Recent Submissions

  • Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability - A Community Vision for the Ocean Decade.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO, 2024)
    The global ocean acidification research community responded to the Decade call by co-designing a pioneering UN Decade programme entitled “Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability” (OARS). The programme is led by three partners: Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK), University of Washington (USA), and IOC-UNESCO. OARS provides the blueprint to foster cooperation of ocean acidification research, improve understanding of the impacts of the phenomenon and, ultimately, develop approaches for mitigating its effects by acting on sources and identify adaptation approaches. The OARS white papers in this publication summarize where the global community currently is on this path and what should be done in the future to include the ocean acidification dimension for combatting the degradation of ocean health under various anthropogenic stressors including the changing climate.
  • Ocean science roadmap for UNESCO Marine World Heritage in the context of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (UNESCO, 2021)
    Climate change is altering our planet and the effects are felt from the highest mountains to the deepest parts of the ocean. While the world seeks to hold warming to 1.5°C, it is vital that we take steps now to protect some of the Earth’s natural jewels and to preserve them for future generations. The UNESCO World Heritage List includes the world’s most iconic marine protected areas, recognised by the international community for their outstanding biodiversity, beauty, geology and natural habitats. Beginning with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 1981, the List has since expanded to include a global network of 50 ocean places of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), from the tropics to the poles, each of which helps to secure the future of our marine ecosystems. Inclusion on the List is only the start of the work needed to protect these sites from warming seas and shifting weather. Indeed, some 70% of the marine World Heritage sites are currently under threat from climate change, according to the 2020 IUCN World Heritage Outlook. Under a business-as-usual emissions scenario, World Heritage Listed coral reef systems are expected to cease to exist by 2100. Action is necessary not just to protect these sites, but because between them they host over 20% of the world’s blue carbon ecosystems - representing critical carbon sinks - and serve as refuges for vulnerable and threatened species. Managers, scientists, and funders are enthusiastic and willing to help us achieve healthy oceans and marine World Heritage sites. But how? The 2021 UNESCO science assessment survey of marine World Heritage sites indicates that nearly 75% of sites lack knowledge on how to protect their OUV against the impacts from climate change. And about two thirds lack the tools to understand how climate change will impact their biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.We must find evidence-based solutions to address these questions and to help sites plan for the uncertain future. In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 2021-2030 would serve as the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (or ‘Ocean Decade’). The Ocean Decade provides a global framework to harness science to sustainably manage the oceans. Marine World Heritage sites are identified as priority areas in the Implementation Plan of the Ocean Decade. The Decade offers a way to convene diverse actors to co-design and co-deliver knowledge that will address scientific questions about the vulnerable sites, to plan the right response and to put them on a path to a sustainable future. Climate change is a complex challenge, and we must use the best and most up-to-date research and data to guide our actions. Collecting ocean science data and identifying trends are critical to local management teams. Without this baseline knowledge, including where iconic species live or trends in environmental and socio-economic variables, effective management decisions cannot be made in ways that will ensure sites’ protection 10 or 20 years from now. Yet despite their iconic status, many marine World Heritage sites lack essential capacity, technology and resources to generate and process data, including the baseline observations crucial to gather the evidence to plan future steps. For many sites, budgets have not risen while challenges grow exponentially. In response, UNESCO is launching a call for increased and strategic investment in the ocean science needed to safeguard marine World Heritage sites. The ocean is a vast place and there is much to do. Within the framework of the Ocean Decade, this roadmap aims to help provide focus, to ensure research is carried out and used in an efficient, effective and sustainable way. It identifies knowledge that site managers and scientists need to conserve marine World Heritage sites and foster resilient marine ecosystems, highlights the value of science-based decision making, and tackles some key obstacles including resources and capacity. This roadmap outlines key information to assess climate vulnerability, including on the use of targeted science to underpin conservation and management efforts. It also highlights current gaps in science capacity and infrastructure, including data collection and interpretation. Finally, it explores the technology and capacity required for action and the sustainable finance and resources needed to support the necessary research. Marine World Heritage sites face a critical moment in time and we must act now. By developing this roadmap within the framework of the Ocean Decade, we have the chance to generate ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’ and preserve marine World Heritage sites and their services for future generations. This roadmap seeks to offer that help, by showing managers, supporters, and funders how science and research can be more cost-effectively directed to some of the most pressing problems. Together we can steer a path to a resilient and sustainable future, for the next decade and beyond.
  • Hoja de ruta de las ciencias oceánicas para el Patrimonio Mundial Marino de la UNESCO en el marco del Decenio de las Naciones Unidas de las Ciencias Oceánicas para el Desarrollo Sostenible (2021-2030).

