Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem.

The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.

The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.
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  • 2022-2023 ECOP Asia Report.

    Roman, Raphael; Roman, Raphaël (UN Ocean Decade, Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP), 2023)
    The regional node of the ECOP Programme in Asia (hereinafter referred to as “ECOP Asia”) was informally established in June 2021, during the Virtual Early Career Ocean Professionals Day (V.ECOP Day). At the time, ECOP Asia was composed of a dozen volunteer members from countries across East, South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and the Republic of Korea. The core team met on a monthly basis with the aim of connecting interdisciplinary groups of ECOPs across the continent, and sharing knowledge and experience about the recently launched United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (hereinafter referred to as the “UN Ocean Decade”). Members of the informal 2021 ECOP Asia group were particularly active and motivated to spread the word about ECOPs and the UN Ocean Decade. Among other contributions, they circulated the first pan-Asia ECOP survey in early Spring 2021 (with region- and country-specific results available in this report1), celebrated “World Oceans Day” on 8 June 2021 by sharing inspiring testimonials from ECOPs across India (video), made short awareness-raising interventions during online webinars and workshops, and moderated a Decade Action Incubator Session dedicated to ECOPs during the UN Decade Regional Kickoff Conference for the Western Pacific and its Adjacent Areas, a two-day conference co-sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and its sub-commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC). The latter session provided perspectives on science communication, inviting speakers from different career stages and ocean sectors2 (video recording is available here). On November 2021, the IOC-UNESCO launched a call for individual consultants to support a variety of tasks related to the development of the regional dimensions of the ECOP Programme, seeking coordinators in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS)3. A regional consultant was subsequently hired for Asia in mid-December 2021 and has remained in this position since then. The hiring process coincided with the official launch of the ECOP Programme website, including dedicated web pages for the first three regional and national ECOP nodes: Africa, Asia and Canada4. By November 2022, a national node in Japan and regional hub in Central America were also established, followed closely by a new regional chapter in the Caribbean. Throughout the first half of 2023, another nine additional national nodes have emerged from all over the world, including in Brazil, Italy, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, the Republic of Korea, Senegal, Togo and the United States. Several other ECOP chapters are waiting in the pipeline, currently building their own core teams, drafting concept notes, and engaging with their respective communities (e.g., Australia/New Zealand, Belgium, China, Europe, India, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Spain and the United Kingdom). Extending from the Middle East all the way to Indonesia in Southeast Asia, and including the Russian Federation5, the ECOP Asia community grew significantly throughout 2022 and in the early months of 2023 (see section I). Figure 1 below provides a non-exhaustive list of 2022 activities and highlights that contributed to the development and expansion of ECOP Asia since the appointment of the regional consultant/coordinator. Table 1 lists more recent updates and achievements since November 2022, including ongoing work in 2023.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers - Challenge 10: Restoring Society's Relationship with the Ocean.

    Glithero, L.D.; Bridge, N.; Hart, N.; Mann-Lang, J.; McPhie, R.; Paul, K.; Peebler, A.; Wiener, C.; Yen, C.; Kelly, R.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    By 2030, success for Ocean Decade Challenge No. 10 will be evidenced through a culture shift in the ocean community leading to implicit understanding that ocean threats are an outcome of human behaviour. This will require a shift in the way that ocean science, in the broad sense as defined in the Decade, is formulated, practiced, and communicated to ensure that all sectors of society have strengthened emotional connections with the ocean, and understand the vital role that the ocean plays in human and planetary well-being, including climate stability. All members of society across regions, sectors, and scales will have increased motivation, capability, and opportunity to make decisions and behave in ways that ensure a healthy ocean. By 2030, success for Ocean Decade Challenge No. 10 will include fulfilment of critical science and knowledge gaps: Increased priority and practice of science that embraces multiple knowledge systems and transdisciplinary collaboration Increased priority of Indigenous-led research, consistent with the supporting articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), inherent rights, and signed treaty obligations with Indigenous Nations Increased priority of marine social sciences, particularly: public perceptions ocean research marine citizenship and identity research behavioural science research linked to ocean-climate education and communications research on how ocean literacy can be measured and monitored over time, and the impacts of an ocean literate society on ocean health research on ocean literacy as a policy tool science communication through multiple approaches including immersive technology, storytelling, and the arts Success will also depend on the generation, sharing, and use of the following priority datasets: human-ocean connection/human-ocean values dataset(s) pro-ocean behaviour change methodologies, case studies, and effective practices impact mapping of regional and key global ocean literacy initiatives ocean culture mapping that includes a global body of evidence (contextual, local knowledge) that demonstrates and supports cultural engagement as an enabler of ocean-human health. It will include the development of: a co-designed theory of change to action key drivers of Challenge 10, in which regional expertise helps guide the initial and ongoing strategic direction of the newly launched Decade Coordinating Office (DCO), Connecting People and Ocean a guiding portfolio of best practices on research co-design, co-production, co-implementation, and co-evaluation, respectfully bridging different forms of knowledge, ensuring mutual recognition and benefits, and nurturing long-term relationships with each other and nature a collaborative global, multi-dimensional ocean literacy survey tool (i.e., Ocean & Society Survey) to measure ocean connection and values, as well as motivators, enablers, barriers to action and behaviour change a global network of ocean communications experts and regional ocean communications communities of practice to support training, accreditation, upskilling, knowledge exchange, and impact measurement a global network of ocean-climate education experts (formal, informal, and non-formal) to support teacher training, certification programmes, and knowledge exchange a Global Blue Schools Network, building off the All-Atlantic and European Blue Schools Networks, to bridge practitioner best practices with research and training a global framework for sharing successful community projects that demonstrate practices and solutions specific to cultural connections, heritage, language, and place-based innovations for ocean-human health.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 9: Skills, Knowledge, Technology, and Participatory Decision-Making for All.

