Newly appointed group of global experts will help drive Ocean Decade action on data, information and knowledge management


Newly appointed group of global experts will help drive Ocean Decade action on data, information and knowledge management

Newly appointed group of global experts will help drive Ocean Decade action on data, information and knowledge management 2000 900 Ocean Decade

At the first meeting of the Ocean Decade Data Coordination Group on December 16th, 2021, twenty-five (25) expert members expressed a strong commitment to transforming the UN initiative into a true “knowledge revolution” as they help co-deliver ambitious ocean data and information goals for sustainable development.

Established under by the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the UN body responsible for coordinating the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030, ‘the Ocean Decade), the Data Coordination Group brings together 25 experts from 12 countries. These experts represent various industries, fields and stakeholder groups who will work to reinforce and focus efforts to significantly enhance ocean data and information over the course of the Decade.

“The success of the Ocean Decade will very much depend on our ability to generate, digitize, preserve, manage, openly exchange and, most importantly, significantly increase the usefulness volume and range of ocean data, information and knowledge, so it may guide decisions and policy choices for sustainable ocean planning and management,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary.

The ambition of the Decade in relation to data, information and knowledge management includes significant enhancement of infrastructure, common approaches that enable interoperable data sharing and stewardship, and enhanced collaboration between data providers and users. Implementing a “digital ocean ecosystem” to support the Decade will be a dynamic, collective, and continuous process, incorporating established approaches and technologies as well as those that are only just emerging.

The Decade digital ecosystem will catalyse cooperation between data generators and users from diverse stakeholder groups including governments, UN entities, scientists, philanthropy, as well as industry and the public. The digital ecosystem and its component parts will support users in accessing, understanding, assessing, and providing impactful feedback on raw and processed data, information and knowledge so that these better meet their specific needs.

The Data Coordination Group will be tasked with achieving this ambitious vision. The Group’s work focuses on strategic exchange and coordination between key actors and guidance and advice to various parts of the Ocean Decade community.

Meet the Data Coordination Group Members (2022 – 2023):

Joana Akrofi, Programme Management Officer, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Edward Armstrong, Science Systems Engineer, NASA / California Institute of Technology

Jerome Aucan, Head of Pacific Community Center for Ocean Science, Pacific Community (SPC)

Uday Bhaskar, Head of INCOIS’s Ocean Data Management Division, INCOIS

Ute Brönner, Senior Project Manager, SINTEF Ocean

Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Digital Knowledge Steward and Senior Data Scientist, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research

Jan-Bart Calewaert, Head of the Secretariat, EMODnet Secretariat

Rebecca Cowley, Senior Experimental Scientist, Oceans and Atmosphere CSIRO

Taco De Bruin, Scientific Data Manager, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Steve Diggs, Technical Director, Hydrographic Data Group (CCHDO) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Rob Emanuele, Geospatial Architect, Microsoft

Marco Filippone, Solution Director Hydrography, Fugro

Evert Flier, International Coordinator, Norwegian Mapping Authority | Chair, GEBCO Guiding Committee

Jeanette Gann, Oceanographer, NOAA | Chair, Technical Committee on Data Exchange, North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)

Hernan Garcia, Director, World Data Service for Oceanography | Oceanographer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Katherine Hill, UK G7 Marine Science Coordinator, National Oceanography Centre

Neil Holdsworth, Head of Data and Information, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

Kirk Larsen, Senior Program Officer, Vulcan LLC / Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Kevin O’Brien, Senior Research Scientist, University of Washington/CICOES, NOAA/PMEL, GOOS OCG

Harrison Ong’anda, Principal Research Scientist, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute

Ana Pinheiro Privette, Lead, Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative, Amazon

Nicolas Segebarth, Policy Officer, European Commission

Rishi Sharma, Senior Fishery Resources Officer, UN Food and Agriculture Organization

Gry Ulverud, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Governance Officer, C4IR Ocean

Kate Wing, Executive Director, Intertidal Agency


For more information, please contact:

Terry McConnell, Data and Knowledge Management Officer, Ocean Decade Coordination Unit (


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.


The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want





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