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Moenieba Isaacs

PLAAS, University of the Western Cape

moenieba isaacs


Moenieba Isaacs is a Full Professor with the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of Western Cape (UWC). She is the academic manager for postgraduate teaching, co-coordinator of accredited short-course training on the Political Economy of Land Governance in Africa and on Convivial Conservation: new thinking on integrating biodiversity and social justice in southern Africa. Her research focus currently is on developing the concept of blue justice linking it to spatial injustices, the gendered dynamics of women in living landscapes in and around enclosures in the blue economy. She has worked extensively with communities in South Africa and in an engaged and reflective research where she develops her thinking tools. She is currently the lead PI on setting up and develop an effective convivial conservation evidence campaign and coalition that builds the basis for a systemic redesign of the conservation sector in Southern Africa called Living Landscapes in Action. Country coordinator for Small-scale fisheries (SSF) project on Vulnerability to Viability (V2V). Team member transformative social innovations in the governance of small-scale fisheries in the Indian ocean region. She was co-PI on African food systems and Covid-19 PLAAS – one-year action-oriented project entitled “The Impacts of Covid-19 Responses on the Political Economy of African Food Systems”.

She was the regional coordinator and founding member a TooBigToIgnore – a global network of small-scale fisheries research. She co-chaired the Human Dimension Working Group on Integrated Marine Bio-geo-chemistry Ecosystem Research (IMBER) 2010-2015. She formed part of the UN Committee on Food Security’s High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) on the Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition. In 2016, she worked with a team to review the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure in Land, Fisheries, Forestry and Indigenous Communities for the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM). She is part of the Programme Committee of the Marine and Coastal Science for Management (MASMA) programme – a regional competitive research granting mechanism providing funding and technical support for coastal and marine research, training and communications in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region.

She has over 30 peer reviewed journals and book chapters published. In 2017, she received UWC Institutional Individual Engagement Excellence Award for her research, policy, and community engagement work.

Researcher unique identifier(s) (ORCID, Researcher ID, etc.): 0000-0002-3365-1876
Department of Science and Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation(NRF) C2 Rated researcher