    Arbic, B.K.; Mahu, E.; Alexander, K.; Buchan, P.M.; Hermes, J.; Kidwai, S.; Kostianaia, E.; Li, L.; Lin, X.; Mahadeo, S.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    Challenge 9 aims to ensure comprehensive capacity development and equitable access to data, information, knowledge, technology, and participatory decision-making across all aspects of ocean science and for all stakeholders. It is based on the understanding that everyone has something to contribute through shared knowledge, resources, ideas, or partnerships. Challenge 9 therefore is focused on equity and justice in access to capacity, resources, and decision making. By 2030, success for Ocean Decade Challenge 9 will be reached when: Technical, transdisciplinary, and transversal skills required by scientists, resource users, educators, communicators, managers, and policymakers, to deliver the Decade’s challenges, are strengthened and evenly distributed with an emphasis on least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other under-represented groups. Funding mechanisms, multi-directional partnerships, multi-directional partnerships, infrastructure, and technology required to deliver the Decade’s challenges across regions and communities are enhanced and evenly distributed with emphasis on promoting access to LDCs and SIDS and on promoting greater cooperation between regions. Users and stakeholders from currently under-represented groups (i.e., women; ECOPs; Indigenous communities; LDCs and SIDS; people with disabilities; and others) are well-represented and participatory in ocean science, communication, management, decision making, and policy within the Decade framework. Wider promotion of ethically-driven actions and access to open-source software, ocean data, knowledge, and information among different users of the ocean has been achieved, and language barriers/restrictions have been mediated, including sharing knowledge in forms that are well articulated by non-scientific audiences. Recognition for Indigenous and local knowledge and traditional beliefs that promote conservation receives backing by the Decade and is integrated into all the Decade challenges. Success will include fulfilment of the following critical capacity development needs: skills enhancement; representation and meaningful participation; equitable funding; infrastructure; technology; access to data and information; publishing of research findings; better representation of scientists and knowledge from LDCs, SIDS and other under-represented groups in international publications and decision-making bodies and procedures; and promotion of the use of multiple languages in ocean science communication.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 8: Create a digital representation of the ocean.

    Calewaert, J.-B.; Sierra-Correa, P.C.; McMeel, O.; Busumprah, P.T.; Crosman, K.; de Boer, G.; Haddad, T.; Hall, S.; Jegat, V.; Kågesten, G.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    Ocean Decade Challenge 8 of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the ‘Ocean Decade’) seeks to create an adaptive and dynamic digital representation of the ocean to make the ocean accessible to a broader community, to enhance decision-making and to support sustainable ocean management. While creating a comprehensive digital representation of the Ocean is the ultimate objective of Decade Challenge 8, the focus in this White Paper is on delivering concrete outcomes and the transformational change needed to create the enabling environment and initial digital content, by 2030, that will allow us to fully deliver on the ambitions of Challenge 8 on the longer term. An Implementation Plan (IP) for the Ocean Decade’s Data and Information Strategy is currently under development by the Data Strategy Implementation Group (DSIG). This IP will outline how data systems participating in the Ocean Decade can co-create a distributed, robust, and collaborative ‘digital ecosystem’ that leverages open, scalable, easily implementable, and responsive technologies and management solutions. An interoperable, distributed data and information sharing system must be both deployed and maintained to allow the realization of Challenge 8, addressing specific challenges such as data interoperability, accessibility, and inclusivity. Additionally, potential issues related to data privacy, cybersecurity, and equitable access to technological infrastructure should be addressed to ensure the comprehensive development of the strategic ambition. In developing the Strategic Ambition for Challenge 8, we consider the data and information needs and priorities identified by the other Decade Challenges and their working groups, as our primary users (and contributors), representing as they do the key sustainability challenges for the Decade, and encompassing all relevant stakeholders. Guided by the Decade’s ambition to ‘leave no one behind’ we recognize that this challenge must deliver outputs that are relevant and useful for the global ocean science community, and in fact by extension the widest possible range of users and stakeholders, including the eight billion people on this planet, who should be able to access and use what is delivered by the Decade in ways adapted to their needs and capacities, if so desired. By 2030, the Strategic Ambition for Ocean Decade Challenge 8 is to have in place the enabling environment for the creation of and access to an increasing number of digital representations and twin applications of the Ocean as well as the underpinning data and information needed to develop them, delivering at minimum 10 societally relevant 0global base-layers accessible via a global online Digital Atlas, complemented by a minimum of 10 local use cases (prioritizing SIDS and LDCs) to address challenges in using and contributing to the Decade’s distributed digital ecosystem and to demonstrate and stress test its relevance, effectiveness and inclusiveness.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 7: Sustainably Expand the Global Ocean Observing System.

