Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • Co-designing the science we need for the ocean we want: guidance and recommendations for collaborative approaches to designing and implementing Decade actions.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC of UNESCO, 2021)
    The Implementation Plan of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) calls for ‘transformative science’ and a ‘revolution in how that science is produced, used and disseminated’. The solutions-oriented nature of the Ocean Decade creates the conditions for this revolution because it provides a convening framework to foster the partnerships and develop the scientific knowledge needed to catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and our ocean. While there is widespread enthusiasm to engage in this collaborative venture, there is a need to build capacity and common understanding in how to create co-designed solutions that could bring about the desired transformation in ocean management. This discussion note ‘Co-designing the Science We Need for the Ocean We Want: Guidance and Recommendations for Collaborative Approaches to Designing & Implementing Decade Actions’ aims to address this in a holistic manner. It was inspired by discussions held during a series of global and regional webinars in late 2020 that brought together 2,100 individuals from around the world to bring to life the notion of collaborative, co-designed science and identify the key obstacles, challenges and opportunities. The note offers a solid starting point for stakeholders on the: what, why and how they can join efforts to co-design salient, credible and legitimate ocean knowledge solutions which deliver on the Ocean Decade’s vision of ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.
  • The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030): Implementation Plan.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC of UNESCO, 2021)
    In 2016, the first World Ocean Assessment of the United Nations stated that humankind was running out of time to start managing the ocean sustainably. This alarming conclusion poses a question to our civilization: is there a way to reverse the decline in ocean health while continuing to rely on the ocean for our ever-increasing needs, particularly under a changing climate? The proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2017 of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021–2030 (hereafter, the ‘Ocean Decade’) is based on the informed conviction of UN Member States that indeed, this opportunity still exists, and that, furthermore, ocean science needs to play a central role in this process. Ocean science is broad: it encompasses natural and social science disciplines, local and indigenous knowledge; it includes the science-policy and science-innovation interfaces, as well as technology and infrastructure. At the beginning of the third millennium, ocean science is largely competent for diagnosing problems. However, its ability to offer solutions of direct relevance to sustainable development requires a massive upgrade. This need is particularly urgent against the current backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating climate change. The pandemic has, once again, highlighted the importance of science and knowledge for decision-making and policy. As the world adjusts to a new normal, the ocean will need to play a central role in post-pandemic recovery efforts. However, for this to occur, there needs to be a nothing short of a revolution in ocean science. The Ocean Decade will create a paradigm shift in the generation of qualitative and quantitative ocean knowledge – including from currently data-poor regions, such as the deep ocean, coastal areas where much of the human interaction with the ocean is concentrated, and the polar regions – to inform the development of solutions that contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Ocean Decade aims to catalyse the human behaviour change required for the successful implementation of these solutions. Guided by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Ocean Decade will generate the data, information and knowledge needed for more robust science-informed policies and stronger science-policy interfaces at global, regional, national and even local levels, leading to improved integrated ocean management and development of a sustainable ocean economy. The Ocean Decade will support numerous UN entities to fulfil their ocean-related mandates. In our information-centred, internet-linked society, the Ocean Decade will support ocean data, information and knowledge systems to evolve into a much higher level of readiness, accessibility, and interoperability. The scale of such efforts will need to be exponentially greater than anything seen to date. An equally transformational part of the Ocean Decade is about humanity and our relationship with the ocean. Understanding of the value of the ocean can be nurtured through ocean literacy efforts among diverse stakeholder groups. Holders of indigenous and local knowledge will work as essential partners of the Ocean Decade and will contribute to highlighting the multitude of cultural values of the ocean. Equity, inclusiveness, respect, fairness and scientific integrity are core principles of the Ocean Decade. The Ocean Decade will systematically identify and dismantle barriers to achieving gender, geographic and generational balance so that no one is left behind. Everyone should be able to benefit from ocean science, including Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries. Designing and delivering ocean science that focuses on user needs and adopts relevant mechanisms for uptake will be a key metamorphosis to be achieved between 2021 and 2030. Its scale will be unprecedented. Multiple stakeholders are expected to engage and start collaborating outside their traditional communities. Knowledge generators and users will engage in an iterative process of co-design and co-delivery of ocean science. This will create new groupings of actors from natural, social science and humanity disciplines, business and industry, governments, UN entities, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), NGOs and civil society, educators, early career ocean professionals, ocean sports and recreation organizations, arts and cultural communities, and indigenous and local knowledge holders. Partnerships and active communication will be at the heart of the Ocean Decade. This Decade is not the first to take on the challenge of ocean science. In 1971–1980, earlier generations embarked on the International Decade of Ocean Exploration. As part of that Decade, groundbreaking collaborative research projects occurred. Many of which, such as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, permanently changed the face of ocean exploration. However, one crucial difference remains between the two Decades: in the 1970s, the aim was to generate the ‘science we want’. In today’s world, we no longer have that luxury, and the current Decade is resolutely focused on the ‘science we need’. The Implementation Plan for such a major undertaking as the Ocean Decade cannot be, and is not, prescriptive. Rather, it provides a framework for transformational action that will build on existing achievements and deliver action across geographies, sectors, disciplines and generations. I hope you, as a reader and an Ocean Decade stakeholder, will share the overall strategic vision and approach of the Ocean Decade as described in the Implementation Plan. With your engagement and your support, the impact of the Ocean Decade will be much bigger than the sum of its parts and together we will be able to create the science we need for the ocean we want.
