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Co-designing the science we need for the ocean we want: guidance and recommendations for collaborative approaches to designing and implementing Decade actions.The Implementation Plan of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) calls for ‘transformative science’ and a ‘revolution in how that science is produced, used and disseminated’. The solutions-oriented nature of the Ocean Decade creates the conditions for this revolution because it provides a convening framework to foster the partnerships and develop the scientific knowledge needed to catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and our ocean. While there is widespread enthusiasm to engage in this collaborative venture, there is a need to build capacity and common understanding in how to create co-designed solutions that could bring about the desired transformation in ocean management. This discussion note ‘Co-designing the Science We Need for the Ocean We Want: Guidance and Recommendations for Collaborative Approaches to Designing & Implementing Decade Actions’ aims to address this in a holistic manner. It was inspired by discussions held during a series of global and regional webinars in late 2020 that brought together 2,100 individuals from around the world to bring to life the notion of collaborative, co-designed science and identify the key obstacles, challenges and opportunities. The note offers a solid starting point for stakeholders on the: what, why and how they can join efforts to co-design salient, credible and legitimate ocean knowledge solutions which deliver on the Ocean Decade’s vision of ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.
UNESCO/IOC Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme: proposal for endorsement by IOC.This document has been prepared by Laura Kong, Director International tsunami Information Centre (ITIC). The Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme is an international community-based recognition programme developed by UNESCO/IOC. It aims to build resilient communities through awareness and preparedness strategies that will protect life, livelihoods and property from tsunamis in different regions. In June 2021, the IOC Assembly through IOC Decision A-31/3.4.1 (Warning Mitigation Systems for Ocean Hazards) approved the establishment of the IOC Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme, with the aim of making 100% of communities at risk of tsunami prepared for and resilient to tsunamis by 2030 through the implementation of the UNESCO/IOC Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme and other initiatives. The implementation of the Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme will be a key contribution to achieving the societal outcome ‘A Safe Ocean’ of the Ocean Decade. This document presents the main features of a UNESCO/IOC Tsunami Ready Programme. It is presented to the TT DMP for discussion and approval for recommendation to the TOWS-WG-XV, for the establishment of the programme.
The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030): Implementation Plan.In 2016, the first World Ocean Assessment of the United Nations stated that humankind was running out of time to start managing the ocean sustainably. This alarming conclusion poses a question to our civilization: is there a way to reverse the decline in ocean health while continuing to rely on the ocean for our ever-increasing needs, particularly under a changing climate? The proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2017 of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021–2030 (hereafter, the ‘Ocean Decade’) is based on the informed conviction of UN Member States that indeed, this opportunity still exists, and that, furthermore, ocean science needs to play a central role in this process. Ocean science is broad: it encompasses natural and social science disciplines, local and indigenous knowledge; it includes the science-policy and science-innovation interfaces, as well as technology and infrastructure. At the beginning of the third millennium, ocean science is largely competent for diagnosing problems. However, its ability to offer solutions of direct relevance to sustainable development requires a massive upgrade. This need is particularly urgent against the current backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating climate change. The pandemic has, once again, highlighted the importance of science and knowledge for decision-making and policy. As the world adjusts to a new normal, the ocean will need to play a central role in post-pandemic recovery efforts. However, for this to occur, there needs to be a nothing short of a revolution in ocean science. The Ocean Decade will create a paradigm shift in the generation of qualitative and quantitative ocean knowledge – including from currently data-poor regions, such as the deep ocean, coastal areas where much of the human interaction with the ocean is concentrated, and the polar regions – to inform the development of solutions that contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Ocean Decade aims to catalyse the human behaviour change required for the successful implementation of these solutions. Guided by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Ocean Decade will generate the data, information and knowledge needed for more robust science-informed policies and stronger science-policy interfaces at global, regional, national and even local levels, leading to improved integrated ocean management and development of a sustainable ocean economy. The Ocean Decade will support numerous UN entities to fulfil their ocean-related mandates. In our information-centred, internet-linked society, the Ocean Decade