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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Elisa Morgera is Professor of Global Environmental Law and the Director of the UKRI GCRF One Ocean Hub. She is a member of the 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).



Research Interests

Prof Elisa Morgera was awarded a 20-million grant from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) One Ocean Hub on transformative, sustainable and inclusive ocean governance (2019-2024). The One Ocean Hub is an independent programme for collaborative research for development,  delivering the UK AID strategy and putting UK-led research at the heart of efforts to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Hub is a community of scholars from 22 leading international Universities and Research Centres from the UK, South Africa, Ghana, Namibia, Kenya, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. The Hub collaborates with 30+ Project Partners, including UN Agencies, regional intergovernmental organisations, national government departments, community representatives, NGOs, charities and media organisations.

Previously, Elisa held 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 were inter-disciplinary in nature.

Elisa has also contributed to Scottish Government's initiatives on human rights leadership, leading on the human right to a healthy environment. She was appointed by Scotland’s First Minister to an Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership in 2018 to provide independent advice to the government on how Scotland can continue to promote and support human rights, with a focus on social, economic and environmental rights. From 2019-2020, she was appointed to the National Task Force for the development of a legal framework on human rights leadership for Scotland. The Task Force engaged in a broad programme of public participation and capacity-building to ensure not only that new legislation on human rights responds to the needs of different sectors of society, but also that human rights become “everyday practice so as to improve people’s lives.” The Task Force is made up of members from the public sector and civil society. It is co-chaired by the Social Security and Older People Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville and Professor Alan Miller, the former chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission. The Task Force's report, published in March 2020, includes Recommendation No2 and Annex D on the recognition of the human right to a healthy environment in Scotland. Elisa also contributed to international and EU debates on human rights and the environment, with a focus on biodiversity, including by contributing to the work of the UN Special Rapportuer on Human Rights and the Environment and the European Parliament.

Industrial Relevance

Elisa has served as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Commission, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In addition, Elisa has participated as an observer in international environmental negotiations, including under the CBD and on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, since 2005.


Prior to joining academia, Elisa served as legal officer for FAO, advising over fifty countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific on improving domestic legislation on natural resources; and as environmental management officer for UNDP in the Eastern Caribbean, working closely with the Global Environment Facility.

Academic / Professional qualifications

Elisa has a PhD in international law from the European University Institue and an LLM in Environmental Law from University College London. Since 2015 Elisa has also been holding the honorary post of Adjunct Professor of International and European Environmental Law at the University of Eastern Finland. Prior to joining Strathclyde University, Elisa was Professor of Global Environmental Law at Edinburgh University Law School, where she was based since 2009. Elisa has also taught at the Academy of Human Rights Law of the European University Institute, l'Institut d'études politiques de Paris, and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, among others. 


Elisa is the lead co-editor of the book series Legal Studies on Access and Benefit-sharing (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff), and on the Editorial Board of RECIEL, the Journal of International Wildlife Law & PolicyEurope and The World: A Law Review, the Caribbean Law Review, and Spring book series Legal Issues in Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies. She is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, the IUCN Global Specialist Group on Access and Benefit-sharing, the International Council of Environmental Law, and the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and Environment.

Expertise & Capabilities

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.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Adjunct Professor of International and EU Environmental Law, University of Eastern Finland

1 Mar 2015 → …


  • International Environmental Law
  • Biodiversity
  • human rights
  • EU environmental law
  • comparative environmental law
  • benefit-sharing
  • equity
  • oceans


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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