  • 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.
  • Decade Advisory Board Meeting No. 1, 28-30 March 2022: report.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2022)
    The DCU provided an overview of the Ocean Decade history, rationale and implementation progress as well as key perspectives and challenges for the future.. The DCU reported continued strong enthusiasm to be part of the Decade – “exciting” “innovative” “transformative”, although it noted a growing desire for collective efforts to set strategic ambitions and not remain entirely ‘bottom-up’ which is a significant (but natural) change in opinion. The DCU also recognized the growing desire to understand how the Ocean Decade will contribute to sustainable ocean management and sustainable ocean economic development. The DCU noted increased engagement, and growing private sector and national engagement but reinforced to the Board that it is important to emphasize the Decade as a regional and global collaborative space so as to avoid a purely national focus resulting in 150 national Ocean Decades. Challenges and opportunities for the Ocean Decade’s immediate future were presented. The challenges identified were growing requests and first signs of impatience vis-a-vis the role of Ocean Decade in resource mobilisation; weak leadership roles of partners from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS); limited engagement with key funding partners including multilateral development banks (MDBs) and international financing instruments; pressure growing to systematically measure and report on progress of Ocean Decade; and a systematic approach to capacity development and exchange is emerging but needs more attention and targeted support. One question some Board members raised was ‘what legacy does the Ocean Decade want to leave?’ positing that it may be useful to identify if the underlying goal is to increase investment, produce science, place a mark on the SDGs and contribute to the post-2030 process; or all of these. The recommendation being that this will solidify the tangible benefit of being affiliated with the Ocean Decade and give direction to the energy that has been generated. Other members emphasised the importance of engaging women and youth in the Ocean Decade and heightening the impact of regional action in which many stakeholders are already engaged. The Board showed support for and willingness to engage further with private sector enterprises, international financing institutions and instruments, and philanthropy to unlock investment in ocean science. An acknowledgment was made that SIDS and LDC mobilisation will require a strengthening of the “business case” of the Ocean Decade and the availability of dedicated resources.
  • 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.
  • Ocean knowledge for a sustainable ocean economy: synergies between the Ocean Decade and the outcomes of the Ocean Panel.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO, 2021)
    Rationale for this report The Ocean Decade and the Ocean Panel have been developed in full recognition of their mutual importance and influence. The ultimate goal of this report is to analyse tangible ways in which the linkages between the Ocean Decade, with its vision of the ‘science we need for the ocean we want’, and the framework identified by the Ocean Panel, with its aims of safeguarding the long-term health and resilience of the ocean, can be optimized. Ocean science encompasses natural and social science disciplines; the technology and infrastructure that supports ocean science; the application of ocean science for societal benefit, including knowledge transfer and applications in regions that are lacking science capacity; and the science-policy and science-innovation interfaces. It considers the land-sea, ocean-atmosphere and ocean-cryosphere interactions. Ocean science recognizes, respects and embraces local and indigenous knowledge. Source: Ocean Decade Implementation Plan. See note 4. This report has been prepared by the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) in its role of coordinating agency of the implementation of the Ocean Decade. It represents the first attempt to explicitly analyse and document the synergies that exist and which could be developed in the future. It is a first step in a process to develop a lean, reliable guiding framework for ocean action, where existing initiatives mutually reinforce each other, thus augmenting their cumulative impact. The need to urgently build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic is recognized by governments and partners worldwide. More than ever before, the current crisis has highlighted the importance of science and knowledge for decision-making and policy. Analysing the synergies between the Ocean Decade and the Ocean Panel – one built around action-oriented knowledge creation and the other explicitly oriented towards policy – naturally responds to this emerging demand for science that is relevant to society. This report builds on the declaration of the 14 world leaders on the Ocean Panel who commit to leveraging the Ocean Decade and the body of knowledge commissioned by the Ocean Panel to build collective understanding and knowledge of ocean sustainability, ecosystem services and functions, and to ensuring that science underpins decision-making for building a sustainable ocean economy.6 It is intended for a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including governments, policymakers, scientists, industry, funding agencies, NGOs and civil society, to raise awareness about the intersections between the action framework of the Ocean Decade and the recommendations of the Ocean Panel. A sustainable ocean economy brings diverse stakeholders together to achieve common goals – the three