    Miloslavich, P.; O’Callaghan, J.; Heslop, E.; McConnell, T.; Heupel, M.; Satterthwaite, E.; Lorenzoni, L.; Schloss, I.; Belbeoch, M.; Rome, N.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    The strategic ambition is to develop an operational, comprehensive, and resourced system that delivers priority observations and information to guide mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change, sustains ocean health within a sustainable blue economy, and facilitates informed decision-making for science, business and society. Such a system is envisioned to be co-designed, fit-for-purpose, multidisciplinary, geographically expanded, responsive, and sustainable in time, delivering ocean observations to all nations and users, prioritising societal needs. Transforming ocean observations into accessible information will require integration across disciplines, across national observing systems, along the value chain, and across stakeholders. Innovative technology approaches and a diversified set of actors and approaches will be required for success. The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) of IOC UNESCO can provide the implementation framework for Challenge 7 and the UN Ocean Decade provides the opportunity and vehicle for transformation. Five recommendations have been identified to fulfil the strategic ambition of Ocean Decade Challenge 7. Act now on known observational needs. Upgrade and expand ocean observing capacity in poorly-observed areas such as polar regions, island nations and territories, coastal areas of developing nations, coastal systems that are rapidly changing, and the under-observed deep ocean. Thematic priorities for ocean observing by 2030 should focus on key climate risk and adaptation needs, extreme events, coastal services for ocean management, ocean carbon, marine pollution, biogeochemistry, and biodiversity. Adopt new economic thinking. Establish new and sustained financing mechanisms for global ocean observing, including resourcing for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Use economic models for ocean investment to diversify and accelerate investment in ocean observing and infrastructure from new actors. Partnerships are key. Increase national, regional and global coordination, focusing on co-design and partnerships. Improved coordination that uses the GOOS framework to ensure standards, best practices for a sustainably expanded GOOS. Diversify partnerships across sectors (economic, public, private, and philanthropic) and embrace the abilities and needs of the different stakeholders to co-design, co-develop, and co-deliver observations that translate into the information required by these sectors. Technology and innovation will be a pillar. Integrate and harmonise observations across observing platforms (in situ, satellite, emerging networks). Develop innovative in situ, autonomous and cost-effective technologies to maximise reach, ensuring standardisation and best practices. Technology barriers still need to be lowered to ensure everyone has equitable access to observing technology and has the ability to use these assets. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools will provide user-ready information from integrated observations to democratise information for users. Expanded, capable, and diversified workforce. Expand and diversify the workforce of skilled and trained ocean professionals. Training and capacity development will be critical across the observing ‘ecosystem’ outlined in the Framework for Ocean Observing (FOO), from data collection to data analysis and modelling, and for data use and application.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 6: Increase Community Resilience to Ocean Hazards.

