Recent Submissions

  • State of the Ocean Report 2024.

    Ahern, Molly; Aliaga, Bernardo; Alis, Victoria; Fanjul, Enrique Alvarez; Al-Yamani, Faiza Y; Angove, Michael; Ansong, Joseph Onwona; Appeltans, Ward; Bahurel, Pierre; Bailey, Rick; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    The State of the Ocean Report (StOR) has the ambition to inform policymakers about the state of the ocean and to stimulate research and policy actions towards ‘the ocean we need for the future we want’, contributing to the 2030 Agenda and in particular SDG 14, which reads ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources’, as well as other global processes such as the UNFCCC, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Structured around the seven UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Outcomes, the Report provides important information about the achievements of the UN Ocean Decade and, in the longer term, about ocean well-being. The StOR will be used to inform policy and administrative priorities and identify research focus areas that need to be strengthened or developed.
  • Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability - A Community Vision for the Ocean Decade.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO, 2024)
    The global ocean acidification research community responded to the Decade call by co-designing a pioneering UN Decade programme entitled “Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability” (OARS). The programme is led by three partners: Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK), University of Washington (USA), and IOC-UNESCO. OARS provides the blueprint to foster cooperation of ocean acidification research, improve understanding of the impacts of the phenomenon and, ultimately, develop approaches for mitigating its effects by acting on sources and identify adaptation approaches. The OARS white papers in this publication summarize where the global community currently is on this path and what should be done in the future to include the ocean acidification dimension for combatting the degradation of ocean health under various anthropogenic stressors including the changing climate.
  • IQuOD 7th Annual Workshop Report, 10-11 July, 2023 Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany.

    Cowley, Rebecca; Macdonald, Alison; Good, Simon; Killick, Rachel; Cheng, Lijing; Tan, Zhetao; Castelao, Guilherme; Palmer, Matthew; Boyer, Tim; Cowley, Rebecca; et al. (International Quality-Controlled Ocean Database (IQuOD), 2023-07-11)
    The historical archive of global ocean subsurface temperature contains a large proportion of poorly quality-controlled as well as biased data. As a result, efforts to analyze past ocean change and variability are confounded, as is the use of ocean data assimilation systems. Currently many data centers perform automated ‘quick and dirty QC’ – redoing the same job poorly many times around the world. There have been no previous efforts to form a clean and definitive and very much needed historical archive. No single group has the manpower and resources to do the job properly – thus international cooperation is needed. The IQuOD 7th Workshop goals are to: 1. Ratify new co-Chairs. 2. Review work achieved so far. 3. Review IQuOD structure. 4. Plan for tasks for the coming 12-24 months.
  • IQuOD 6th Annual Workshop Report, 29-31 October, 2019. IFREMER, Brest, France.

    Cowley, Rebecca; Macdonald, Alison; Boyer, Tim; Castelao, Guilherme; Palmer, Matthew; Diggs, Steve; Goes, Marlos; Cowley, Rebecca; International Quality-Controlled Ocean Database (IQuOD) (International Quality-Controlled Ocean Database (IQuOD), 2019)
    The historical archive of global ocean subsurface temperature contains a large proportion of poorly quality-controlled as well as biased data. As a result, efforts to analyze past ocean change and variability are confounded, as is the use of ocean data assimilation systems. Currently many data centers perform automated ‘quick and dirty QC’ – redoing the same job poorly many times around the world. There have been no previous efforts to form a clean and definitive and very much needed historical archive. No single group has the manpower and resources to do the job properly – thus international cooperation is needed. The IQuOD 6thh Workshop goals are to: 1. Obtain agreement for the AutoQC process for application to the next product version. 2. Plan for the next IQuOD product: what will it consist of and what do we need to complete to get to the next release.
  • IQuOD 5th Annual Workshop Report, 16-18 April, 2018, Oostende, IODE headquarters Belgium.

