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.

https://oceandecade.org/
https://oceandecade.org/challenges/
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  • Marine Genetic Resources, Including the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits: An Intellectual Property Perspective

    Kirchner-Freis, Iris; ISRIM; University of Genoa (ISRIM; University of Genoa, 2023)
    In the third video (3/6) of the series, Prof. Dr. Iris Kirchner-Freis (@MLSLEGAL ) explains the provisions of Part II on "Marine genetic resources, including the fair and equitable sharing of benefits" of the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement), which was adopted on 19 June 2023 in New York. In her presentation, she has a special focus on the intellectual property perspective. The presentation is part of the workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)", which took place in the framework of the 9th Summer School on the European Union and the Law of the Sea (EULoS). It was organized by the Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law (@ISRIM) and the University of Genoa (@Uni.Genova) on 1 September 2023. The workshop is a UN Ocean Decade Activity.
  • Introduction to the Workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)"

    Kirchner, Andree; Schiano di Pepe, Lorenzo; ISRIM; University of Genoa (ISRIM; University of Genoa, 2023)
    In the first part of the introductory video (1/6), Prof. Dr. Andree Kirchner (@ISRIM) and Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Schiano di Pepe (@Uni.Genova) are giving some background information about the workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)". In the second part of the introductory video, Prof. Dr. Marco Giovine (Centro del Mare, @Uni.Genova) explains the importance of the topic from the perspective of the Centre of the Sea at the University of Genoa. The presentations are part of the workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)", which took place in the framework of the 9th Summer School on the European Union and the Law of the Sea (EULoS). It was organized by the Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law (ISRIM) and the University of Genoa on 1 September 2023. The workshop is an UN Ocean Decade Activity.
  • Capacity-Building and the Transfer of Marine Technology

    Grainger, Carl; ISRIM; University of Genoa (2023)
    In the sixth video (6/6) of the series, Mr Carl Grainger (Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland) explains the provisions of Part V on "Capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology" of the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement), which was adopted on 19 June 2023 in New York. The presentation is part of the workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)", which took place in the framework of the 9th Summer School on the European Union and the Law of the Sea (EULoS). It was organized by the Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law (@ISRIM ) and the University of Genoa (@Uni.Genova ) on 1 September 2023. The workshop is a UN Ocean Decade Activity.
  • DITTO Programme Whitepaper

    Bahurel, Pierre; Brönner, Ute; Buttigieg, Pier-Luigi; Chai, Fei; Chassignet, Eric; Devey, Colin; Fanjul, Enrique Alvarez; Hill, Katherine; Yong Kim, Sung; Kollert, Joana; et al. (DITTO Programme of the UN Ocean Decade, 2023)
    This white paper provides an outline of the concept of digital twins of the ocean and lays out the challenges, opportunities for action, and suggestions for their implementation as defined by the UN Decade Action “Digital Twins of the Ocean” (DITTO).
  • Nonlinear tide-surge interactions in the Río de la Plata Estuary

    Dinápoli, Matías G.; Simionato, Claudia G.; Moreira, Diego (2020)
    Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
    The nonlinear tide-surge interaction (NTSI) can significantly affect the levels associated with storm surges that threaten coastal areas. In this work, water level observations and numerical simulations are used to investigate those interactions in the large, mighty and socio-economically important Río de la Plata (RdP) estuary. We introduce a novel objective approach to seek evidence of nonlinear interactions in hourly water level records from six tide gauges collected along the coast. Results indicate that NTSI occurs in the RdP and suggest that it becomes more important upstream and along the southern coast of the estuary. CROCO ocean numerical model is used to quantify the interactions, to determine the areas where they are stronger, and to identify their sources. The amplitude of the interaction accounts for 16% of the total water level at the upper RdP, being comparable to tidal amplitude. The quadratic bottom friction is the principal cause of NTSI, and is modulated by the tidal current; therefore the nonlinearity is present all the time and is independent of the wind speed and direction. This is a particularity of this estuary and occurs because, as a consequence of its large width, surge currents are weak in spite of the big volume of water mobilized by the storms. Due to its nature, the interaction attenuates and smoothes the level anomalies due to the surge. Results highlight the need of utilizing a complete NTSI model for the forecast of the surge in the RdP; otherwise, the estuarine dynamic would be misrepresented generating significant forecasts errors (10%–20% at the upper RdP).
  • Environmental Impact Assessments

