Ocean Decade expands global coordination network to strengthen impact of activities

IOC-UNESCO, 08.06.2022

The first two Ocean Decade Collaborative Centres (DCCs) and three new Ocean Decade Implementing Partners (DIPs) will provide targeted support to the Ocean Decade through a coordination and catalysis role for Decade Actions at the regional or thematic level.

Decade Collaborative Centres and Decade Implementing Partners are institutions, that are committed to the vision and mission of the Decade. They make significant and sustained efforts to support the Decade by coordinating existing Decade Actions, catalysing new initiatives, leading targeted communications and outreach, and mobilising resources.

Decade Collaborative Centres

Announced as part of the newly endorsed Ocean Decade Actions, the two first DCCs will further the multistakeholder and multiscale co-design and co-delivery of ocean action.

Decade Collaborative Centre for the Northeast Pacific Ocean (DCC NEPO)

The Northeast Pacific Ocean Basin is an ideal region for a DCC. Within the Northeast Pacific region there are important domains that cross US and Canadian National borders. This region is one of the most productive regions on Earth, hosting rich biodiversity from the coastline, to the open ocean, to the deep sea, and supporting human communities for millennia. There are many active existing networks of research and observing organizations, industries, government entities, and coastal communities that are working to inform sustainable development related to the ocean. In addition, there is increased recognition of the importance of elevating Indigenous and other under-served communities in co-developing and mobilizing ocean knowledge for sustainable development. Improved coordination of these diverse programs and partners is needed to launch new initiatives and support implementation of the Ocean Decade. An active DCC in this region can help support coordination as well identify best practices, principles, and lessons that can be applied in other regions around the globe.

The DCC for the Northeast Pacific Ocean (DCC NEPO) will be hosted by the Tula Foundation in British Columbia, Canada. It will work across all ten Ocean Decade Challenges in the Northeast Pacific region. In addition to its regional focus that will encompass all Ocean Decade Challenges, the DCC NEPO will have a particular focus on supporting and mobilizing participation by Indigenous peoples and local communities and the development of Indigenous-led Decade Actions.

Ocean Visions – UN Decade Collaborative Centre for Ocean-Climate Solutions (DCC OCS)

Understanding the nexus of the ocean and climate crises and developing ocean-based solutions are critical to the Ocean Decade. The primary focus of the proposed DCC OCS is on leading and supporting processes to co-design, develop, test, and ultimately deploy scalable, equitable ocean-based solutions to mitigate and reverse the effects of climate change (Challenge 5). To advance this mission, this Collaborative Centre will engage with a global set of stakeholders and institutions to connect those with the capacity for generating new science and engineering knowledge to those with capacity to develop and test innovations and solutions (Challenge 4). Among the system-level challenges targeted by the Ocean Visions – UN DCC OCS are ocean-based solutions to ameliorating climate change, enhancing food security (Challenge 3), and building the climate resiliency of critical marine ecosystems and coastal communities (Challenges 1 and 2).

The DCC is hosted by a partnership between Ocean Visions, Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Aquarium in the United States. They will coordinate Decade Actions focused on solutions at the ocean-climate nexus across all regions and ocean basins. It will work in close collaboration with other Decade coordination structures focusing on different aspects of the ocean-climate nexus.

Decade Implementing Partners

The three new DIPs will improve youth engagement in the Decade; curate marine databases to support the European marine science community; and enhance capacity development in northern Africa, with a focus on early career ocean professionals to engage them in impactful science.

Heirs to Our Oceans

Heirs to Our Oceans (H2OO) is a US-based charity with a mission to help youth understand the role they can play in creating a healthier, safer world for all. Through capacity developing events, workshops and initiatives, H2OO works with youth from around the world to help them develop their knowledge and skills needed to tackle the challenges facing the world through intersectional solutions.

Through previous work with the US National Decade Committee, H2OO has developed a toolkit and guidelines for implementing Ocean Decade Youth Advisory Councils. These are groups of youth who engage with the Decade at the national level to support the catalyzation of Decade Actions, and other local initiatives contributing to the Decade. As a DIP, H2OO will act as a consulting body for National Decade Committees to use as a resource as they set up their own Youth Advisory Councils.

Additionally, H2OO serves as a mechanism through which to engage a broad audience of youth, amplify the voices of youth in the context of the Decade, and offer capacity development in areas crucial to movement building, such as public speaking training, leadership skills workshops, and providing organizational support for youth summits.


EurOcean supports European marine science and technology advances. They engage in marine science communication and dissemination activities, promote research achievements and initiatives, create opportunities for developing ocean science and technology, and nurture partnerships and collaborations to help their community to make better and more informed decisions.

As a DIP, EurOcean will provide:

  • Networking events, conferences, workshops, and webinars with relevant stakeholders in the European marine science arena
  • Communication and dissemination of marine science activities to reach not only some of the most influential stakeholders but also the general public in European countries
  • Ocean Literacy activities
  • Timely and reliable data, information and knowledge through their databases (RID – Research Infrastructures Database; and KG – Knowledge Gate), awareness activities, studies and reports

Many of EurOcean’s activities are already aligned with the Ocean Decade. They will continue this alignment and direct implementation of Ocean Decade activities through a dedicated human resource. Additionally, the EurOcean team will support communications through their extensive network on behalf of the Decade and liaise with the Decade Coordination Unit on a quarterly basis to identify further opportunities.

Egypt’s National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF)

NIOF will provide support in relation to capacity-building, marine scientific research and international cooperation for the development of marine technology, as well as the implementation of the strategic directions identified in the framework of the Decade.

NIOF will:

  • Coordinate the planning and implementation of training activities – including, where appropriate, onboard their research vessels (RV/Yarmouk and RV/Salsabil) – in such a way as to stimulate and advance the conduct of marine scientific research by, and for the benefit of, IOCAFRICA Member States
  • Offer training initiatives onboard their research vessels for early career scientists from Africa, adjacent islands and Middle East countries
  • Encourage and facilitate cooperation with IOCAFRICA Member States in marine scientific and technological development
  • Disseminate the results of marine scientific and technological research in easily accessible publications
  • Organize conferences, seminars, workshops and symposiums relating to marine scientific research in the North Africa area

Heirs to Our Ocean, EurOcean and NIOF join JPI Oceans and the European Marine Board as DIPs.

Click here to learn more about becoming a Decade Implementing Partner

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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.