    Domingues, Catia; Goes, Marlos; Killick, Rachel; Reseghetti, Franco; Simoncelli, Simona; Castelao, Guilherme; Domingues, Catia; International Quality-Controlled Ocean Database (IQuOD) (2018)
    The historical archive of global ocean subsurface temperature contains a large proportion of poorly quality-controlled as well as biased data. As a result, efforts to analyze past ocean change and variability are confounded, as is the use of ocean data assimilation systems. Currently many data centers perform automated ‘quick and dirty QC’ – redoing the same job poorly many times around the world. There have been no previous efforts to form a clean and definitive and very much needed historical archive. No single group has the manpower and resources to do the job properly – thus international cooperation is needed. The IQuOD 5th Workshop goals are to: provide an overview of what has been completed as part of IQuOD interim product v0.1 and discuss what went well and what could be improved (e.g., integrity checks, traceability, roadblocks, etc) • To review/discuss task teams plans beyond v0.1 and workout a draft plan/timeline (to note roadblocks and resources required to overcome them) • To start planning for training/outreach activities • To plan for dissemination/feedback strategies for IQuOD datasets/related products.
  • IOC Strategic Plan for Ocean Data and Information Management (2023–2029).

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2023)
    The purpose of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes in research, services and capacitybuilding, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, the protection of the marine environment, and the decision-making processes of its Member States. (IOC Statutes, Article 2.1). The IOC strategy for Ocean Data and Information Management has been regularly developed and published in the IOC Manuals and Guides series since 2008. In 2017, the IOC Strategic Plan 2017–2021 provided a vision and concept for delivering an ocean data and information service for the “global ocean commons”. In 2021, the IODE Committee, at its 26th Session, called for the revision of the IOC Strategic Plan for Oceanographic Data and Information Management taking into account important developments within and outside IOC such as the IOC Medium-Term Strategy (2022–2029), and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) as well as the developments in data technology that offers new opportunities.
  • OceanTeacher Global Academy brochure.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (OceanTeacher Global Academy, 2022)
    Delivering IOC capacity development for the ocean we need for the future we want
  • MSPglobal: international guide on marine/maritime spatial planning

    Iglesias-Campos, Alejandro; Rubeck, Julia; Sanmiguel-Esteban, David; Schwarz, Guido; Ansong, Joseph Onwona; Isaksson, Ingela; Quesada da Silva, Michele; Smith, Joanna; Suárez de Vivero, Juan Luis; Varjopuro, Riku; et al. (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission., 2021)
    Since UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) launched in 2017 their Joint Roadmap to accelerate marine/maritime spatial planning (MSP) processes worldwide, the number of countries that have initiated, advanced or approved their own MSP processes has increased significantly. Through the active and effective participation of policy mak-ers, representatives of maritime sectors, academia, citizens and other stakeholders in activities organised in all corners of the ocean, the MSPglobal Initiative has contributed to improving cross-border and transboundary cooperation where marine spatial plans already existed or were being prepared, and to promoting planning processes in regions where they have not yet been launched. As we enter this new decade, the goal set by the Joint Roadmap remains today to triple the marine area benefiting from MSP, approved and led by governments and their citizens and effectively implemented in more than 30% of marine areas under national jurisdiction by 2030. This is in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and supported by national and regional initiatives in the framework of the United Nations Decades of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and on Ecosystem Restoration.
  • Follow-up to decisions and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board and the General Conference at their previous sessions. Executive Board Two hundred and fourth session, 06 March 2018.

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (UNESCO, 2018)
    Part I - Programme Issues A. Participation of UNESCO in the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH) B. Sustainable Tourism Management Assessment Tool – Outcomes of the Pilot Phase C. Conclusions of the assessment of the Youth Forum of the 39th session of the General Conference D. Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine) E. Plan of action to strengthen UNESCO’s cooperation: Together for Haiti F. Recent decisions and activities of the organizations of the United Nations system of relevance to the work of UNESCO Part II - Management Issues A. Sustainability of the field network B. Resource Mobilization Strategy and Annual Structured Financing Dialogue C. UNESCO Security and Safety Action Plan D. Report on the implementation of Invest for Efficient Delivery E. Cost recovery policy: Revised Proposal for a differential rate policy for Management Cost Rates Part III - Human Resources Issues Report on the geographical distribution and gender balance of the staff of the Secretariat and progress on the implementation of the measures taken to redress any imbalance A. Report on geographical distribution and gender balance of the staff of the Secretariat, and progress on the implementation of the measures taken to redress any imbalance B. Progress report on the Strategic Framework for Human Resource Partnerships C. Annual report (2017) by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC): Report by the Director-General
  • Internal Oversight Service (IOS) evaluation of the strategic positioning of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO). Unesco Executive Board, Two hundred and twelfth session, 16 August 2021.

