The UN Ocean Decade is the decade of people

From 13 to 15 May, EuroGOOS joined 200 experts, opinion leaders, champions and stakeholders across various sectors at the Global Planning Meeting in preparation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030. The meeting included a mixture of high-level panels and brainstorming sessions to share ideas and tools that can foster partnerships in support of the Decade.

Participants exchanged views on cross-cutting links and capacities to underpin the Decade’s societal objectives put forward by the IOC and the Decade’s Executive Planning Group: a clean ocean, a healthy and resilient ocean, a predicted ocean, a safe ocean, a sustainably harvested and productive ocean, as well as a transparent and accessible ocean. For all those broad and interconnected areas, the paramount importance of public and policy awareness raising about the ocean’s role for all life on the planet was stressed. The sessions also highlighted that the Decade will only succeed through an engagement well beyond traditional ocean science disciplines. This is the decade of people, said IOC Chair Peter Haugan in the closing session, and it will need to be contextualized for the diversity of the world’s cultures, countries and needs. Communication was among the meeting’s foci; we joined the dedicated task group which brought together a range of experts to distill the meeting’s messages to concrete communications and engagement approaches.

Next in the planning phase of the Ocean Decade are a series of regional workshops starting with the Pacific Community Workshop on 23-25 July, Noumea, New Caledonia. It is foreseen to hold a global Decade’s kick-off meeting in Berlin in early 2021. The ocean observing community will have another chance to give tangible inputs to the planning at the upcoming OceanObs’19 conference (16-20 September, Honolulu, USA) for which both EuroGOOS and GOOS, the Global Ocean Observing System of IOC-UNESCO, are intellectual sponsors and active contributors.

All meeting documents for the Global Planning meeting and further information are available on

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