    Lindström Battle, Jessica; ISRIM; University of Genoa (Universita di Genova, Institutie for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law, 2023)
    In the fifth video (5/6) of the series, Ms. Jessica Lindström Battle (@WWF) the provisions of Part IV on "Environmental impact assessments" of the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement), which was adopted on 19 June 2023 in New York. The presentation is part of the workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)", which took place in the framework of the 9th Summer School on the European Union and the Law of the Sea (EULoS). It was organized by the Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law (@ISRIM) and the University of Genoa (@Uni.Genova) on 1 September 2023. The workshop is a UN Ocean Decade Activity.
  • Measures such as Area-based Management Tools, Including Marine Protected Areas

    Becker-Weinberg, Vasco; ISRIM; University of Genoa (Universita di Genova, Institutie for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law, 2023)
    In the fourth video (4/6) of the series, Prof. Dr. Vasco Becker-Weinberg (New University of Lisbon) explains the provisions of Part III on "Measures such as area-based management tools, including marine protected areas" of the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement), which was adopted on 19 June 2023 in New York. The presentation is part of the workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)", which took place in the framework of the 9th Summer School on the European Union and the Law of the Sea (EULoS). It was organized by the Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law (@ISRIM ) and the University of Genoa (@Uni.Genova) on 1 September 2023. The workshop is a UN Ocean Decade Activity.
  • The new BBNJ Agreement.

    Kirchner, Andree; ISRIM; University of Genoa (Universita di Genova, Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law, 2023)
    In the second video (2/6) of the series, Prof. Dr. Andree Kirchner (ISRIM) explains the historical background of the initiative and the negotiation processes, which lead to the adoption of the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) on 19 June 2023 in New York. The presentation is part of the workshop "Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)", which took place in the framework of the 9th Summer School on the European Union and the Law of the Sea (EULoS). It was organized by the Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law (ISRIM) and the University of Genoa on 1 September 2023. The workshop is a UN Ocean Decade Activity.
  • Marine Geohazards: Safeguarding society and the Blue Economy from a hidden threat

    Kopp, Heidrun; Chiocci, Francesco Latino; Berndt, Christian; Çağatay, Namık; Ferreira, Teresa; Fortes, Juana; Gràcia, Eulàlia; González Vega, Alba; Kopf, Achim; Sørensen, Mathilde B.; et al. (European Marine Board, 2021)
    Marine geohazards pose a significant threat to the European coastal population and to the development of the Blue Economy. This Position Paper discusses the type, distribution and impact of marine geohazards on the European coastal regions and the Blue Economy, as well as what and how novel scientific approaches may broaden our understanding of their trigger mechanisms and drive a risk-mitigating European policy.
  • Addressing underwater noise in Europe: Current state of knowledge and future priorities

    Thomsen, Frank; Mendes, Sónia; Bertucci, Frédéric; Breitzke, Monika; Ciappi, Elena; Cresci, Alessandro; Debusschere, Elisabeth; Ducatel, Cecile; Folegot, Thomas; Juretzek, Carina; et al. (European Marine Board, 2021)
    The Ocean presents a cacophony of sounds originating from natural as well as anthropogenic sources. Marine organisms heavily rely on sound to communicate and understand the world around them, and are therefore potentially impacted by anthropogenic sound. However, in developing our Blue Economy and in advancing our knowledge of marine environments and ecosystems, anthropogenic noise is sometimes unavoidable. Understanding the potential effects of anthropogenic noise is therefore integral to addressing this conflict, as it is needed to develop proportionate mitigation strategies and effective regulation. Next to providing an overview of our current knowledge about underwater noise, this publication highlights the priority areas for further research addressing the remaining knowledge gaps about the effects of anthropogenic noise. Furthermore, it points out the relevant actions needed to take in order to ensure ecosystem-based and precautionary legislation.
  • Marine Science Communication in Europe: a way foward

