Maritime lawyer and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh has accepted the position of Adjunct Professor in International Law at UCT.
Mr Pugh frequently swims across vulnerable ecosystems to draw attention to their plight and uses his high-profile swims to convince government officials to sign enforceable international ocean conservation agreements.
Mr Pugh believes the quest for ocean protection is about getting nations to work together for the greater good. “I was always pulled by the world’s waters. As a young boy, I was fascinated by naval exploration, and, as a young man, I was drawn to swim in some of the world’s most challenging seas. But if I hadn’t put my head down and studied law, I would not have been able to do what I do for the oceans.
“Law taught me how to argue passionately and rationally – a balance that is key to being an environmental campaigner. I look forward to sharing my experiences in the field with students and colleagues at UCT’s Law Department, the place where my legal education began,” said Mr Pugh.
He said the world today presented many challenges such as poverty, environmental degradation, racism, gender inequality, lack of education and terrorism.
He said he was excited to be at the point where law and politics worked together and helped the next generation to tackle those issues. The dean of law, Professor Penelope Andrews, said Mr Pugh would be a valuable asset to the faculty and the university would benefit from his experience and commitment to the planet.