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Project ongoing since 2021


Supporting climate resilience through equitable ocean conservation

BLUE JUSTICE © Lauric Thiault

Climate change is rapidly transforming the ocean with disproportionate impacts on vulnerable societies in least developed countries. Concurrently, the expansion of area-based conservation is also transforming our ocean. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can be effective tools to build local social-ecological resilience to climate stressors and provide other societal benefits.


However, if poorly implemented, marine conservation can also lead to inequitable outcomes, compromising the wellbeing of vulnerable coastal peoples and undermining long-term conservation success. The urgency and magnitude of climate change impacts and implications of inequitable conservation expansion necessitate robust, evidence-based strategies and policies at national and international scales.


Blue Justice will produce original, solution-oriented research based on the synthesis of multiple existing, and newly assembled, global datasets on MPA social and ecological conditions. Specifically, Blue Justice will examine the relationships between MPA governance and social-ecological outcomes, generating novel insights on the conditions that promote equity and climate resilience in vulnerable coastal groups (including women and Indigenous groups), and produce the first global evidence-base on innovative pathways towards greater equity and resilience in marine conservation.


The BLUE JUSTICE group during its first workshop in June 2022



Jessica BLYTHE – Brock University (Canada);

Joachim CLAUDET – CNRS (France);

David GILL – Duke University (USA)


Angelee ANNASAWMY – FRB-CESAB (France)


ouvrir/fermer Participants:

Gabby AHMADIA – WWF (USA), Jacopo BAGGIO – University of Central Florida (USA), Natalie BAN – University of Victoria (Canada), Miranda BERNARD – Arizona State University (USA), Nathan BENNETT – People and the Oceans Specialist Group IUCN (Canada), Emily DARLING – Wildlife Conservation Society (Canada), Antonio DI FRANCO – Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Italy), Graham EPSTEIN – University of Central Florida (USA), Louisa EVANS – University of Exeter (UK), Phil FRANKS – International Institute for Environment and Development (UK), Georgina GURNEY – James Cook University (Australia), Rebecca HORAN – Duke University Marine Lab (USA), Stacy JUPITER – Wildlife Conservation Society (Fidji), Jacqueline LAU – Australia Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and WorldFish (Australia), Sangeeta MANGUBHAI – Wildlife Conservation Society (Fidji), Josheena NAGGEA – Stanford University (USA), Charlotte WHITNEY – University of Victoria (Canada), Noelia ZAFRA-CALVO – BC3 Basque Center for Climate Change (Spain).

Blue Justice brings together specialists in marine biology, conservation , soci-ecology and environmental laws. 


Blue Justice was selected from the 2020 call for proposals. The project selection process was carried out by a committee of independent experts


[04] Blythe JL, Gill DA, Claudet J, Bennett NJ, Gurney GG, Baggio JA, Ban NC, Bernard ML, Brun V, Darling ES, Di Franco A, Epstein G, Franks P, Horan R, Jupiter SD, Lau J, Lazzari N, Mahajan SL, Mangubhai S, Naggea J, Turner RA & Zafra-Calvo N (2023) Blue justice: A review of emerging scholarship and resistance movements. Cambridge Prisms: Coastal Futures, 1, E15. DOI: 10.1017/cft.2023.4.


[03] Gill DA, Blythe J, Bennett N, Evans L, Brown K, Turner RA, Baggio JA, Baker D, Ban NC, Brun V, Claudet J, Darling E, Di Franco A, Epstein G, Estradivari X, Gray NJ, Gurney GG, Horan RP, Jupiter SD, Lau JD, Lazzari N, Lestari P, Mahajan SL, Mangubhai S, Naggea J, Selig ER, Whitney CK, Zafra-Calvo N & Muthiga NA (2023) Triple exposure: Reducing negative impacts of climate change, blue growth, and conservation on coastal communities. One Earth, 6, 118-130. DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2023.01.010.


[02] Claudet J, Ban NC, Blythe J, Briggs J, Darling E, Gurney GG, Palardy JE, Pike EP, Agostini VN, Ahmadia GN, Campbell SJ, Epstein G, Gill D, Himes-Cornell A, Jonas HD, Jupiter SD, Mangubhai S & Morgan L (2022) Avoiding the misuse of other effective area-based conservation measures in the wake of the blue economy. One Earth, 5, 969–974. DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2022.08.010.


[01] Bennett NJ, Katz L, Yadao-Evans W, Ahmadia GN, Atkinson S, Ban NC, Dawson NM, de Vos A, Fitzpatrick J, Gill D, Imirizaldu M, Lewis N, Mangubhai S, Meth L, Muhl E-K, Obura D, Spalding AK, Villagomez A, Wagner D, White A & Wilhelm A (2021) Advancing social equity in and through marine conservation. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8, 711538. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2021.711538.