Ps of effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity. In the sustainable ocean economy paradigm, groups work together by adopting integrated and balanced management of the ocean in which each of the three Ps contributes to the other. The result is a triple win for nature, people and economy and a world where prosperity is greater and more equitably distributed than it is today. Source: Adapted from Stuchtey et al., 2020. See note 10. It speaks both to governments and partners who have committed to the Ocean Panel’s vision of protection, production and prosperity – as well as aiming to incite and catalyse action and commitments from new governments and partners. It deliberately focuses on palpable recommendations that will allow all concerned actors – including members of the Ocean Panel, Ocean Decade partners and members of the future Ocean Panel Action Coalitions – to streamline efforts and carry out effective, collective actions that will lead to sound ocean management, a sustainable ocean economy, and ultimately to achieve the ocean we want – and need – by 2030. For bibliographic purposes, this publication should be cited as follows: IOC-UNESCO. 2021. Ocean Knowledge for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: Synergies between the Ocean Decade and the Outcomes of the Ocean Panel. Paris, UNESCO. (The Ocean Decade Series, 17).
  • GenOcean Campaign Identity.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2022)
    GenOcean instils a feeling of unity - it's not them and us - we are all in this together. Connecting with the audience, gaining their trust, and allowing them to seamlessly collaborate is essential. But to connect, we have to be on the same wavelength. This campaign identity guide serves as the starting point to create a unified, inspiring and determined campaign that aims to inspire everyday actions to restore and protect the ocean. The following pages contain inspiration, guidelines, and handy tips to communicate our values, realize our vision, and reinforce the GenOcean campaign. Thank you for helping achieve the GenOcean mission to restore and protect the ocean. Welcome to GenOcean.
  • The Ocean Decade at COP26 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC, 2021)
    On 5 December 2017, the United Nations (UN) declared that a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (‘Ocean Decade’) would be held from 2021 to 2030. The Ocean Decade provides a common framework to ensure that ocean science can underpin the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and complementary global and regional policy frameworks including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Ocean Decade provides a ‘once-in- a-lifetime’ opportunity to create a new foundation across the science-policy interface to strengthen the management of the ocean and coasts for the benefit of humanity and to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Ocean Decade Implementation Plan outlines ten Decade Challenges, representing the most immediate and pressing needs of the Decade, which will guide stakeholders as they come together to co-design and co-deliver a wide range of Decade Actions that will be implemented the ocean-climate nexus is embodied in Challenge No. 5 and is reflected in a number of the other Challenges over the next ten years. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) has been mandated to coordinate implementation of the Ocean Decade. The Ocean Decade will provide the data, knowledge and capacity to address science and knowledge gaps needed to make informed policy decisions. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly clearly recognizes the societal benefits of a healthy ocean and the need to work across UN entities to achieve this goal. Working in coordination with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Ocean Decade will contribute to addressing these societal challenges for example by providing the sound science needed to reflect ocean considerations in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue1, the UNFCCC reaffirmed that science must be strengthened and central to this process. The complementary structure of the Ocean Decade Action Framework to the goals of COP26 will allow for meaningful contributions in achieving successful outcomes.
  • Ocean Decade Progress Report 2021-2022.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC, 2022)
    Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – the Ocean Decade – is a framework to identify, generate and use critical ocean knowledge that is needed to manage the ocean sustainably, and achieve global aspirations for climate, biodiversity, and human well-being. Through its vision of ‘The science we need for the ocean we want’, the Ocean Decade provides an inclusive, equitable and global framework for diverse actors to co-design and co-deliver transformative ocean science to meet ten Ocean Decade Challenges. Through a collaborative, solutions-oriented approach, the Ocean Decade will contribute essential knowledge to global, regional, and national policy frameworks, including the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.1 The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) leads the coordination of the Ocean Decade, in collaboration with numerous partners from the United Nations system, governments, philanthropy, industry, civil society and the scientific community. 2021 was the first year of implementation of the Ocean Decade – a watershed moment in ocean science globally – and the achievements since the launch have been significant. Although challenges remain, particularly in relation to investment in ocean science, a robust foundation is now in place for the next nine years of transformative ocean science.
  • 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.