Decade of Deep-Ocean Science
Image courtesy of Anna Metaxas, Dalhousie University, Canada
The Issue: The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to boost international coordination and cooperation in research and scientific programmes for better management of ocean resources. The Decade will galvanise collaboration to fill knowledge gaps in support of sustainable development – the lack of fundamental knowledge in the deep-ocean has been highlighted as a priority. In 2018, IOC-UNESCO began the coordination of the Decade’s preparatory process, including a concerted implementation plan. In this preparatory stage, it is crucial to identify key priorities for deep ocean science to support sustainable development.
The Working Group: The Decade working group aims to provide input to the preparation for and implementation of the Decade in relation to the deep-sea, particularly in the field of deep-sea ecology. It currently has 38 members from around the globe.
- Act as the interface between the UN and the deep sea science community to prepare for and implement the Decade in the deep-ocean, at global and regional levels.
- Promotion of international coordination and cooperation in deep-sea ecology research and scientific programmes
- Raising awareness about the need of fundamental science to increase our understanding of the deep-ocean and to provide tools for its sustainable use
- Development of an international and global deep-sea ecology programme with measurable targets
- Compilation of a list of ongoing international collaborative deep-ocean programmes and how they meet the Decade objectives
- Engagement with representatives of IOC member States and presentation of the WG to the IOC
- Provision of guidelines and goals for the implementation of the Decade in the deep-ocean
- Public outreach product (video/flyer) about the need of exploration and fundamental research to achieve sustainable development outcomes
- Preparation for attending 2nd Global Planning Meeting for UN Decade (March 2020, Paris) – Cancelled COVID-19
Past Activities (in reverse date order):
1st Global Ocean Decade Planning Meeting, May 2019
- April 2019: DOSI Decade position paper entitled: Deep-Sea Research in the Decade of Ocean Science. Mapping the role of the deep ocean in human society.
- October 2018: Decade WG workshop to formulate position paper (Aveiro, Portugal)