    Centro del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO (Programa Marino) y la Comisión Oceanográfica Intergubernamental (COI de la UNESCO). (UNESCO, 2022)
    El cambio climático está alterando nuestro planeta y sus efectos se dejan sentir desde en las montañas más altas hasta en las zonas más profundas del océano. Mientras el mundo intenta mantener el calentamiento en 1,5°C, es fundamental adoptar medidas ya para proteger algunas de las joyas naturales de la Tierra y preservarlas para las generaciones futuras. La Lista del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO comprende las zonas marinas protegidas más emblemáticas del mundo, reconocidas por la comunidad internacional por el carácter excepcional de su diversidad biológica, su belleza, su geología y sus hábitats naturales. La Lista, que empezó en 1981 con la Gran Barrera de Coral de Australia, se ha ido ampliando desde entonces, y ahora cuenta con una red mundial de 50 sitios oceánicos de valor universal excepcional, desde los trópicos hasta los polos, cada uno de los cuales ayuda a asegurar el futuro de nuestros ecosistemas marinos. La inclusión en la Lista no es más que el inicio de la labor necesaria para proteger estos sitios contra el calentamiento de los mares y unas condiciones meteorológicas cambiantes. De hecho, alrededor del 70% de los sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial se encuentra actualmente amenazado por el cambio climático, según la Perspectiva del Patrimonio Mundial de la UICN de 2020. Si no se producen cambios en las emisiones, las previsiones indican que los sistemas de arrecife de coral de la Lista del Patrimonio Mundial dejarán de existir para 2100. Es necesario actuar no solo para proteger estos sitios, sino porque todos juntos albergan más del 20% de los ecosistemas de carbono azul del mundo (lo que representa importantes sumideros de carbono) y sirven de refugio a especies vulnerables y amenazadas. Administradores, científicos y donantes se han mostrado ilusionados y dispuestos a ayudarnos a lograr un océano y unos sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial saludables. La pregunta es: ¿cómo? En el estudio de evaluación científica de la UNESCO de 2021 de los sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial se señala que casi el 75% de los sitios no sabe cómo proteger su valor universal excepcional frente a los efectos del cambio climático. Y alrededor de dos terceras partes carece de herramientas para comprender cómo afectará el cambio climático a su diversidad biológica y al funcionamiento del ecosistema. Hay que encontrar soluciones con base empírica para hacer frente a estos problemas y ayudar a los sitios a planificar un futuro incierto. En 2017 la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas proclamó el periodo 2021 2030 Decenio de las Naciones Unidas de las Ciencias Oceánicas para el Desarrollo Sostenible (o Decenio del Océano). El Decenio del Océano proporciona un marco mundial para utilizar las ciencias en la gestión sostenible del océano. Los sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial han sido declarados esferas prioritarias en el Plan de ejecución del Decenio del Océano. El Decenio contribuye a reunir a distintos interlocutores en la generación y la aplicación conjuntas de conocimientos que responderán a cuestiones científicas sobre los sitios vulnerables con el objetivo de planificar la respuesta correcta y situarlos en la senda hacia un futuro sostenible. El cambio climático constituye un desafío complejo, y debemos utilizar la investigación y los datos más actualizados y de mejor calidad para orientar nuestras medidas. La recopilación de datos de las ciencias oceánicas y la identificación de tendencias son acciones fundamentales para los equipos de administradores. Sin estos conocimientos básicos, como por ejemplo dónde viven las especies emblemáticas las tendencias de las variables medioambientales y socioeconómicas, no se pueden adoptar decisiones de administración eficaces para garantizar la protección de los sitios de aquí a 10 o 20 años. No obstante, a pesar de su condición emblemática, muchos sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial carecen de la capacidad, la tecnología y los recursos esenciales para generar y procesar datos, incluidas las observaciones básicas fundamentales para reunir pruebas de cara a planificar futuras medidas. En muchos sitios, los presupuestos no han aumentado, mientras que los problemas crecen exponencialmente. La UNESCO ha respondido a estos desafíos con un llamamiento a una mayor inversión estratégica en ciencias oceánicas, muy necesaria para salvaguardar los sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial. El océano es un lugar inmenso y hay mucho que hacer. En el marco del Decenio del Océano, esta hoja de ruta pretende brindar orientaciones y contribuir a garantizar que la investigación se lleva a cabo y se utiliza de manera eficiente, eficaz y sostenible. En ella se identifican los conocimientos que necesitan los administradores de los sitios y los científicos para conservar los sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial y promover ecosistemas marinos resilientes. También se pone de relieve el valor de la adopción de decisiones con base empírica, y se abordan algunos obstáculos importantes, como los relacionados con los recursos y la capacidad. En esta hoja de ruta se presenta información importante para evaluar la vulnerabilidad ante el clima, por ejemplo, sobre el uso de datos científicos específicos para respaldar los esfuerzos de conservación y administración. También se ponen de manifiesto algunas lagunas existentes actualmente en la capacidad científica y la infraestructura, como en materia de recopilación de datos e interpretación. Por último, se explora la tecnología y la capacidad necesaria para la acción y para la financiación y los recursos sostenibles requeridos para costear la investigación necesaria. Los sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial se enfrentan a un momento crítico, por lo que debemos actuar ya. Al elaborar esta hoja de ruta en el marco del Decenio del Océano, tenemos la oportunidad de generar la ciencia que necesitamos para el océano que queremos, y preservar los sitios marinos del Patrimonio Mundial y sus servicios para las generaciones futuras. Esta hoja de ruta pretende brindar esa ayuda mostrando a los administradores, los seguidores y los donantes cómo la ciencia y la investigación pueden dirigirse de manera más rentable hacia algunos de los problemas más urgentes. Juntos podemos dirigir nuestro camino hacia un futuro resiliente y sostenible, para el próximo decenio y los años posteriores.
  • Development of the IOC Proposal for an International (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

