Bolstering its commitment to the UN Decade of Ocean for Sustainable Development, Germany becomes the newest member of the Ocean Decade Alliance, further scaling up the country’s role in global ocean action
In February 2023, H.E. Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Federal Minister of Education and Research in Germany formally accepted an invitation from the UNESCO Director-General, Ms Audrey Azoulay, to become a member of the Ocean Decade Alliance, a group of eminent institutions leading global efforts to mobilise resources for ocean science in the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Focusing on action and jointly developed solutions, the Ocean Decade Alliance will support all forms of ocean science to successfully deliver the Ocean Decade’s vision and thus contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Germany’s contribution to the Ocean Decade via the Ocean Decade Alliance will build on previous engagements including hosting of the First International Ocean Decade Conference in 2021 and a joint call for projects as part of the MeerWissen Initiative. Future contributions will focus on aligning national research funding with Ocean Decade priorities and exploring opportunities for continued support to co-design and strategic communication of ocean science for sustainable development.
“We consider the Ocean Decade a great opportunity for researching transformative solutions for the protection and sustainable use of the ocean across different disciplines and countries, and for working together to promote their implementation,” wrote Minister Stark-Watzinger upon accepting UNESCO’s invitation to join the Ocean Decade Alliance.
Together, Ocean Decade Alliance members catalyse support for the Ocean Decade through targeted resource mobilization, networking and influence, leveraging and multiplying financial and in-kind resource commitments.
Alliance members work together to shape the strategic implementation of the Decade, leading the way in the form of commitments and political will to invest in ocean knowledge generation for sustainable development. A high-level meeting of the Ocean Decade Alliance Patrons and members took place during the 2022 UN Ocean Conference (27 June – 1 July) in Lisbon, Portugal, and to mark the occasion, members issued a Joint Call to Action to catalyse additional investment in ocean science around the world.
Germany joins the 16 existing Alliance members comprising countries, United Nations agencies, philanthropic Foundations and private sector companies.
About the Ocean Decade:
Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade 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. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.
About the IOC/UNESCO:
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.