    Pinardi, N.; Kumar Tummala, S.; Alvarez Fanjul, E.; Ansong, J.K.; Burgos, A.; Cabana, D.; Canals, P.; Coppini, G.; Duffy-Mayers, L.; Harley, M.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    By 2030, successful achievement of Ocean Decade Challenge No. 6 will require demonstrating substantial advancements within the global community towards enhancing their resilience to coastal and ocean hazards. This includes implementing two crucial elements: (1) establishing comprehensive 'people-centered' early warning systems capable of addressing multiple hazards, and (2) devising adaptation strategies that specifically target risks associated with the ocean, including those linked to climate change. These endeavours will play a pivotal role in guiding sustainable practices in ocean planning. Success will also hinge on addressing critical gaps in scientific understanding and knowledge across important components such as risk assessment and risk reduction, in addition to putting in place robust institutional mechanisms for implanting novel solutions that contribute to coastal resilience. Some key elements to be addressed in this context include: (i) gathering and generating observational and modelling datasets relevant to risk assessment, including downscaled climate scenarios for coastal regions, within robust data-sharing frameworks; (ii) promoting interdisciplinary and international research and innovation to tackle challenges comprehensively, with a focus on methodologies like Digital Twin approaches; (iii) improving standards for risk communication at both national and international levels; (iv) fostering partnerships at various scales involving local communities, public and private disaster risk reduction entities, governmental bodies, and academic institutions; (v) building capacity in research and communication to cultivate a shared understanding of coastal resilience strategies; and (vi) enhancing resilient infrastructure and promoting sustainable resource management along coastlines. It is imperative to establish partnerships with existing international UN programs dedicated to disaster risk reduction and coastal resilience. Strengthening connections with UN Decade Actions through Decade Coordination Offices and Decade Collaboration Centers is of utmost importance for effective coordination and collaboration. Based on the above strategic ambition it is also suggested that the formulation of the Ocean Decade Challenge could be modified as follows: Increase community resilience to ocean and coastal risks
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 1: Understand And Beat Marine Pollution.

    Hatje, V.; Rayfuse, R.; Polejack, P.; Goddard, C.; Jiang, C.; Jones, D.; Faloutsos, D.; Fiedler, H.; Akrofi, J.; Sheps, K.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    By 2030, the success of Ocean Decade Challenge No.1 ‘Understand and Beat Marine Pollution’ will be demonstrated by the generation of scientifically sound data enabling a holistic understanding of the extent and impact of pollution across the land-ocean continuum, thereby supporting the achievement of a cleaner and healthier ocean where all ecosystems and their inhabitants thrive free from the impacts of marine pollution, allowing for their full functioning and service provision. This success will be based on completion of a comprehensive review of all available evidence about marine pollution, including an analysis of data gaps and the development and implementation of strategies for filling those gaps, as well as a comprehensive analysis of solutions for addressing and preventing the negative effects of marine pollution. Achieving this success will require knitting together existing and new data sets using AI and other technologies, identifying priority pollutants and areas for action, and providing globally consistent monitoring, data collection, storage and sharing protocols. Success will further be demonstrated through the establishment of new connections and partnerships among users across the public - private spectrum that lead to the funding, development and implementation of new technologies and projects aimed at monitoring, controlling, reducing, and/or mitigating marine pollution from any source, including the creation and sustainability of a global network of strategically positioned sentinel stations and regional laboratory hubs for sustained, long-term monitoring of marine pollution. Success will include fulfilment of the following critical knowledge gaps: • a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the impacts of priority pollutants (e.g., pollutants found or expected to emerge in high concentrations, or with high toxicity, or with significant adverse effects on biota or human health) across the land to ocean continuum; • a better understanding of the sources, sinks, fate and impacts of all pollutants, including the pollutants of emerging concern; • improved knowledge on the distribution and impacts of marine pollution, particularly in the Global South and deep ocean waters, which currently represent the largest geographical gaps. and the following priority datasets gaps: • long-term time series of marine pollutants; • baseline and toxicity data of pollutants across the land-ocean continuum; • data on the impacts of the co-occurrence of multiple pollutants; • data on the effects of climate change on the toxicity, bioavailability and impacts of multiple co-existent pollutants. • It will include development of: • a global network of strategically positioned sentinel stations for continuous, long-term monitoring; • cost-effective, real-time monitoring systems and technologies for tracking pollutant sources, distribution, and transfers across the land-ocean continuum; • a global network of regional laboratory hubs focused on generating high-quality data, promoting capacity building and facilitating technology transfer; • training programs on harmonized protocols for the acquisition, reporting and recording of quality-controlled data on marine pollution; • environmentally robust new technologies and processes for the control and mitigation of marine pollution.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 5: Unlock Ocean-Based Solutions to Climate Change.

    Sabine, C.; Robinson, C.; Isensee, K.; Bastian, L.; Batten, S.; Bellerby, R.; Blasiak, R.; Laarissa, S.; Lira Loarca, A.; McGeachy, C.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    By 2030, success for Ocean Decade Challenge number 5 will be marked by a move toward a more sustainable and climate-resilient ocean that aligns with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. Crucially, the success of Challenge 5 is intricately linked to the outcomes of Challenges 1 to 4, which focus on understanding climate-ocean interactions, controlling marine pollution, conserving biodiversity, and ensuring sustainable food production. Success will include fulfillment of critical science and knowledge gaps with respect to climate adaptation and mitigation. Both approaches need to be addressed in parallel. Key mitigation approaches include the development of marine renewable energies, reduction in marine pollution, the development of blue carbon ecosystems, and marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR). Adaptation approaches include increased ocean literacy/awareness; co-designed governance and co-operation; improved risk reduction policies; and improved predictive capability of ocean, climate, and weather forecasts. Challenge 5 was reported as one of the most commonly cited Challenges for knowledge uptake in the Decade. However, important gaps still remain in terms of the geographical scope of the actions under this and other challenges.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 4: Develop a Sustainable and Equitable Ocean Economy.