    UNESCO-IOC, 2017
    At its 49th session, the IOC Executive Council requested the IOC Officers and Executive Secretary to pursue the development of the concept of an International decade on ocean science for sustainable development (2021– 2030) – Towards the ocean we need for the future we want – potentially under the auspices of the United Nations. This document provides an overview of the activities undertaken since 2016 to raise the awareness of IOC, UNESCO and UN Member States, to engage UN bodies and other stakeholders in supporting the Decade proposal and highlights a way forward for further advancing the Decade establishment under the UN, for consideration by the IOC Assembly.
  • Join the movement for the Ocean We Want.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC of UNESCO, 2022)
    Brochure for conferences, meetings, etc under the subject: 'United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development'
  • Reports of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body (STAB) INF.3: STAB’s Strategic Framework on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - The Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (United Nations and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2021)
    This information document presents the STAB’s Strategic framework on engaging in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, elaborated following a working meeting held between the STAB and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in November 2020.
  • Guidelines for the use of the logo for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

    Herve, Réjane; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC, 2018)
    Following the design of the emblem of United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030), guidelines for its use have been prepared in accordance with UNESCO and United Nations practices.
  • International (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development: towards the ocean we need for the future we want.

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

    Schuckmann, Karina von; Holland, Elisabeth; Haugan, Peter; Thomson, Peter (2020)
    Marine Policy
    Relating the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 for Ocean and Life Below Water to the 16 remaining SDGs in the UN 2030 sustainable development agenda. A holistic approach that embraces sustainable Ocean stewardship informed by best available science, data and services to support society and the economy is required to create the ‘Future We Want’. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is an essential foundation to achieve this objective.
  • The Ocean we need for the future we want. Proposal for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC, 2017)
    The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) and its partners are calling for 2021-2030 to become the International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Achieving the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” requires novel science-based solutions and their systematic transformation into informed policies and decisions. The proposed International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development could provide Member States with a framework for coordinating and consolidating the observations and research needed to achieve SDG14.