed and Transformative Ocean Governance (TTOG) Conference, from 22 – 24 January 2020, that brings together a wide range of ocean experts and stakeholders from around the world to engage with the latest developments affecting ocean governance.

Conference organisers include South African Research Chairs in Marine Spatial Planning (Prof Mandy Lombard) and Law of the Sea and Development in Africa (Prof Patrick Vrancken) and the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR), with support from the One Ocean Hub.

It is structured on the premise that it is imperative to transform the way humankind impacts and relies on the oceans, and ocean governance needs to assume a transformative role.

“The Transformed and Transformative Ocean Governance Conference aims to contribute to work focused on shifting the world towards a more sustainable and resilient path, with particular emphasis on the transformative role and potential of ocean governance,” says acting DVC: Research, Innovation and Internationalisation, Prof Avinash Govindjee.

“Attracting speakers from around the world, the Conference provides a unique platform for meaningful engagement on the latest developments impacting on ocean governance from development, ecosystem-based and human-rights-based approaches.”

Mandela University has been on a journey of establishing itself as a dedicated ocean science centre of excellence, seeing the launch of its Ocean Sciences Campus in 2017.  Since then, and through its transdisciplinary research approach that bridges the gap between science and the humanities, the University has played a critical role in contributing to national policy and forging international partnerships in this regard.

Conference speakers include Prof Christina Hicks, a professor within the Political Ecology group at Lancaster University’s Environment Centre (UK), who will deliver a keynote on the “transformation imperative”; Dr Wesley Fannery will speak on “Politicising marine spatial planning to realise transformative ocean governance” and Prof Phil Levin with a talk titled “Co-creating ocean solutions for people and nature”.

The Conference will be streamed live at

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777

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