The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver scientific knowledge and ensure that ocean science can fully support countries’ actions to sustainably manage the ocean and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of a global consultation process in preparation of the UN Decade, two Arctic workshops will provide opportunities to further discuss, prioritize and formulate proposals for Arctic initiatives to be framed under the UN Decade.
Combined they will provide output aligned with the five regional planning workshops defined as part of the consultation phase of the Ocean Decade. They will address the six societal objectives of the Decade:
• A clean ocean
• A healthy and resilient ocean
• A predicted ocean
• A safe ocean
• A sustainably harvested and productive ocean
• A transparent and accessible ocean
Arctic temperatures are rising and effects like reduced sea ice thickness and coverage are already apparent. The Arctic Ocean could be largely free of summer ice in the 2030s. Marine species are moving northwards, with consequences for subsistence hunting and commercial fisheries. In addition, the Arctic Ocean opens for increased commercial activities. The Arctic Ocean transition may be affecting global weather systems and the global economy. Combined this call for a special regional focus as part of the Decade.
It is vital to identify how business, policy and science can work together on Arctic issues, focusing on:
• Identifying knowledge gaps and Arctic ocean science priorities for the 2030 Agenda;
• Defining possible common regional ocean policy priorities;
• Leveraging existing Arctic partnerships/networks/initiatives and identifying those lacking;
• Involving local and indigenous communities and knowledge, and contributing to further development of regional ocean literacy;
• Selecting priority themes and topics to be addressed by the Decade from a sustainable development perspective.
The Arctic Ocean Decade Policy-Business-Science-Dialogue held in Tromsø, Norway on 29 January 2020 will provide a forum to gather Arctic leaders and key stakeholders such as scientists, industry, NGOs, policy-makers and foundations. The aim is to identify key ocean policy and sustainable development actions.
The Arctic Ocean Decade Policy-Business-Science-Dialogue offers a crucial opportunity to inform the co-design mission-oriented research strategies in line with the 2030 Agenda focusing on needs and priorities in terms of transforming knowledge systems; accelerating transfer of technology; enabling training and education; and fostering science-policy dialogues special for the Arctic region.
The Arctic Ocean Decade Policy-Business-Science-Dialogue is to be held during the Arctic Frontiers 2020 week in Tromsø where many regional policy makers will be attending. Arctic Frontiers participants and others are welcome to express interest to participate at the workshop, however participation to the Arctic Frontiers Conference is not mandatory for participating at the Arctic Ocean Decade Policy-Business-Science-Dialogue. The Arctic Ocean Policy-Business-Science-Dialogue is co-hosted by The Research Council of Norway and Arctic Frontiers.
The dialogue will be followed up by a Regional Arctic Ocean Decade Planning Workshop to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 29 April-1 May 2020. Outcomes of the dialogue in Tromsø will inform the workshop in Denmark and feed into the Decade planning process.