    Haugan, P.; Rhodes, A.; Hollaway, E.; Abdul Rahman, M.; Appiott, J.; DeBeauville-Scott, S.; Gelcich, S.; Gericksky, E.; Gonzales-Quiros, R.; Harms, E.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    This draft White Paper is one of a series of ten White Papers all of which have been authored by an expert Working Group. Accompanied by a synthesis report authored by the Decade Coordination Unit, it will be discussed at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference before being finalised and published. 1.2 Strategic Ambition of Ocean Decade Challenge No. 4 By 2030, success for Ocean Decade Challenge No. 4: Develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy, will be marked by significant advancements in establishing a knowledge-driven framework for informed decision-making and policy formulation. There will be enhanced collaboration among stakeholders, ensuring diverse community engagement and equitable benefit sharing while acknowledging and prioritising the culture, identity, and rights of IPLC that have historically depended on and thrived alongside ocean resources. Strategic mobilisation of blue finance will support investments in sustainable coastal and marine infrastructure, innovative technologies, and conservation efforts, reinforcing the economic foundation. Key policies and governance frameworks promoting sustainability and equity will be in place, alongside a balanced and reflective approach, laying the groundwork for a resilient and inclusive ocean economy. This success will be underpinned by improved data accessibility and capacity-sharing efforts, fostering a shared understanding and commitment to sustainable ocean use. Success will include fulfilment of the following critical science and knowledge gaps: addressing the interface between knowledge systems, policy implementation, and public-private partnerships to enable informed decision-making, focusing on biodiversity restoration, protection, and sustainable management as foundational elements of a sustainable and equitable ocean economy, and ensuring the inclusion of local and indigenous knowledge alongside environmental sustainability and social equity. The following priority datasets gaps will be targeted: comprehensive and up-to-date data on both human activities and state of the environment supporting informed and equitable decision-making and ensuring stakeholder and rights holder engagement in data capture and knowledge co-production. It will include robust capacity development and sharing as well as knowledge exchange to deepen understanding of ocean-human activity interconnections, emphasising investment in context-specific education, training, and research programs, and the integration of appropriate technology and innovation to support a sustainable, equitable, and resilient ocean economy and ensuring that future generations can benefit from the ocean's diverse resources and opportunities.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 3: Ocean Contributions to Nourishing the World’s Population.

    Agostini, V.; Olsen, E.; Tiffay, C.; Alison, E.; Coetzee, J.; Cojocaru, A.L.; Costello, c.; Darias, M.J.; Fabinyi, M.; Fulton, B.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    This draft White Paper has been prepared as part of the Vision 2030 process of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (hereafter, Ocean Decade). The Vision 2030 process aims to identify tangible measures of success for each of the ten Ocean Decade Challenges by 2030. From a starting point of existing initiatives underway in the Ocean Decade and beyond, and through a lens of priority user needs, the process determines critical gaps in science and knowledge, needs for capacity development, priority datasets, infrastructure, and technology for each Challenge. Focusing investments in science and knowledge to address these needs will help ensure progress towards meeting each critical Challenge by the end of the Ocean Decade in 2030. The results of the process will contribute to the scoping of future Decade Actions, identification of resource mobilisation priorities, and ensure relevance of the Challenges over time. This draft White Paper is one of a series of ten White Papers, all of which have been authored by an expert Working Group and discussed at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference. A synthesis report, authored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO/IOC), will accompany the White Papers. With a substantial portion of people depending on the ocean as a primary source of nutrition and livelihood, a significant challenge comes into focus: How can we ensure that the ocean's resources continue to effectively nourish an expanding global population? The Ocean Decade responds to this critical concern through its Challenge 3: “Sustainably nourish the global population”.
  • Ocean Decade Vision 2030 White Papers – Challenge 2: Protect and Restore Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