will support ocean data, information and knowledge systems to evolve into a much higher level of readiness, accessibility, and interoperability. The scale of such efforts will need to be exponentially greater than anything seen to date. An equally transformational part of the Ocean Decade is about humanity and our relationship with the ocean. Understanding of the value of the ocean can be nurtured through ocean literacy efforts among diverse stakeholder groups. Holders of indigenous and local knowledge will work as essential partners of the Ocean Decade and will contribute to highlighting the multitude of cultural values of the ocean. Equity, inclusiveness, respect, fairness and scientific integrity are core principles of the Ocean Decade. The Ocean Decade will systematically identify and dismantle barriers to achieving gender, geographic and generational balance so that no one is left behind. Everyone should be able to benefit from ocean science, including Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries. Designing and delivering ocean science that focuses on user needs and adopts relevant mechanisms for uptake will be a key metamorphosis to be achieved between 2021 and 2030. Its scale will be unprecedented. Multiple stakeholders are expected to engage and start collaborating outside their traditional communities. Knowledge generators and users will engage in an iterative process of co-design and co-delivery of ocean science. This will create new groupings of actors from natural, social science and humanity disciplines, business and industry, governments, UN entities, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), NGOs and civil society, educators, early career ocean professionals, ocean sports and recreation organizations, arts and cultural communities, and indigenous and local knowledge holders. Partnerships and active communication will be at the heart of the Ocean Decade. This Decade is not the first to take on the challenge of ocean science. In 1971–1980, earlier generations embarked on the International Decade of Ocean Exploration. As part of that Decade, groundbreaking collaborative research projects occurred. Many of which, such as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, permanently changed the face of ocean exploration. However, one crucial difference remains between the two Decades: in the 1970s, the aim was to generate the ‘science we want’. In today’s world, we no longer have that luxury, and the current Decade is resolutely focused on the ‘science we need’. The Implementation Plan for such a major undertaking as the Ocean Decade cannot be, and is not, prescriptive. Rather, it provides a framework for transformational action that will build on existing achievements and deliver action across geographies, sectors, disciplines and generations. I hope you, as a reader and an Ocean Decade stakeholder, will share the overall strategic vision and approach of the Ocean Decade as described in the Implementation Plan. With your engagement and your support, the impact of the Ocean Decade will be much bigger than the sum of its parts and together we will be able to create the science we need for the ocean we want.
Outcomes of the collaboration between BRESEP and SPINCAM projects at the South Pacific Coast of Latin America.The BRESEP project (Biosphere Reserves as a tool for the sustainable management of coastal areas and islands in the South Eastern Pacific) strengthens and promotes the creation of biosphere reserves as tools for innovative and appropriate practices from a social, cultural and environmental point of view. In addition, it promotes the creation of a network of collaboration and exchange of information and experiences on biodiversity loss, coastal zone management and sustainable development, particularly in coastal areas and in the islands of the South Eastern Pacific in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Peru. In this way, it contributes to improving the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the region. The BRESEP project is coordinated by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program thanks to the financial support of the Government of Flanders of Belgium and has the support of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.
Water education for climate resilience in Asia and the Pacific: a regional curriculum.A fundamental element towards attaining water security, water education has been at the heart of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme since its establishment in 1975. However, in much of Asia and the Pacific, water security remains elusive. Ensuring a water secure future for the region will require the unlocking of broader appreciation, acceptance and internalization of basic water science principles and concepts among experts and communities alike. For this, broader and more effective water education is required. For this potential to be fulfilled, reinforced human, financial and technical resources are required to deliver education, training and capacity development across large segments of society. Not only does this require the mobilization of a much larger contingent of trainers, instructors and conveners—it requires the development of new teaching and learning approaches, methodologies and curricula. This curriculum represents an invitation to tertiary-level educators as well as water managers and decision-makers to redouble efforts towards water security in Asia and the Pacific – and invitation grounded in a process that lies at the heart of UNESCO’s mission: the sharing of knowledge, experience and technologies – in this case among scientific, educational and water management communities across the region. Published with the support of the Government of Japan.