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The Ocean Panel and Ocean Decade: unleashing the full potential of ocean knowledge for a sustainable ocean economy

Date: 19 March 2021

A recent analysis prepared by IOC-UNESCO explores tangible ways in which linkages between the Ocean Decade, with its vision of the ‘science we need for the ocean we want’, and the Ocean Panel, with its aims of ‘safeguarding the long-term health and resilience of the ocean’, can be leveraged and optimized.

The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (the ‘Ocean Panel’) was established in 2018 by 14 world leaders. The Ocean Panel seeks to change the way the world thinks, acts and feels about the ocean, and inspire policies and actions at the highest levels to catalyse the transition to a sustainable ocean economy. In this spirit, over the last several years the Ocean Panel commissioned a number of peer-reviewed Blue Papers and Special Reports to explore priority ocean issues that have significant policy relevance. This assessment informed the Ocean Panel’s action agenda ‘Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy’ which has a headline commitment to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean by focusing on five key pillars: Ocean Wealth, Ocean Health, Ocean Equity, Ocean Knowledge and Ocean Finance.

The vision of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade – which started on 1 January 2021 - 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 for sustainable development. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC - UNESCO) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.

Leveraging Synergies between the Ocean Panel and Ocean Decade

A recent analysis prepared by IOC-UNESCO entitled ‘Ocean Knowledge for a Sustainable Ocean Economy: Synergies between the Ocean Decade and the Outcomes of the Ocean Panel’, and supported by the Government of Portugal, documents the synergies between the Ocean Panel and the Ocean Decade. It illustrates the inextricable role that the Ocean Decade will have in contributing to the ambition of the Ocean Panel and identifies areas where mutual efforts can be aligned to develop a lean, reliable guiding framework for ocean action to achieve the ocean we want – and need – by 2030.

The analysis provides a clear picture of the many different interactions that exist between the Ocean Panel’s five pillars of a sustainable ocean economy and the ten Ocean Decade Challenges representing the most immediate and pressing needs of the Decade. Proposals for action are presented so that stakeholders and partners of the Ocean Panel and Ocean Decade can optimize collaborative efforts and respond to emerging demands for robust ocean knowledge relevant to society and necessary for achieving a sustainable ocean economy.


Find out more about these synergies:


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