Drawing on the experience of existing National Decade Committees, the newly released Best Practice Manual for National Decade Committees is a valuable source of inspiration and practical advice to increase a country’s participation in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (‘Ocean Decade’).
National Decade Committees are voluntary structures which aim to facilitate the broad participation of national ocean communities in the Ocean Decade, and to connect national policies and stakeholder needs with the global momentum of the Decade. Beyond 2030, their legacy is expected to have lasting impact on the way ocean science is recognized, managed, and connected to policy and societal needs.
The 32nd Assembly of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) provided an opportunity to highlight the importance of National Decade Committees during a side event organized on 28 June 2023, that shared the experience of established Committees, and aimed to inspire and support other countries in setting up their own.
On this occasion, the new Best Practice Manual for National Decade Committees was officially launched and presented to IOC/UNESCO Member States. This manual is the fruit of collaborative work involving 20 Committees, that share their experiences, successes and challenges, starting with their creation followed by the development of diverse activities at the science-policy-society interface.
“National Decade Committees offer a valuable space to bring together the diverse ocean-related stakeholders at national level: various ministries, ocean science institutions, private sector, educators… […] To connect these stakeholders to the global community of the Ocean Decade and facilitate their participation in the Ocean Decade, and eventually catalyse the co-design of new Actions, which is the true spirit of the Ocean Decade,” said Julian Barbière, Head of the Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section at IOC/UNESCO and Global Coordinator of the Ocean Decade.
Combining case studies and practical advice, the Best Practice Manual for National Decade Committees was supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the French National Decade Committee. It is available in English and French.
Three years into the Ocean Decade, 37 countries have established a National Decade Committee and many more are in preparation. The Decade Coordination Unit within IOC/UNESCO supports this process and provides networking opportunities with existing Committees and the diverse coordinating structures of the Ocean Decade.
For more information, please contact:
Olivier Dufourneaud (email@example.com)
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.