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GEMS Ocean Programme officially endorsed by the UN Ocean Decade

GEMS Ocean Programme, 04.11.2022

In response to the second Call for Decade Actions, the Global Environment Monitoring System for the Ocean and Coasts (GEMS Ocean) Programme was officially endorsed in September 2022 by the UN Ocean Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). This milestone helps the GEMS Ocean Programme and UNEP with cooperating and networking with international experts and institutions, joining projects and initiatives within the UN Ocean Decade framework to support evidence-based decision making.

As an endorsed Programme, GEMS Ocean is boosting its multi-stakeholder partnership convened by UNEP, bringing together experts from earth observation, monitoring, and modelling communities, together with end users and a broad range of stakeholders to provide fit-for-purpose key information for policymaking.

The Programme seeks to enhance the capacity of all sectors of society to access, analyse, use, and communicate information, to protect and sustainably use marine and coastal resources, and inform global, regional and national processes especially regarding Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), Ocean Forecasting and Sustainable Blue Economy developments.

This recognition by the UN Ocean Decade enhances the visibility, reach and momentum to implement the GEMS Ocean vision and mission:

Vision: A global environment monitoring system that provides relevant, open, and easily accessible ocean and coastal data, analysis and information, guiding actions to protect and sustainably use marine and coastal resources.

Mission: Co-design and convene a global Community of Practice, across experts and society at large, to provide capacity, analysis, innovation and synthesised information to decision and policy makers, civil society, international organisations as well as coastal communities worldwide, in a holistic approach to keep the global ocean and coasts healthy and productive.

At the science policy interface, and through its collaboration with the UN Ocean Decade, the GEMS Ocean Programme strives to enable a ‘data to action’ value chain, connecting the ocean and coastal observation community with important downstream stakeholders and users, such as the Regional Seas, Member States and local communities.

The Programme currently leverages data and information from different platforms, and feeds UNEP’s World Environment Situation Room (WESR). A key partnership on essential ocean variables is with Mercator Ocean International (MOI), which implements the Copernicus Marine Service, and is also endorsed as the UN Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for Ocean Prediction. Such collaboration embraces digital innovation to boost coastal and ocean forecasting, including machine learning to develop digital ‘twins’ of the ocean.

The other knowledge asset holders include: the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), UNEP’s Global Resource Information Database (GRID) Geneva and Arendal, Future Earth, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative (FSOI), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the International Ocean Institute (IOI), collaborating in a holistic approach through the growing GEMS Oceans partnership.

Interested in knowing more about the GEMS Ocean programme, or collaborating? Get in touch with the GEMS Ocean team lead, Joana Akrofi (joana.akrofi@un.org) to discuss further collaboration in this multi-stakeholder partnership programme.

Article originally published here.

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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.