For the United Nations System, in particular, conserving and sustainably managing the ocean and its resources requires ever-stronger dialogue and cooperation between the twenty-four agencies working on ocean issues.
From 26 to 28 March 2018, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO hosted the seventeenth meeting of UN-Oceans, the coordination mechanism involving all UN agencies working on ocean issues, to discuss the 2030 Agenda and UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
“The Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in my view is absolutely critical in reversing the decline that the ocean has slipped into in recent decades. We must reverse that decline for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, but to do so we need to have good science on which to base our decisions. We cannot do this just as a guessing game. We need the data, we need the databank, then we can do the analysis which allows us to make the right decisions. (…) It is a huge task but I am confident that by the time we get to 2030, we will have lifted humanity’s game hugely in terms of what we know about the ocean and our decision-making will have improved as a result,” said Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean.
“It’s your decade, a chance that comes once in a lifetime to do incredibly meaningful work for saving our ocean,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, inviting partner agencies to engage in the Decade’s planning process.
WMO participated in the meeting and highlighted the critical need for partnerships for the success of UN-Oceans and the Decade. Wenjian Zhang, Assistant Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said that “only in this way can we convince governments to pay greater attention to investment in research and observations.”
“We at WMO often say that with a one dollar investment in observations and meteorological services, society can get many times the investment in return through national socio-economic development,” said Mr Zhang.
UNESCO-IOC press release is available here