    Seys, Jan; Cox, Lucy; Şahin Yücel, Ezgi; Ezgeta-Balić, Daria; Faimali, Marco; Garaventa, Francesca; García-Martínez, M. Carmen; Gili, Claudia; Kopke, Kathrin; Moreau, Kelle; et al. (European Marine Board, 2022)
    Marine Science Communication (MSC) aims to increase understanding and to raise awareness of Ocean science. It also increases curiosity about scientific discoveries and issues related to our Ocean. MSC is a tool to improve understanding of the importance of Ocean science, to help create awareness and inspire responsible behaviour at all levels of society, and to advocate for policy that is committed to a sustainable Ocean and planet.
  • To use, or not to use plastic- that is the question: Well, I would say REUSE

    EnviroVision2050 (EnviroVision2050, 2023)
    Plastic, a material often regarded as one of the biggest threats to the environment, has become so ingrained in our lives that we find it almost everywhere, ranging from something as small as a toothbrush to massive containers. In fact, this subject has gained so much prevalence that no science lectures in schools are complete without discussing the detrimental effects of plastic, which have become so deeply embedded in our brains that the moment I hear plastic, I see an ambulance siren wailing, screaming at the top of its lungs, “PLASTIC IS BAD, STAY AWAY”.
  • European offshore renewable energy: Towards a sustainable future

    Soukissian, Takvor; O’Hagan, Anne Marie; Azzellino, Arianna; Boero, Ferdinando; Brito e Melo, Ana; Comiskey, Patricia; Gao, Zhen; Howell, Dickon; Le Boulluec, Marc; Maisondieu, Christophe; et al. (European Marine Board, 2023)
    The global economic and geopolitical situations in 2022, including the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing fuel prices, and the war in Ukraine leading to questions of energy security, have further increased the impetus on governments to accelerate the move away from a reliance on oil and gas as energy sources. Offshore renewable energy sources should play a key role in that move. In light of these geo-political, economic, and environmental drivers, this Future Science Brief outlines the state-of-the-art in knowledge on offshore renewable energy (ORE). It also highlights key research needs to help us fully understand the implications of such an energy transition.
  • EnviroVision2050: Project Green Leaders – Ocean

    EnviroVision2050 (EnviroVision2050, 2023)
    Committed to inspire & empower Indian youth to embrace entrepreneurship, self-leadership & environmental stewardship to become exemplary world leaders, EnviroVision2050 and its community of Explorers continuously seek ways to build awareness and take action towards a sustainable planet.
  • Every map lies - A geohistorical approach to wetland restoration: ancient maps and modern geospatial technologies for a source-to-sea perspective in the Pantanello Natural Park and surrounding designated areas

    Gaglioti, Martina (Self Published, 2023)
    This study has been conceived after a field-based experience and developing the wider analysis through a geohistorical approach, according to the need to deepen the scientific knowledge of a portion of land characterized by a relevant habitat complexity and species diversity, despite its limited spatial extension. One of the main objectives of this study is to describe the changes in the land use, over approximately 150 years in an Italian agricultural landscape, in relation to changes in human population, livestock and wildlife species, to analyze the relationships between historical land use, current species diversity and upcoming uses of the natural resources within the area.
  • Unveiling the quarries world: outreach and dissemination session in the framework of Fishtuna Festival 2023

    Gaglioti, Martina (Self Published, 2023)
    During the last edition of Fishtuna festival I had the opportunity to share some insights from field-based research conducted in the Aegadian Islands MPA in 2016-2017. This event shed light on local traditions and on the intangible heritage of the Aegadian Archipelago, focusing on traditions from multiple perspectives: art, tourism and traditional food. On this perspective, I briefly introduced through a video projection, an extract of the work performed in collaboration with the Aegadian Islands MPA and the University of Rome in 2016-2017 dedicated to another relevant aspect of the cultural heritage of this place: the quarries of the eastern portion of Favignana island.
  • Marine Genetic Resources: An Intellectual Property Perspective.

