Kicking off its fourth year of implementation, the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the ‘Ocean Decade’) has endorsed a new batch of 45 Decade Actions focused on the advancement of science-based solutions for a healthy ocean.

Twice a year, via Calls for Decade Actions, the Ocean Decade seeks to rally diverse ocean actors behind high-impact initiatives contributing to the 10 Ocean Decade Challenges. In line with its vision of ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’, this latest set of Decade Actions address pressing ocean issues such as ecosystem stressors and pollution sources, biodiversity restoration, blue technologies, climate mitigation, marine monitoring, capacity development, and ocean literacy.

Extending across 15 countries – from Australia to United Kingdom, Fiji and Senegal – the new Actions are primarily led by governmental and research institutions, along with non-governmental and educational organizations.

“Today, we have the main components to achieve a well-functioning ocean – and we are developing a clear and common Vision 2030 with quantifiable milestones built on a solid foundation of worldwide actions,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the UN agency charged with coordinating the Ocean Decade. “With the addition of these 45 new Actions, we are delighted to observe that, despite varying national realities, capacities, and levels of development, our network keeps expanding each year, with a more profound and enduring impact.”

Collective ocean initiatives to catalyse science-driven solutions

Three new Ocean Decade Programmes tackle Challenge 1 – Marine Pollution, with a focus on plastic and nutrient pollution, and Challenge 2 – Ecosystem Restoration and Management, prioritizing area-based management, restoration, and multiple ocean stressors.

The Nutrient Pollution – Global Action Network (NP-GAN) of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK, addresses the impact of nutrient and wastewater pollution on ocean ecosystems and human health. Going beyond traditional approaches, it will develop an innovative toolbox of pragmatic methods and guidelines for monitoring, assessment, and mitigation activities.

Implemented by the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Australia, the World Harbour Seascape Restoration Programme (WHSR) brings together multiple ecosystem restoration initiatives to create a template for the restoration of whole seascapes in urbanized areas across the globe.

Co-led by the IOC/UNESCO and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Harmful Algae Bloom Solutions (HAB-S) Programme aims to provide science-based solutions for sustainable management and use of marine and coastal resources that have been affected by harmful algae.

The result of a co-sponsored call with Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, 11 Decade Projects seek to increase coastal resilience through mangrove protection and restoration, coastal monitoring, innovative solutions for pollution and ocean literacy, both in Brazil’s tropical coastal region and globally.

Six of the newly endorsed Projects will be hosted by Ocean Decade Programmes led by IOC/UNESCO. These Projects encompass a wide array of topics, including circular ocean economy, marine monitoring, capacity development and capability building, as well as awareness-raising tools, and outreach.

Ocean Decade expands global network to support collaborative design of ocean science

Six new Decade Contributions have received official endorsement to support the implementation of the Ocean Decade. These initiatives will provide necessary funding or in-kind resources with a focus on sustainable management and protection of marine ecosystems and biodiversity, along with strategic communications and outreach.

Among these, the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform led by CORDAP will support the Ocean Decade by financing, implementing and managing coordinated and collaborative global R&D programmes aimed at conserving warm- and cold-water corals.

The Contributions also include two new Decade Implementing Partners (DIPs) to strengthen the work of the Decade Coordination Unit. EuroGOOS, the European component of the IOC/UNESCO’s Global Ocean Observing System, will identify priorities, enhance cooperation, and promote the benefits of operational oceanography to ensure sustained observations in Europe’s seas.

Based in China, the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and the Shenzhen Ocean University (SOU) commit to developing global ocean literacy through collaborations and educational programmes.

This recent wave of endorsements brings the total portfolio of Ocean Decade Actions to 476, spanning across all continents and covering all ocean basins.

Discover here the full list of endorsed Ocean Decade Actions

About the Ocean Decade:

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.

About the IOC/UNESCO:

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.

Source: oceandecade

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