News

Continuing the ocean ‘super year’: what’s next for the Ocean Decade?

IOC-UNESCO, 03.08.2022

The first half of 2022 saw a number of key events and breakthroughs, from the One Ocean Summit in France, to the commitment of UNEP Member States to negotiate an international legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution, and the 2022 UN Ocean Conference which brought together the global ocean community in Portugal. The second half of the year looks just as productive, and the Ocean Decade will be an active part of every stage.

Uniting partners for climate action

On the road to COP27, the 12th WIOMSA Scientific Symposium (10-15 October 2022 / Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa) – organized under the theme “A New Decade of Western Indian Ocean Science” – will present the most recent advances made in ocean and climate science to address the challenges facing the Western Indian Ocean.

In particular, the endorsed Ocean Decade Activity aims to strengthen regional collaborations among scientists and stakeholders for the co-design of transformative ocean scientific solutions to the Ocean Decade Challenges.

Combining regional and global perspectives, COP27 (7-18 November 2022 / Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt) seeks to accelerate climate action through four main pillars: mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration. Science is a key part of the action.

Building on the importance of the ocean mentioned in the Glasgow Climate Pact which followed 2021’s COP26, this year’s UN Climate Summit will include the first-ever Ocean Dialogue within the framework of the conference.

At COP27, a series of Ocean Decade-led side events will also focus on how ocean science in Africa requires support or reorganization to deliver the required Decade societal outcomes, and promote collaboration in research and development in and outside Africa. They will in particular build on the outcomes of the African Conference on Priority Setting and Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (May 2022 / Cairo, Egypt), the Ocean Decade Africa Roadmap and soon to be launched African and Adjacent Island States Ocean Decade Taskforce.

Knowledge and solutions: for conservation and sustainable marine biodiversity

The Ocean Decade, through confronting Ocean Decade Challenge 2, aims to develop solutions to monitor, protect, manage and restore ecosystems and their biodiversity under changing environmental, social and climate conditions.

One month after COP27, the Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP15 (7-19 December 2022 / Montreal, Canada) will see the adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. It will provide a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade.

One of the key targets of the framework includes the establishment of protected areas for at least 30% of sea areas globally, which will also be the center of discussion at the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress, or IMPAC5 (3-9 February 2023 / Vancouver, Canada). Officially endorsed as an Ocean Decade Activity, IMPAC5 will further advance and strengthen exchanges among marine conservation managers, practitioners and decision makers – including from Indigenous communities – for the conservation of marine biodiversity and protection of the natural and cultural heritage of the ocean.

Such events provide a space for the Ocean Decade and other actors to highlight and catalyze action, and expand their networks of coalitions and partnerships for ocean health and resilience.

Next Call for Decade Actions No. 04/2022

A new Call for Decade Actions will be launched on 15 October 2022, the fourth of the series. New Calls are launched every 6 months during the Ocean Decade.

The scope of the new Call will be discussed with the Decade Advisory Board in September and announced shortly thereafter.

Communications contact:
Sharon Rapose (s.rapose@unesco.org)

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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.