AfREC Research Fellow Professor Erika Techera has been appointed as the new Australian National Focal Point for the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG). IORAG was established to support the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) through coordinated and rigorous research, and by promoting academic dialogue and the Indian Ocean rim concept. Prof. Techera takes over from Professor Timothy Doyle from the University of Adelaide.
IORA comprises 22 member states including nine from Africa— South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Tanzania, Kenya, Seychelles, Comoros and Somalia. IORA focuses on eight priority areas including the blue economy, fisheries management, maritime safety and security, women’s economic empowerment, trade and investment, disaster risk management, and tourism.
Prof. Techera is an international and comparative environmental lawyer with particular emphasis on marine governance. Her research explores Indo-Pacific maritime issues: marine environmental law, marine protected area governance, migratory species and marine pollution, maritime history and heritage, as well as international law for the conservation of wildlife and habitats. Her most recent projects include the intersection of climate change and fisheries law; non-traditional security threats (climate change, waste and IUU fishing); marine environmental law for the blue economy; and safeguarding marine and maritime heritage. She teaches four postgraduate subjects: Oceans Governance, International Environmental Law, Space Law, Satellites and Drones, and Global Heritage Governance. Prof. Techera is the author of more than 100 publications including books, chapters and journal articles, and regularly presents public lectures and at academic conferences. She supervises law and non-law research students working on marine and maritime projects.
Prof. Techera is a former Dean of the UWA Law School and a former Director of the UWA Oceans Institute, and also served as UWA’s interim Pro Vice-Chancellor (International). She recently co-authored Achieving SDG 14 in the African Small Island Developing States of the Indian Ocean and participated in the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) Africa Forum in Mauritius in July 2019.
In her new role, Prof. Techera has just returned from the latest IORA meetings in New Delhi, where she participated in the Indian Ocean Dialogue track 1.5 event as well as the IORAG meeting. Key areas for academic discussion included IUU fishing, marine plastics pollution, and water security. Prof. Techera will lead a small, collaborative research project in 2020 to map and analyse international and domestic laws that prohibit the dumping of plastic waste at sea. She is seeking interested collaborators on this project including relevant researchers from across the Indian Ocean region.