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (UNESCO, 2021)
    Recalling IOC-Resolution XXX-3 and in accordance with 207 EX/Dec.5.II.A, this report provides a summary of a recently completed evaluation, namely: Internal Oversight Service (IOS) Evaluation of the Strategic positioning of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO).
  • Evaluation of the strategic positioning of IOC-UNESCO. August 2021

    Elsner, Paul; Matthews, Nathanial; Beardon, George; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Internal Oversight Office (IOS), Evaluation Office (UNESCO-IOC, 2021)
    The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) has functional autonomy within UNESCO. It is the only UN body specializing exclusively in ocean science, ocean observation, ocean data and information exchange and dedicated ocean services such as Tsunami Early Warning Systems. In 2019, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission was tasked to lead the UN Decade of the Ocean. This opportunity, combined with a fast-evolving ecosystem of international actors in an expanding and increasingly crowded ocean policy and marine science space, prompted IOC-UNESCO to request an evaluation of IOC-UNESCO with a focus on its strategic positioning within the UN system and the broader landscape of ocean-related actors and programmes to meet the high demand for sound ocean science in an oceanographic space. The evaluation found that IOC-UNESCO is a valued partner for Member States as well as other international and national actors, and indispensable for strengthening capacities and providing the data and technical information on ocean science policy that serves as a basis for national level data. IOC-UNESCO has been most successful in providing contributions to UN Frameworks and Conventions (e.g. UNFCCC, Sendai and CBD), in acting as a neutral platform to discuss the increasingly relevant issue of ocean health and climate change, in bringing Member States together and fostering exchanges between governments and scientists, as well as in providing to the extended oceanographic community access to data, information and science. However, strategic advocacy at the national level, engagement at the regional level, and resourcing and visibility of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the ocean space within and outside IOC-UNESCO are among the areas where further improvements are required. The establishment of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is the most important strategic institutional achievement of IOC-UNESCO in recent years. It is an important opportunity, but the absence of a clearly defined results framework and inadequate resources could jeopardize its success. Furthermore, it still needs to be determined how to best exploit IOC-UNESCO’s data and knowledge base and how UNESCO can best support the Decade, among other through intersectoral work.
  • Progress report on Priority Africa, sustainable development and world heritage.

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - World Heritage (UNESCO-WHC, 2021)
    In conformity with Decision 43 COM 5D (Baku, 2019), this document presents a Progress report on the implementation of the World Heritage Sustainable Development Policy in Africa.
  • Ocean Observing System report card 2021.

    GOOS Observations Coordination Group (UNESCO-IOC, 2021)
    Ocean Observing System - Report Card 2021 - GOOS Observations Coordination Group Over the last few years, the in situ observing system, made up of many thousands of ocean observing platforms, has developed signifi cantly with emerging networks, advances in new technologies, and improved capabilities. This system supplies scientists and marine and weather forecasters with essential global, multidisciplinary, high-quality data, crucial to support safety of life and property at sea, maritime commerce, and the well-being of coastal communities. It also provides observations to monitor the impacts of long-term climate change and information on the increasing stress on the ocean from human activities. To continue to evolve this system towards an integrated, fi t-for-purpose and sustained global network, the Ocean ObOcean Observing Sserving Syysstem Report Ctem Report Carardd 20212021 provides insight into the status of the global ocean observing system, assessing networks’ progress, focusing on the challenges needed to keep improving this system, and encouraging collaborations and new partners to join the ocean observing community.
  • “Blue Curriculum: a training session”: workshop report.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and UNESCO International Bureau of Education (UNESCO-IOC, 2022)
    In the context of the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, the Ocean Literacy Dialogues week hosted this 3 hour workshop which was composed of interactive sessions to provide training, information, and tools for educational authorities, policy-makers, and curriculum developers. The “Blue Curriculum: A training Session” was organized considering the recently launched UNESCO publication “A new blue curriculum: a toolkit for policy-makers” which aims to support Member States to include Ocean Literacy in the national curriculum frameworks and educational policies around the world. The workshop was organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) in collaboration with the International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) and supported by AXA XL.
  • The United Nations world water development report 2019: leaving no one behind.

