Recent Submissions

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Contribution to the future of the IOC Executive roadmap: Twenty-ninth Session of the Assembly UNESCO, Paris, 21–29 June 2017

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2017)
    This document has been prepared in pursuance of decisions IOC-XXVIII/4 of the IOC Assembly at its 28th session (18–25 June 2015) and EC-XLIX/5 of the Executive Council at its 49th session (7–10 June 2016), which decided that the inter-sessional work on this subject should continue under the leadership of the IOC Officers with a view of providing a fully developed document with recommendation to the IOC Assembly at its 29th session in 2017. This document is a revised version of the Roadmap, document IOC/EC-XLIX/2 Annex 9 Rev., submitted to the IOC Executive Council in June 2016. This revision takes into account the discussions and decisions (EC-XLIX/4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) at the Executive Council including the reflection of the IOC’s programme contributions to the four main international development frameworks (Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement, SAMOA Pathway and 2030 Agenda). It constitutes an element of the intersessional work together with the specification of the Ocean Science Decade (Doc. IOC/INF- 1341). Following the decisions of the governing bodies, the whole is demand-driven. An overview of IOC studies concerning the future of the Commission is appended to this document in English only.
  • Proposal to establish the international training centre on operational oceanography hosted by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) of Ministry of Earth Sciences, as a UNESCO Category 2 Centre: Twenty-ninth Session of the Assembly UNESCO, Paris, 21-29 June 2017.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC, 2017)
    This document conveys the proposal submitted by India for the establishment of a Category 2 UNESCO International Training Centre on Operational Oceanography, to be hosted by the Indian Centre for Ocean Information (INCOIS) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences was brought to the attention of the IOC Secretariat in April 2017
  • Report of the IOC Meeting of the Regional Subsidiary Bodies: Twenty-ninth Session of the Assembly UNESCO, Paris, 21–29 June 2017

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2017)
    This report highlights the main outputs of the meeting of the Regional Subsidiary Bodies (RSBs), which was held on Monday 19 June 2017. The IOC Vice-Chair from Group IV, Dr Somkiat Khokiattiwong chaired the meeting. Fifteen Member States attended the meeting. The Executive Secretary, the Technical Secretaries of the three IOC Regional Sub commissions, Heads of Sections with IOC professional staff including consultants and interns attended the meeting. The IOC Regional Liaison Officer from the IOC Secretariat served as the Technical Secretary of the meeting. The meeting reviewed the main achievements and challenges facing these Bodies and the IOC as a whole including: their strong contribution to the IOC’s global mission as regional foci despite the shortage of resources and staffing. Field offices have a role to play in mobilizing and facilitating Member States from the regions with fund raising. But Member State engagement and support is crucial for overcoming the challenges and bringing the regional subsidiary bodies to their full potential. Finally, the meeting developed a number of propositions aimed at helping to address the common challenges identified and agreed upon with the recognition of the pivotal role of the IOC’s network of regional subsidiaries bodies. This report is submitted for information.
  • Fifth Meeting of the Global Ocean Observing System Steering Committee (GOOS SC-5): final report.

    Global Ocean Observing System (UNESCO-IOC, 2021)
    Report of the 5th Session of the GOOS Steering Committee held at IOPAN in Sopot, Poland between 1 and 3 June 2016.
  • GOOS Scientific Steering Committee Seventh Meeting: Wednesday-Friday 13-15 June 2018; Regional Workshop Tuesday 12 June 2018 INVEMAR, Santa Marta, Colombia.

