As we approach the end of the first year of the Ocean Decade, the Decade Coordination Unit (DCU) has been advancing in discussions with several partners to support the implementation of the Ocean Decade. This includes establishing Decade Collaborative Centres (DCCs), which are decentralized coordination structures that will enhance coordination of a wide range of thematic and geographic priorities for Decade Actions. These centres will provide technical, logistical, and financial support for scientific coordination and planning, identifying opportunities for collaboration, conducting outreach and stakeholder engagement, and facilitating technical and scientific capacities to support Decade Actions. DCCs will be crucial institutional actors supporting the DCU by helping to track implementation of endorsed Decade Actions in their respective domains, assisting with the endorsement process, mobilising resources, and contributing to the overall monitoring and evaluation effort.
There are currently four proposed DCCs in discussion, one regional and three thematic. The proposed regional DCC, which would be hosted by the Tula Foundation, would focus on the Northeast Pacific, largely spanning the west coast and offshore regions of North America. The first of the proposed thematic DCCs focuses on the principles of co-design and transdisciplinary approaches to support ocean-climate solutions and innovation. It would be hosted by Ocean Visions, Inc., leaders of the endorsed GEOS Decade Programme, in partnership with the Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Tech. The second proposed thematic DCC would focus on coastal resilience in a changing climate and would be hosted by the University of Bologna, Italy who is also leading the endorsed CoastPredict Decade Programme. The proposal of this thematic DCC also coincides with the recent inaugural meeting of the coastal resilience Community of Practice. The final proposed thematic DCC for Ocean Prediction at Mercator Ocean International will establish a global forum to support ocean prediction collaboration to achieve the collective goals of the Decade, including support to develop the ‘core engines’ required for digital twins of the ocean.
The DCU is currently recruiting one or more consultants to conduct the feasibility studies for these four proposals.
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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 of 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.