    Kirchner-Freis, Iris; Kirchner, Andree (Hugo Grotius Publishers, 2023)
    After about 20 years of negotiations in different fora, the United Nations (UN) adopted on 19 June 2023 the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement). The BBNJ Agreement is intended to ensure conservational and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Part II of the new BBNJ Agreement deals with marine genetic resources (MGRs) of areas beyond national jurisdiction, i.e. the high seas and the Area (Art. 1(2), BBNJ Agreement), the digital sequence information (DSI) on MGRs, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization.
  • Unexpected incomers in the Asterousia Biosphere Reserve: The shy swim of Torquigener flavimaculosus cubs along our boat line an the beached hints of Lagocephalus onshore

    Gaglioti, Martina (2023)
    This contribution is the outcome of a field-based observation occurred in the shallow waters of the Asterousia Biosphere Reserve on the southern coast of Creete Island. The occurrence of two IAS highlighted and confirmed the presence of Lessepsian immigrants in the area.
  • Ocean oxygen: The role of the Ocean in the oxygen we breathe and the threat of deoxygenation

    Grégoire, Marilaure; Oschlies, Andreas; Canfield, Donald; Castro, Carmen; Ciglenečki, Irena; Croot, Peter; Salin, Karine; Schneider, Birgit; Serret, Pablo; Slomp, Caroline; et al. (European Marine Board, 2023)
    EMB Future Science Brief No. 10 highlights the most recent science on Ocean oxygen, including causes, impacts and mitigation strategies of Ocean oxygen loss, and discusses whether “every second breath we take comes from the Ocean”. It closes with key policy, management and research recommendations to address Ocean deoxygenation and communicate more accurately about the role of the Ocean in Earth’s oxygen. The sentence “every second breath you take comes from the Ocean” is commonly used in Ocean Literacy and science communication to highlight the importance of Ocean oxygen. However, despite its widespread use, it is often not phrased correctly. In contrast, there is little awareness about the threat of the global oxygen loss in the Ocean, called deoxygenation, particularly in comparison with other important stressors, such as Ocean acidification or increasing seawater temperatures. Deoxygenation is increasing in the coastal and open Ocean, primarily due to human-induced global warming and nutrient run-off from land, and projections show that the Ocean will continue losing oxygen as global warming continues. The consequences of oxygen loss in the Ocean are extensive and include decreased biodiversity, shifts in species distributions, displacement or reduction in fisheries resources, changes in biogeochemical cycling and mass mortalities. Low oxygen conditions also drive other chemical processes which produce greenhouse gases, toxic compounds and further degrade water quality. The degraded water quality directly affects marine ecosystems, but also indirectly impacts ecosystem services supporting local communities, regional economies and tourism. Although there are still gaps in our knowledge, we know enough to be very concerned about the consequences: the impacts might even be larger than from Ocean acidification or heat waves, and three out of the five global mass extinctions were linked to Ocean deoxygenation. The sense of urgency to improve Ocean health is reflected in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) and the EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters (Mission Ocean), and tackling the loss of oxygen in the Ocean is critical to achieving the aims of these two initiatives.
  • Blue Carbon: Challenges and opportunities to mitigate the climate and biodiversity crises

    Gattuso, Jean-Pierre; Hicks, Natalie; Neukermans, Griet; Landschützer, Peter; Pörtner, Hans-Otto; Heymans, Sheila JJ; Heymans, Sheila JJ; Rodriguez Perez, Ana; Alexander, Britt; Muñiz Piniella, Ángel; et al. (European Marine Board, 2023)
    Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of humanity’s greatest challenges. Blue carbon, i.e. the carbon captured and stored by marine living organisms and ecosystems, has the potential to help mitigate both challenges, because marine ecosystems that are important for sequestering carbon often also harbour rich biodiversity. Expanding and protecting Blue Carbon ecosystems has therefore been proposed as a Nature-based Solution to complement climate change mitigation efforts on land and to protect and restore marine biodiversity. In addition, securing and rebuilding Blue Carbon ecosystems can stabilise livelihoods, protect coasts, and support other societal needs such as food provision from the Ocean. However, the effectiveness of Blue Carbon ecosystems as a Nature-based Solution depends on the available space and ecosystem productivity, which can be impacted by climate change. Moreover, the overall carbon sequestration potential of Blue Carbon ecosystems is low and their contribution to climate stabilisation will only be significant once greenhouse gas emissions are strongly limited. Therefore, a drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is essential to maintain the health and long-term functionality of Blue Carbon ecosystems as a Nature-based Solution. This document describes examples and benefits of Blue Carbon ecosystems, and discusses uncertainties and challenges for the conservation and restoration of Blue Carbon ecosystems as a climate change solution. It also highlights the wider role of the Ocean in mitigating climate change through the carbon cycle, and closes with key research and management recommendations.

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