    Global Ocean Observing System (UNESCO-IOC, 2021)
    The draft GOOS Strategy 2030 was presented and discussed, the document is currently out for broad review with the ocean observing community, partners, sponsors and regional representatives. It will be presented to the IOC Member States at the IOC Executive Council (EC-51) in July for comment. The aim will be to have final version available in the autumn. The strategy is ambitious, about where we should be going for a global ocean observing system over the coming decade. It is clear that GOOS cannot achieve this alone and partnership will be vital. With the 2030 Strategy GOOS is asking the community and partners are you willing to support this vision and work together to achieve it. The Steering Committee had already provided feedback on an earlier version and was invited to provide feedback on this second major draft, which is summarised below. GOOS role: In order for this to be accomplished, GOOS will need to lead the ocean observing community. it was generally agreed that GOOS is in a unique position to do this and has general support for this mandate. Future vision: The strategy needs some further envisioning around the future use, e.g. fisheries management, marine protected areas (MPAs), port authorities, energy and aquaculture. Ocean science is being driven by some unknowns, climate prediction, deep ocean, future of the anomaly of high sea level rise areas, some of these things should also be driving the GOOS Strategy. Some additional thought is required as to the needs for the system 10 years out, there are still major science problems to be solved and the future use of the oceans may be quite different to today. For instance, the oceans will likely be more closely managed. The future will also be about Earth System prediction and the role that oceans play in this will be vital. The feedback was to make the envisioning even more ambitious, what products will be needed to support this future use and then to assess the weaknesses of the system against this future use. End to end system integration – observations to use: The link in the strategy to use of ocean observations was viewed as important, however it was noted that the uptake of information and impacts of such information is reliant upon decision-making processes which are affected by a number of forces and influences (especially for place-based decision-making). It was suggested that the strategy should note the importance of GOOS to engage with those engaging in social science research and related ocean observing use/impact activities, e.g. in the International Council for Science (ICS) and within the GRAs. The delivery to end use was seen as important and relevant to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Increasing engagement & global to local: The concept of FOO, GOOS and the strategy will need to be better communicated to the whole community in order for success to be achieved. GOOS will need to communicate more broadly to capture more participants. It was clear from the regional workshop held the previous day that not all the attendees felt they were part of a global ocean observing system. In addition GOOS needs to act at a range of levels from local to regional to global. Scales matter for data coordination and for interest in regional/local issues, they are also critical for science policy interface and decision making. Many GOOS GRAs have symbiotic relationships with local regional players and this good work locally/regionally does not seem to be fully recognized in the strategy. It will be vital for GOOS to scale down to the regional level, perhaps the strategy could include an infographic on this. Sustainability: This is an important message for developing countries, many countries are interested in sustainable solutions and this is now a new way of thinking that is developing rapidly. Open data: This is a fundamental, however there was general agreement that open data cannot yet be mandated. GOOS should however actively encourage data distribution, there are countries that want share, but do not currently have the capability or knowledge to do so. GOOS should be able to help or support them to share data, other communities have seen real change and benefits from this approach. Gaps: Several of the comments stressed key areas to be address in order to deliver the global integrated vision: ● shelf-boundary areas; these are also within countries EEZ areas and so are more difficult to address with an integrated perspective. The issue of ocean observing within countries EEZ will need to be addressed ● capacity building; particularly how less developed nations can access and process data. Developing countries can benefit significantly from an integrated system but to make sure they can take advantage of these benefits we need to address use. ● polar regions; oceanic processes (Arctic Ocean, Southern Ocean) and sea-ice conditions to complement ocean's contributions to Earth System prediction Sustainability of observations: even for physical measurements many records are still short relative to the time scales of natural variability and anthropogenic change Audience: Target audience is policy space, industry and users across the themes, plus the observing community, however the language needs to be outward. Engagement: The strategy needs to be owned and broadcast by the GOOS community, including the GRAs.
  • IHP-IX: Strategic Plan of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme: Science for a Water Secure World in a Changing Environment, ninth phase 2022-2029.

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP, 2022)
    The Strategic Plan for the ninth phase of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP-IX) covering 2022-2029 identifies key water priority areas to support Members States to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially water related SDGs and other water-related global agendas, such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The process of preparing the Strategic Plan has been highly participatory, collecting in successive consultation stages the inputs of regional experts, the IHP Bureau and Council members, the UNESCO Water Family, partner organizations and UN agencies, whose observations were substantial and useful. The implementation of the ninth phase of the IHP (henceforth IHP-IX) will be guided by three interrelated documents: i) a Strategic Plan, presented herein, identifying water-related priorities for Member States, ii) an Operational Implementation Plan, and iii) a Financing Strategy, the last two documents to be elaborated at a later stage, which will be used to track the progress in implementing the Strategic Plan through proposed actions and related indicators.
  • Ocean Teacher Global Academy: delivering IOC capacity development for the ocean we need for the future we want.

    Ocean Teach Global Academy (UNESCO-IOC-IODE, 2021)
    A brochure on the global network of Regional and Specialized Centres delivering training on ocean sciences, services and management using the OceanTeacher e-Learning Platform.
  • First report of the IOC Regular Working Group on User Requirements and Contributions to GEBCO Products.[Fifty-first Session of the Executive Council UNESCO, Paris, 3–6 July 2018 [Fifty-first Session of the Executive Council UNESCO, Paris, 3–6 July 2018, Item 4.5 of the Revised Provisional Agenda]

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2018)
    Through Decision EC-XLIX/4.4, the IOC Executive Council at its 49th session (Paris, 7–10 June 2016) decided to establish the Regular Working Group tasked to collect, integrate and assess the user requirements to GEBCO products and address ways of potential contributions to GEBCO data and products. This document contains the results of the review conducted by the working group, established in 2017, and recommendations for consideration by this Executive Council. The responses to the questionnaire conducted during the intersessional period are appended hereafter in English only.
  • Follow-up on the recommendations on the report on governance of UNESCO and dependent funds, programmes and entities. [Items 3.1, 5 & 6.2 of the Provisional Agenda of the Forty-ninth Session of the Executive Council held in Paris, 7-10 June 2016].

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2016)
    In pursuance of 38 C/Resolution 101 on Governance, procedures and working methods of the governing bodies of UNESCO, an intersessional open-ended working group was established to further examine views and proposals of Member States, the External Auditor’s report and other relevant evaluations and audits. Purpose of the document: This document presents background information to assist Member States in their discussions on reviewing the efficiency of the IOC governance and prepare a contribution to the work of the General Conference Working Group by the end of 2016.

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