Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • Ocean literacy within the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable development: a framework for action.

    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC of UNESCO, 2021)
    The United Nations has declared that the Ocean Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) will take place from 2021 to 2030. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’, and it provides a common framework for diverse stakeholders to generate and use ocean knowledge towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To that end, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO) was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to develop an Implementation Plan, in collaboration with partners, to serve as a roadmap to mobilize the resources and technological innovation needed to build capacity, develop scientific knowledge, create and share infrastructure and foster partnerships for a healthy ocean. In so doing, the Ocean Decade will transition us from the ‘ocean we have’ to the ‘ocean we want’. The latter will support a sustainable, equitable and healthy future for all. The Implementation Plan, which is the culmination of a highly participatory three-year process, has now been finalized and is a non-prescriptive, strategic framework for the roll-out of the Ocean Decade that details its objectives, challenges, actions and mechanisms for implementation. The enhancement of Ocean Literacy (OL) is critical to the success of the Ocean Decade. Ocean Literacy refers to the understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean. Many people are unaware that the ocean is intrinsically linked to major global issues such as climate change and food security, human health and the global economy. The ocean also represents a range of social values for various cultures, as people from all over the world are able to recognize and relate to the ocean in different ways. To achieve sustainable development and well-being across the globe, everyone needs to understand our dependence on the ocean, and how we can contribute to its sustainability. In this context, Ocean Literacy has a twofold goal: to learn more about the world’s ocean, and to contribute to the co-design and co-delivery of solutions to the problems and threats it faces. In this way, Ocean Literacy becomes more than a tool for capacity development and knowledge generation. It also represents an ambitious approach to promoting the common understanding of global citizens as stakeholders, as well as furthering societies’ relationships to the ocean. Understanding the value of the ocean can enhance protection, conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources, as well as contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Throughout the Ocean Decade planning process, the importance of Ocean Literacy was reinforced during Global and Regional Planning Workshops (IOC-UNESCO, 2020). As a result, Ocean Literacy features prominently in the Implementation Plan and is reflected as one of the seven Ocean Decade Outcomes, ‘An engaging and inspiring ocean’. It is also explicitly referenced in the following two of the Ocean Decade Challenges that represent the most pressing priorities for the Decade: - Challenge 9: Ensure comprehensive capacity development and equitable access to data, information, knowledge and technology across all aspects of ocean science and for all stakeholders, and - Challenge 10: Ensure that the multiple values and services of the ocean for human well-being, culture and sustainable development are widely understood, and identify and overcome barriers to behaviour change required for a step change in humanity’s relationship with the ocean. Ocean Literacy is also relevant to the remaining eight Ocean Decade Challenges, as it is a tool that encompasses cross-sectoral, inter-and transdisciplinary approaches that can empower governments, businesses, the media, educators, civil society and the general public to understand the key role the ocean plays within their lives. Ocean Literacy can therefore create an environment conducive to achieving the ambitions of the Ocean Decade, including helping to ignite behaviour change, enhance collaborations, mobilize resources, promote sound policy-making, spark creativity and innovation and increase investment in ocean science. Ocean Literacy is radically evolving from its application in formal educational contexts into an approach for society as a whole that catalyses actions to protect, conserve and sustainably use the ocean. As such, Ocean Literacy initiatives can be implemented in formal or non-formal educational settings and can be part of school learning, citizen science, corporate training, public-awareness campaigns, the science–policy interface and so forth. Throughout the Ocean Decade, Ocean Literacy initiatives will be developed and implemented by actors including governments, United Nations entities, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), international and regional organizations, research institutes, businesses, foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), schools, educators, community groups and individuals. To date, a significant number of Ocean Literacy initiatives have been developed and implemented in every corner of the world. They range from educational programmes focusing on ocean issues (Blue Schools in Portugal or Ocean School in Canada), to Ocean Literacy centres promoting hands-on activities (see the Marine Educational Centre in Malmö) and company-funded education programmes for students (see AXA XL Ocean Education programme ), as well as public-awareness campaigns (see the European Union’s Sea Change project ) and immersive learning programmes at aquariums. The Ocean Decade provides a powerful and unique opportunity to catalyse and scale up these and other Ocean Literacy programmes at the global level. As outlined in the Implementation Plan, the vision for Ocean Literacy throughout the Ocean Decade is ‘to enable and scale up action in all sectors’. This Ocean Literacy Framework for Action was created to complement the Implementation Plan and provide a succinct, non-prescriptive framework to promote the development of global, regional, national and local Ocean Literacy Actions by diverse actors around the world as part of the Ocean Decade. This Framework was developed through a series of stakeholder consultations, including an open international questionnaire with over 300 respondents, a participatory multi-stakeholder workshop held in Venice in December 2019, a bibliographical review and peer review by international experts. This document is divided into three sections. The first one describes Ocean Literacy and its potential contribution to the Ocean Decade. The second one presents a framework for the Decade Actions on Ocean Literacy. The third section outlines the participation opportunities for potential partners and stakeholders, as well as the linkages between existing Ocean Literacy tools and participation mechanisms for Ocean Decade stakeholders.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.