    Muller-Karger, F.E.; Hwai, A. T. S.; Allcock, L.; Appeltans, W.; Barón Aguilar, C.; Blanco, A.; Bograd, S.J.; Buttigieg, P.; Costello, M. J.,; Darnaude, A.; et al. (UNESCO-IOC, 2024)
    This draft White Paper has been prepared as part of the Vision 2030 process being undertaken in the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The Vision 2030 process aims to achieve a common and tangible measure of success for each of the ten Ocean Decade Challenges by 2030. From a starting point of existing initiatives underway in the Ocean Decade and beyond, and through a lens of priority user needs, the process determines priority datasets, critical gaps in science and knowledge, and needs in capacity development, infrastructure and technology required for each Challenge to ensure that it can be fulfilled by the end of the Ocean Decade in 2030. The results of the process will contribute to the scoping of future Decade Actions, identification of resource mobilization priorities, and ensuring the ongoing relevance of the Challenges over time. The process identifies achievable recommendations that can be implemented in the context of the Decade, or more broadly before 2030 to achieve the identified strategic ambition and indicators that will be used to measure progress. This draft White Paper is one of a series of ten White Papers all of which have been authored by an expert Working Group. Accompanied by a synthesis report authored by the Decade Coordination Unit, this white paper was discussed at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference (Barcelona. Spain). Input received from diverse groups through public consultation and at the Conference was reviewed and incorporated as relevant.
  • Warm conveyor belt activity over the Pacific: modulation by the Madden–Julian Oscillation and impact on tropical–extratropical teleconnections

    Quinting, Julian F.; Grams, Christian M.; Kar-Man Chang, Edmund; Pfahl, Stephan; Wernli, Heini (2024)
    Weather and Climate Dynamics
    Research in the last few decades has revealed that rapidly ascending airstreams in extratropical cyclones – socalled warm conveyor belts (WCBs) – play an important role in extratropical atmospheric dynamics. However on the subseasonal timescale, the modulation of their occurrence frequency, henceforth referred to as WCB activity, has so far received little attention. Also, it is not yet clear whether WCB activity may affect tropospheric teleconnection patterns, which constitute a source of predictability on this subseasonal timescale. Using reanalysis data, this study analyzes the modulation of WCB activity by the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO). A key finding is that WCB activity increases significantly over the western North Pacific when the convection of the MJO is located over the Indian Ocean. This increased WCB activity, which is stronger during La Niña conditions, is related to enhanced poleward moisture fluxes driven by the circulation of subtropical Rossby gyres associated with the MJO. In contrast, when the convection of the MJO is located over the western North Pacific, WCB activity increases significantly over the eastern North Pacific. This increase stems from a southward shift and eastward extension of the North Pacific jet stream. However, while these mean increases are significant, individual MJO events exhibit substantial variability, with some events even exhibiting anomalously low WCB activity. Individual events of the same MJO phase with anomalously low WCB activity over the North Pacific tend to be followed by the known canonical teleconnection patterns in the Atlantic–European region; i.e., the occurrence frequency of the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is enhanced when convection of the MJO is located over the Indian Ocean and similarly for the negative phase of the NAO when MJO convection is over the western North Pacific. However, the canonical teleconnection patterns are modified when individual events of the same MJO phase are accompanied by anomalously high WCB activity over the North Pacific. In particular, the link between MJO and the negative phase of the NAO weakens considerably. Reanalysis data and experiments with an idealized general circulation model reveal that this is related to anomalous ridge building over western North America favored by enhanced WCB activity. Overall, our study highlights the potential role of WCBs in shaping tropical–extratropical teleconnection patterns and underlines the importance of representing them adequately in numerical weather prediction models in order to fully exploit the sources of predictability emerging from the tropics.
  • 5 Passos para Incentivar a Cultura Oceânica nas Escolas

    Martins Morais, Alice; Isensee, Marcio; Bragança, Daniele (Eco e Mare de Ciencia, 2023)
    O OCEANO QUE PRECISAMOS PARA O FUTURO QUE QUEREMOS Este é o slogan usado pelas Nações Unidas (ONU) para sensibilização em campanha da Década da ONU de Ciência Oceânica para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável, também co- nhecida como Década do Oceano. Você já ou- viu falar? A Década foi declarada pelas Nações Unidas em 2017 e está sendo implementada de 2021 até 2030, com o objetivo de ser um período que deixe o assunto sempre em evidência, ga- rantindo que a ciência oceânica possa apoiar os países na implementação da Agenda 2030 para o desenvolvimento sustentável. Sabe quando os profissionais da escola se únem antes do início das aulas (o famoso pla- nejamento anual), para fazer uma espécie de intensivão para alinhar as metas, estratégias e “deixar a casa em ordem”? É basicamente para isso que foi instituída a Década do Oceano, resumindo de forma bem simples. É um jeito simbólico de incentivar que toda a sociedade se una, durante dez anos, para promover a conservação do oceano e a gestão dos recursos naturais de zonas costeiras. Dessa forma, o planeta pode atingir os Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável (ODS). À primeira vista, isso tudo pode parecer um tema muito complexo e de competência ape- nas de governos e cúpulas internacionais. Mas, enquanto as decisões são tomadas em escala global, é no local, na nossa prática, que as ações tomam vida. As pequenas ações do cotidiano podem fazer uma grande diferença, especialmente quando falamos do ambien- te escolar, um dos espaços mais importantes para formar gerações de cidadãos e transfor- mar o mundo em um lugar melhor, não acha? Este ebook traz, resumidamente, um guia dos primeiros passos a se dar para incentivar a cul- tura oceânica na sua escola, dando uma mão para você e sua comunidade fazerem parte desse movimento.
  • MONITOR: Mitigation of Natural Incidence Towards an increased Oceanic Resilience [Poster]

