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Ocean Decade Advisory Board: first in-person meeting focuses on strategic guidance and review of Decade Actions proposed for endorsement

IOC-UNESCO, 13.04.2022

The members of the Decade Advisory Board met on 28-30 March 2022 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (France) to discuss strategic issues influencing implementation of the Ocean Decade, and provide recommendations on the endorsement of Decade Programme submissions.

The fifteen experts of the multi-stakeholder group were announced in December 2021 following a selection process from over 240 nominations. Hailing from thirteen countries, the expert members of the Advisory Board come from government, private sector, philanthropy, civil society and the scientific community. They were joined by representatives of several United Nations agencies to provide strategic advice to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in coordinating the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (‘the Ocean Decade’).

The meeting provided an opportunity for the Decade Coordination Unit (DCU), hosted within the IOC-UNESCO Secretariat, to give a detailed overview of the Ocean Decade history, rationale and implementation progress as well as key perspectives and challenges for the future. The Decade Advisory Board discussed a series of priority strategic topics including the most effective means of measuring progress of the Ocean Decade, resource mobilisation, engagement of partners in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and the ways in which the Decade’s partners can engage with Indigenous and local knowledge holders.

The Board’s rich diversity of cultural, geographical and sectoral backgrounds of ensured a rigorous review of a series of Decade Programme submissions submitted through the Call for Decade Actions No. 02/2022. The experts’ recommendations will be considered by the IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary to inform his final decision on endorsement.

The meeting also considered the scope for the Call for Decade Actions No. 03/2022 to be launched on 15 April 2022. The Board recommended that the Call solicit programme submissions relating to Challenge 3 – Sustainably feed the global population, and Challenge 4 – Develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy, as well as Decade projects that align with one of sixteen already endorsed Decade programmes. The Board urged that continued technical support be offered to partners from SIDS and LDCs who would like to submit proposals through the Call.

The next meeting of the Board is set to take place as a virtual event in September 2022.

Click here to read the meeting report in full.

Meet the Members of the Ocean Decade Advisory Board

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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.

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.