• International (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development: towards the ocean we need for the future we want.

      Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOCParis, France, 2017)
      This document was first circulated for comments to IOC Member States through IOC Circular Letter No 2657 on 2 February 2017. The objectives of this document are to elaborate the idea of, and argue the case for, an international decade on ocean science for sustainable development. The endorsement to pursue further elaboration of the idea followed its initial presentation and discussion at the IOC Executive Council in June 2016. The context is provided by the 2030 Agenda and related UN frameworks, namely the Sendai Framework for Risk Reduction 2015, the SAMOA Pathway for SIDS 2014, the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties, COP-21 in Paris 2015 and COP-22 in Marrakech 2016, together with previous intergovernmental agreements. The bases include: (i) the conclusions of the First Global World Ocean Assessment, in particular that we are running out of time to effectively protect the world ocean from multiple interactive stressors; and (ii) the finding of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN Secretary General that, of eight Grand Challenges the world community is facing, the most important one is improving ocean science and effective management for the development of sustainable ocean knowledge-based economics. On these foundations, the document addresses a wide and diverse set of marine-related interests, including ocean science, sustained observations, marine environment problems and ocean (blue) economy. A historical analysis of developments over the 50-year period since the International Decade of Ocean Exploration 1971–1980 suggests that governments need to engage and act in partnership with the many different ocean communities in order to achieve focus, cohesiveness, cooperation and coordination of efforts. An International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, potentially under the UN auspices, emerges as the promising path towards “THE OCEAN WE NEED FOR THE FUTURE WE WANT.”