Committed guardians for the blue resources

Connecting blue knowledge for a sustainable future

What is UNESCO Chair? 

An UNESCO Chair is a team led by a higher education or research institution that partners with UNESCO on a project to advance knowledge and practice in an area of common priority. There are currently some 950 UNESCO Chairs all over the world.

What is UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance?

The UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance develops around the domain of Ocean and inland waters governance (Blue Governance) that is transdisciplinary by nature and includes disciplines such as economics, management, law, policy, ecology, marine biology, geography, transport logistics and information science.

‘Blue Governance’ (BG) is an emerging concept built from the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance principles. It refers to structures and processes designed to ensure accountability, transparency, responsiveness, rule of law, stability, equity and inclusiveness, empowerment, and broad-based participation. Therefore, BG relates to the public and private institutional mechanisms (institutional coordination, private-public partnerships, institutional arrangements, etc.) required to implement initiatives, strategies and policies of the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development.


Who we are


Research Fellow

Pierre Failler Portrait

Media ready expert

Professor Pierre Failler

Professor of Economics

Economics and Finance

Faculty of Business and Law

PhD Supervisor

Read more
He Yuan Portrait

Dr He Yuan

Research Fellow

Faculty of Business and Law

Read more

What do we do as the UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance?

The UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance aims to contribute to the improved governance of oceans and inland waters. It uses the Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development framework to address the multifaceted challenge of diverse stakeholders, knowledge gaps and changing environments. The Chair adopts an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach across research, education and policy initiatives, with a focus on partnerships and exchange.

Our key goals

Undertake research to better understand marine and inland environments and their governance to promote natured-based solutions for national needs.

Promote education and training of the youth, civil society and specific stakeholders to empower self-governance and evidence-based policies.

Drive better policy governance by providing accessible and essential inter-disciplinary expertise to support and guide blue economy policies.

Network with countries of the global south and other UNESCO Chairs for increased global education, capacity building and promote shared understanding.

Seminars and events

Blue Horizon - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Blue Governance Seminar Series

Blue Horizon Seminar Series is organised by the UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance, Centre for Blue Governance (CBG), aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of the diverse domains underpinning the topics around blue governance and the blue economy.

The series will explore critical areas such as blue policies, maritime security, blue energy, technologies, transport solutions, biodiversity, blue carbon, climate change, and aquatic resources management. Aligning with the interdisciplinary nature of the UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance and CBG, the series will bring together experts from various fields, including economics, law, policy and governance, geography, logistics, technology, marine biology, and ecology etc., to address the most pressing blue governance issues of our time and reflect upon pathways for the future. This intellectual journey is key to the development of sustainability and the future of every “blue” bit of our day-to-day lives.

The Blue Horizon Seminar Series warmly welcomes audiences from both University of Portsmouth (staff and students) and general public.


Fishing boats in a harbour


Blue Horizon - Exploring Gender Dynamics in Blue Economy: Examining the Role and Challenges Faced by Women in Maritime and Aquatic Sectors

This webinar explores gender dynamics within the blue economy. We will unravel the challenges women encounter in the maritime and aquatic sectors. Through insightful discussions and real-world perspectives, we aim to highlight the often unacknowledged contributions of women, while addressing the barriers they navigate. In particular, what works to prevent and respond to violence and harassment and all discriminations experienced by women. Together, we will explore potential actions and strategies to promote inclusivity and gender equality hence fostering a more sustainable and vibrant blue economy for all.

Took place: Wednesday, 20 March 2-3pm, online

Related research

Centre for Blue Governance

We're committed to the protection, restoration and sustainable governance of our aquatic environments

blue governance
Read more

Revolution Plastics Institute

From combatting microplastics to analysing plastic policies around the globe, we’re putting our research into practice, working with local groups, organisations, businesses and individuals to solve the planet's plastic problem.

Photo by James Wakibia
Find out more


The EU 2020 Biodiversity strategy and 7th Environment Action Programme highlights the importance of halting the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services by preserving ecosystems and fully integrating environmental requirements into policymaking to face climate change.

Read more

Faculty of Business and Law

Explore the schools within the Faculty of Business and Law, and discover our teaching and research activities.

Two people sitting opposite each other in a business meeting
Discover Faculty

United Nations

Read more


Read more

Ocean Racing for Science

Read more

About blue governance

Aquatic environments cover more than 70% of our planet’s surface and the value of the global oceans is estimated to be US$24 trillion. The scale and importance of aquatic systems impacts biodiversity and ecosystem services and is critical to addressing crucial challenges in climate change, biodiversity loss, and safeguarding human health and well-being. However, despite the fundamental importance of these systems, there are large gaps in our conceptual knowledge and practice on how to best govern aquatic environments for the common good. New holistic solutions are urgently needed. The CBG encompasses numerous sub-topics and five central themes:

1) blue policies, planning and security; 

2) blue energy, technologies and transport solutions; 

3) biodiversity, blue carbon and climate change; 

4) aquatic resources management. 

As the Centre is a university-wide initiative, it brings disciplines from various horizons, including economics, law, policy and governance, geography, logistics, technology, marine biology and ecology. This inter-disciplinary extends to research projects that build a strong interrelationship between social and natural science disciplines.

UNESCO University of Portsmouth logo

At the moment intentions are good but too fragmented. It’s time for countries and science to stop working in isolation and work together.

Professor Pierre Failler, Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance, Director of the Centre for Blue Governance at the University of Portsmouth

Join our community and contact us

Inviting new members to join the blue stewardship

The UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance warmly welcomes students, researchers, institutions and business partners, and all individuals and organisations who are interested in blue governance and willing to contribute to the blue stewardship, to join our community. Establishing a blue network together and sharing blue knowledge.

@UNESCOChair_OG | Dr He Yuan