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 implementation of the Decade in relation to the deep-ocean science, particularly in the field of deep-sea ecology. It currently has over 300 members from around the globe.

Current Activities:

  • 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

Challenger 150 logo

    • Challenger 150 – Proposed UN Ocean Decade Programme for deep-sea biological research. Find papers below in Past Activities.
  • 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):

Challenger 150: A Blueprint for a Decade to Study Deep-Sea Life

Click to view poster

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)