    MONITOR (Second Institute of Oceanography, MNR, 2023)
    The proposed project will make contributions to marine natural disaster prevention of countries in the Indo-Pacific region. The project will have major focus on education and intelligent collaborations among young scientists. There will be summer course being offered to students from all participating institutions every year, together with personnel exchange program. The technology for developing regional physical-biological modeling will be introduced and the operational forecasting systems for regional environments are expected to be developed in the coastal regions along the Indian and western Pacific Ocean.
  • Garotas STEM: Histórias que Inspiram 2022

    Birtwistle, Tom; Daste, Diana (British Council, 2023)
    A valorização de talentos e o empoderamento para indivíduos atingirem o seu potencial perpassa diferentes momentos da vida e abrange diferentes esferas sociais. O respeito à diversidade e a identificação de estratégias para facilitar acesso e oportunidade é um pilar fundamental para avançar num modelo de sociedade que visa o desenvolvimento sustentável nas esferas econômica, social, ambiental e humana. O programa Mulheres na Ciência (Women in STEM) do British Council surge como uma dessas estratégias, para contribuir com o universo de mulheres e meninas nas áreas STEM (sigla em inglês para ciência, tecnologia, engenharia e matemática)...
  • All-Atlantic Blue Schools Network

    Takahashi, Camila Keiko; de Andrade, Mariana M. (All-Atlantic Blue Schools Network, 2023)
    The All-Atlantic Blue Schools Network (AA-BSN) is a remarkable network implemented under the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance. It has really embraced the spirit of this science diplomacy process: Connect, Act and Collaborate. It started from an idea back in 2019 when several Ocean Literacy experts from along and across the Atlantic Ocean got together in scope of the AANChOR project, funded to implement the Belem Statement. It builds on the experience of the Blue School in Portugal and the AAORA Working Group on Ocean Literacy in scope of the Galway Statement. With 16 Atlantic countries engaged (as of January 2023), 28 National coordinators from 18 institutions, 455 schools reached, 125 178 students and 3 458 teachers engaged it is truly an example of the desire of the All-Atlantic Ocean Literacy community to get together, to effectively act through a very specific collaboration opportunity and to impact tomorrow’s generation! By connecting schools from Atlantic countries to raise and promote ocean literacy and society awareness AA-BSN is contributing to European, National and International strategies. The bottom-up process where each school builds its own project based on its socio-cultural-economic reality is, in my opinion, the basis for the success of AA-BSN. And imagine… all that was possible in less than two years and with a pandemic period in between. AA-BSN is really an inspiring joint activity from the Atlantic Ocean Literacy community! Congratulation to all the team and those engaged. Well done!
  • COESS: Seafloor seeps in Japan Sea. [Full Depth drone video]

    Chemistry, Observation, Ecology of Submarine Seeps (COESS) Project (University of Tokyo, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, 2024)
    Seafloor journey around methane seeps
  • Atlas Aquatica: Empowering Scuba Diving Ecotourism for Marine Conservation and the Blue Economy

    Favoretto, Fabio; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Centro para la Biodiversidad Marina y la Conservación A.C. (Atlas Aquatica Project, 2023)
    Healthy oceans are essential for life, but a mere 2.9% are fully protected1. The question then arises - why is ocean protection so challenging? Among the many reasons is the economic allure of extractive activities which poses a barrier to alleviating human pressure on ocean areas. Marine protected areas (MPAs), primarily designed to preserve biodiversity, are often rationalized through a business lens and are expected to yield revenue by increasing tourists’ willingness to pay. However, MPAs are not business entities and require a set of enabling conditions to successfully reach their goals. In a successful marine protected area, a unit increase in natural capital results in a rise in tourist revenue. We developed a bioeconomic model to show how fully protecting diving sites can significantly enhance nature’s recovery and lead to larger revenues for the scuba diving industry. In Mexico, scuba diving generates as much revenue as the fishing industry, yet only 7% of the country’s diving sites are fully protected. Globally, the scuba diving industry generates up to $20 billion dollars per year, even though about half of the diving sites worldwide lack protection. Using global experiences, we designed a five-step bottom-up approach that scuba diving operators can use to amplify marine protection. This approach could catalyze the creation of stricter or new fullyprotected areas designed to incorporate existing businesses - a significant departure from the traditional business framework. The Atlas Aquatica initiative advocates for a significant shift in narrative to stimulate broader acceptance of marine protection worldwide. We aim to contribute to a sustainable blue economic growth and the 30x30 conservation target by promoting the protection of diving sites globally
  • Oceano sem mistérios : Construindo cidades azuis