    Uhlenbrook, Stefan; Connor, Richard; UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (UNESCO, 2019)
    Access to water is a human right: it is vital for the dignity of each and every individual. The 2019 edition of the World Water Development Report focuses on the theme of “Leaving No One Behind”. It argues that fulfilling the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for all can also significantly contribute to the achievement of the broad set of goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: from food and energy security, to economic development and environmental sustainability. Based on the latest data, this report’s findings clearly illustrate the need to make substantial progress towards delivering on the 2030 Agenda promise of reaching the most vulnerable. The stakes are high: nearly a third of the global population do not use safely managed drinking water services and only two fifths have access to safely managed sanitation services. The intensification of environmental degradation, climate change, population growth and rapid urbanisation — among other factors — also pose considerable challenges to water security. Furthermore, in an increasingly globalised world, the impact of water-related decisions cross borders and affect everyone. At the current pace of progress, billions of people will remain unable to enjoy their right to access to water and sanitation and the multiple benefits that such access can provide. Yet, this report concludes these objectives are entirely achievable, so long as there is a collective will to do so, entailing new efforts to include those ‘left behind’ in decision-making processes. This latest Report, coordinated by UNESCO, is the result of a collaborative effort of the UN-Water Family and was made possible thanks to the long-standing support of the Government of Italy and the Umbria Region, to whom we are extremely grateful.
  • International Hydrological Programme: 28th IHP Regional Steering Committee Meeting for Asia and the Pacific (RSC–AP) 24–25 October 2021 Hanoi, Viet Nam.

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Jakarta Office; International Hydrological Programme (IHP) (UNESCO, 2022)
    Final Report of the 28th IHP Regional Steering Committee Meeting for Asia and the Pacific held in Hanoi, Viet Nam, 24-25 November 2021.
  • Global Harmful Algal Bloom: status report 2021 : A Scientific Summary for Policy Makers.

    Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf M.; Enevoldsen, Henrik O.; Zingone, A. (UNESCO, 2021)
    Among the approximately 10,000 beneficial species of marine phytoplankton in the world’s oceans today, some 200 taxa can harm human society through the production of toxins that threaten seafood security and human health. These toxins are also responsible for wild or aquaculture fish-kills, may interfere with recreation-al use of coastal or inland waters, or cause economic losses. Non-toxic microalgae attaining high biomass can also cause Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) by producing seawater discolorations, anoxia or mucilage that negatively affect the environment and human activities. The most frequently asked questions about harmful algal blooms are if they are increasing and expand-ing worldwide, and what are the mechanisms behind this perceived escalation. These questions have been addressed in several review papers concerning HAB trends at various scales, where evidences of expansion, intensification and increased impacts of harmful algal blooms have been gathered from a selection of examples that have gained high prominence in the scientific world and in society 1,2,3,4. Eutrophication, human-mediated introduction of alien harmful species, climatic variability, and aquaculture have all been mentioned as possible causes of HAB trends at various spatial and temporal scales 5,6. Over the last 40 years, the capacity and monitoring efforts to detect harmful species and harmful events have significantly increased, thus increasing the reporting of harmful events across the world’s seas. The resulting information is mostly scattered in the ever growing literature, with data from statutory monitoring programs often not published in peer review journals, while an extensive and detailed overview of the huge amount of information on harmful species, their spatial and temporal distribution and the trends of HABs they have caused has never been attempted so far. This lack of a synthesis of the relevant data has hampered a sound global assessment of the present status of phenomena related to harmful algae. Following the lead of the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) consensus reporting mechanism, and to complement the World Ocean Assessment, the need has been expressed for a Global HAB Status Report compiling an overview of Harmful Algal Bloom events and their societal impacts; providing a worldwide appraisal of the occurrence of toxin-producing microalgae; aimed towards the long term goal of assessing the status and probability of change in HAB frequencies, intensities, and range resulting from environmental changes at the local and global scale. This initiative was launched in April 2013 in Paris by the IOC Intergovernmental Panel on HABs (IOC/IPHAB), and has been pursued with the support of the Government of Flanders and hosted within the IOC International Oceanographic Date Exchange Programme (IODE) in partnership with ICES, PICES and IAEA. As a first step towards a global HAB status assessment, a Special Issue of the journal Harmful Algae (vol. 102, February 2021) has been published comprising 12 papers 7-18 each presenting an overview of toxic and non-toxic HABs in a specific area of the world’s seas. The regional overviews build on existing literature and exploit the information gathered in two relevant data-bases, both incorporated into the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS).
  • Man and the Biosphere Programme: biennial activity report 2016-2017.

