Meet all the endorsed Ocean Decade Actions

The Global Environment Monitoring System for the Ocean and Coasts (GEMS Ocean) Programme

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) - Kenya

Expand the Global Ocean Observing System, Programme, Protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity, Skills, knowledge and technology for all, Sustainably feed the global population, Understand and beat marine pollution

The Global Environment Monitoring System for the Ocean and Coasts (GEMS Ocean) Programme is a multi-stakeholder partnership bringing together experts from earth observation, monitoring and modelling communities, together with end users and stakeholders to provide fit-for-purpose information for policy-making.

The Programme seeks to enhance the capacity of all sectors of society to access, analyse, use, and communicate information to protect and sustainably use marine and coastal resource and feed global, regional and national processes especially regarding Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), Ocean Forecasting and Sustainable Blue Economy Developments.

The GEMS Ocean Programme strives to address challenges such as coastal erosion, sea level rise, marine pollution, habitat degradation and overfishing, to name a few, in a more coherent and impactful way leading to improve the conservation, management and sustainable use of ocean and coastal resources. Special emphasis will be placed on filling the gap and analysis the Source to Sea (S2S) system, which refers to a biophysical continuum of the land area that is drained by a river system, its lakes and tributaries connected aquifers and downstream recipients including deltas and estuaries, coastlines and nearshore waters, the adjoining sea and continental shelf as well as the open ocean. Emphasis will be given in supporting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Developing Countries in strengthening their capacities on key aspects of ocean monitoring. For more information on the priorities and strategic approach of the GEMS Ocean Programme, please refer to our strategy brochure.

The Programme leverages and contributes to UNEP’s World Environment Situation Room (WESR) platform and other relevant partner portals to publicly display data and data analytics. The goal is to provide and showcase compelling individual case-level narratives, including examples that illustrate nature-based solutions efforts, to ultimately inform relevant societal stakeholders across all sectors.

Vision: A global environment monitoring system that provides relevant open and easily accessible ocean and coastal data, analysis, and information, guiding actions to protect and sustainably use marine and coastal resources.

Mission: Co-design and convene a global Community of Practice across experts and society at large to provide capacity, analysis, innovation and synthesised information to decision and policy makers, civil society, international organisations as well as coastal communities worldwide in a holistic approach to keep the global ocean and coasts healthy and productive.

Strategic goals:

• GOAL 1: Promote and convene a transdisciplinary partnership approach focusing on sustainable coastal and ocean use and ecosystem health.

• GOAL 2: Strengthen capacity development on key aspects of ocean monitoring especially in the context of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and developing countries.

• GOAL 3: Provide access to the use of quality assured, interoperable, open environmental data, analysis and sets of indicators to governments and stakeholders.

Start Date: 01/09/2022

Lead Contact: Joana Akrofi (

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