    Bumbeer, Janaina; Baladelli Ribeiro, Juliana; Alberti, Liziane; Leopoldi, Giovanna; Adriano Christofoletti, Ronaldo; Keiko Takahashi, Camila; Eon, Fábio; de Pinho, Roberto (Conexao Oceano, 2023)
    Cidade Azul é aquela que promove a sustentabilidade - social, ambiental, econômica, cultural e em sua governança - integrando políticas públicas e ações de cidadãos e instituições com o oceano. Portanto, ser uma cidade azul é fortalecer a relação da sustentabilidade com o oceano! E não importa a distância do mar, mesmo cidades do interior podem, e devem, ser azuis. A cultura oceânica é definida como o “entendimento da influência do oceano em nossas vidas e de nossas ações no oceano”, no qual “nós” corresponde a indivíduos e instituições, sejam elas públicas ou privadas. Ela é feita com todos os diferentes setores da sociedade, considerando suas especificidades locais e de forma integrada e colaborativa. É importante pontuar que este documento não traz uma fórmula única ou guia para uma Cidade Azul, pois cada cidade possui sua realidade social, cultural, ambiental, econômica e de infraestrutura política e administrativa. Este documento também não busca iniciar ou trazer novas demandas, mas sim inserir uma lente azul nas iniciativas, projetos e ações já realizadas ou em andamento, valorizando e ampliando o impacto destas ações. Aqui, você vai encontrar estratégias divididas em sete esferas principais - educação, economia azul sustentável, turismo, adaptação, água e saneamento, saúde e bem- estar e conservação - que podem ser adotadas de forma conjunta ou individualmente. Todas elas dialogam e ajudam seu município a alcançar os Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Agenda 2030, além de responder aos Desafios da Década da Ciência Oceânica para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável (2021 - 2030). Tomadores de decisão, servidores públicos dos municípios e Estados, este é um convite e oportunidade para discutir, adaptar e aplicar os caminhos aqui apresentados e, assim, construir sua cidade azul.
  • Advancing National Ocean Best Practices and Standards Workshop and Questionnaire Report

    Przeslawski, Rachel; Gibbons, Brooke; Langlois, Tim; Monk, Jacquomo; Pini-Fitzsimmons, Joni; NSW Department of Primary Industries, University of Tasmania, University of Western Australia (National Environmental Science Program, 2023)
    The NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub (2015-2021) delivered a project that developed and progressed the adoption of nine national standards for marine survey design and sampling (field-manuals-marine-sampling-monitor-australian-waters). The project was a success, with 136 individuals from 53 organisations contributing to what is colloquially known as the SOPs (standard operating procedures). The SOPs are now considered best practices, being adopted at State, Commonwealth, and international levels by a range of users, including industry and in developing nations. Without taking the next steps and establishing national and long-term governance and application guidance, the SOPs run the risk of becoming outdated and being no longer fit-for-purpose as related to national marine monitoring objectives for key values and pressures. The first step in the development of a future framework for national marine standards is to solicit input from the marine science community about their needs. As such, we coordinated a workshop and questionnaire to collect this information (Advancing National Ocean Best Practices and Standards). The aims of the online workshop and questionnaire were: ● To improve the uptake and applicability of the national marine standard operating procedures (SOPs) and other best practices across diverse users; and ● To guide further actions on the development of future SOPs and how they are used. The workshop had 46 attendees, while the questionnaire had 47 respondents, both predominantly represented by people from Australia. High-level barriers to uptake of the SOPs were related to funding, awareness, training, content, and institutional support. Workshop participants also identified operational barriers and potential solutions. Importantly, there was consensus to continue the SOP program in the long-term, including the possible inclusion of methods, guides, and practices outside of NESP. Feedback from workshop participants and questionnaire participants was summarised into the following broad recommendations: ● Develop new SOPs, including those currently planned for NESP 2.2 (drop cameras, socioeconomic surveys, microplastics) as well as SOPs related to eDNA, drones, sub-bottom profiling, threatened and protected species, and underwater visual census ● Develop revised SOPs to provide clearer or more specific data release guidelines, updated guidelines regarding Indigenous partnerships, engagement and Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property, glossary or list of standardised terminology and case studies to highlight diversity of users and objectives. ● Increase relevance to other user groups, particularly First Nations, by understanding the needs, preferences and capabilities of these groups and using this information to tailor existing SOPs or develop new ones as required. ● Establish an oversight committee to develop and implement a national best practice endorsement process; identify the need for new and revised SOPs, facilitate accessibility and uptake of SOPs, and track uptake and impact. The input described in this report will be used in a 2024 implementation plan to guide the future of the SOP program.

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