    Cárdenas, María Rosa; Clüsener-Godt, Miguel; Köck, Günter; Van Ryssegem, Vincent; UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme (UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme, 2018)
    UNESCO’S MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE (MAB) PROGRAMME is a rare UN entity, one that includes both a strategic comprehensive vision for sustainable development and a powerful implementation tool endorsed and adhered to by Member States. Through the MAB Programme, UNESCO promotes the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, including sustainable forest management and efforts to combat desertification and halt biodiversity loss. The MAB biosphere reserves are learning sites for sustainable development, where interdisciplinary approaches are tested to understand and man-age interactions between social and ecological systems, and solutions are promoted to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. In 2016–17, the MAB Programme underwent a number of important developments at the international, national and regional level. The key event during this period was the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, which took place in Lima, Peru, and resulted in the adoption of the Lima Declaration and a new 10-year Action Plan for UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. These documents will guide the MAB Programme for the next 10 years. Also during this biennium, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) added 44 new biosphere reserves, including three trans-boundary sites. With the organization of the 1st MAB Youth Forum and its declaration, the MAB Programme sent out a clear message underlining its engagement with future generations of biosphere reserves. In addition, the BIOPALT project in the threatened region around the Lake Chad places the MAB Programme in a central position to safe-guard and sustainably manage the hydrological, biological and cultural resources of the Lake Chad Basin, thereby contributing to reducing poverty and promoting peace. The WNBR now encompasses 669 sites in 120 different countries, including 20 trans-boundary sites. These cover over 735,000 km2 of terrestrial, coastal and marine areas, representing all major ecosystem types and diverse development contexts, which are home to approximately 250 million people (ranging from rural local communities and indigenous peoples to urban dwellers). The vision of the MAB Programme is a world where people are conscious of their common future and interaction with our planet, and act collectively and responsibly to build thriving societies in harmony within the biosphere. The MAB Programme and its World Network of Biosphere Reserves serve this vision both within and beyond biosphere reserves. This publication is intended to present an overall picture of MAB activities during 2016–17 and the significant role and values of the WNBR, highlighting in particular newly desig-nated sites. It is our hope that this report will enable people to obtain a clearer idea of the actions and added value of UNESCO’s MAB and its WNBR within the global agenda for sustainable development.
  • Evaluation of the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change (2018-2021) carried out by the International Oversight Service (IOS).: Unesco Executive Board, Two hundred and twelfth session Paris, 16 August 2021 .

    UNESCO; International Oversight Service (UNESCO-IOS, 2021)
    The present report, prepared pursuant to document 39 C/46, 39 C/Resolution 15 and 209 EX/Decision 5.I.B, provides a summary of a recent evaluation, namely the Evaluation of the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate Change (2018-2021).
  • The International Hydrological Programme: water science and capacity development for water security.

    UNESCO-International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP, 2017)
    Brochure presenting the activities of The International Hydrological Programme (IHP). The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Programme on water. It currently runs its eighth phase (IHP-VIII), from 2014 to 2021, which is dedicated to Water Security. In 42 years of existence, IHP has evolved from an internationally coordinated hydrological research programme into a holistic programme facilitating the sustainable management of water resources and governance, based on science, reliable data and dissemination of knowledge. IHP facilitates a trans and interdisciplinary approach to surface and groundwater, incorporating transboundary dimensions of water resources in six Thematic areas, performing three core activities. The Division of Water Sciences coordinates UNESCO´s Water Family that includes IHP, WWAP and the work of Member States through National Committees and Focal Points, Category 2 Centres, Chairs and the experts contributing to 15 different international IHP initiatives.

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