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Blog Home » What is the UN Ocean Decade?

What is the UN Ocean Decade?

what is the un ocean decade

Did you get a chance to read about the HyperNAV program that we support in partnership with NASA? Sea-Bird Scientific is proud to be part of the NASA PACE Mission, which contributes to the UN Ocean Decade’s 7 Outcomes.

On December 5, 2017, the United Nations declared 2021 – 2030 the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The purpose of this proclamation is:

un ocean decade proclamation

The UN Ocean Decade is meant to serve as a framework for countries and organizations to come together around the world to create collective action to save and protect our oceanic ecosystems. The UN Ocean Decade is coordinated by UNESCO‘s Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission (UNESCO-IOC).

The objective of the UN Ocean Decade was created to achieve 7 Outcomes:

  1. A clean ocean where sources of pollution are identified and reduced or removed.
  2. A healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are understood, protected, restored and managed.
  3. A productive ocean supporting sustainable food supply and a sustainable ocean economy.
  4. A predicted ocean where society understands and can respond to changing ocean conditions.
  5. A safe ocean where life and livelihoods are protected from ocean-related hazards.
  6. An accessible ocean with open and equitable access to data, information and technology and innovation.
  7. An inspiring and engaging ocean where society understands and values the ocean in relation to human wellbeing and sustainable development.

Over the course of the next few years until 2030, the UN Ocean Decade is meant to solve 10 challenges:

  1. Understand and beat marine pollution
  2. Protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity
  3. Sustainably feed the global population
  4. Develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy
  5. Unlock ocean-based solutions to climate change
  6. Increase community resilience to ocean hazards
  7. Expand the Global Ocean Observing System
  8. Create a digital representation of the Ocean
  9. Skills, knowledge, and technology for all
  10. Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean

Organizations at the national, state, and local levels will come together around the globe to propose actions that contribute to the 7 UN Ocean Decade Outcomes. Actions can take the form of a program, a contribution, or a project.  Each action can be as follows as described by the UN Ocean Decade:

  1. “Programs are large-scale initiatives implemented at the global or regional scale and will contribute to the achievement of one or more of the Ocean Decade Challenges. They will be long-term, multi-year, and typically interdisciplinary and multi-national. They should be comprised of component projects, which may or may not be fully or partially defined at the time of endorsement.”

  2. “Projects are discrete and focused undertakings. They may be regional, national or subnational and will typically contribute to an identified Ocean Decade program. Once endorsed, programs and projects will be provided guidance on logo use.”

  3. “Contributions are accepted on a rolling basis, at any time. Contributions are in-kind or financial contributions to the coordination functions of the Decade or to Decade Actions. This includes Decade Collaborative Centers or Decade Implementing Partners.”

Any individual or organization can submit an action under the above three categories, with the possibility that it will become an endorsed decade action.  Learn more on how to get involved in the UN Ocean Decade here.

July 1, 2022

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