Norway strengthens support to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission with a focus on the Ocean Decade 2021-2030 and capacity development


Norway strengthens support to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission with a focus on the Ocean Decade 2021-2030 and capacity development

Norway strengthens support to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission with a focus on the Ocean Decade 2021-2030 and capacity development 610 634 Ocean Decade

In a new agreement between UNESCO and Norway, both parties have reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the core programmatic work of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), with a particular focus on supporting the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 and capacity development.

Norway will contribute a total of 11.5 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD 1.1 million) to continue supporting UNESCO in mobilising ocean scientific research and knowledge-based solutions to advance the UN 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals (SDGs) and support the implementation of the IOC Capacity Development strategy in regions.

Announced at the UN Climate Conference COP28 in Dubai, the agreement renews and reaffirms the long-standing cooperation between Norway and IOC/UNESCO.

Norway, through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), will provide 10 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD 1 million) in support of the UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030 (Ocean Decade) as well as core programmatic activities of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Part of the funding will contribute to the following priority initiatives that are being carried out in the Ocean Decade framework over the next year:

Ocean Decade Africa Roadmap Implementation: support for the implementation of the Ocean Decade Africa Roadmap that will be facilitated through the Africa Taskforce, ensuring sustained progress in achieving the outlined objectives.

Enhanced Engagement in the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference: strong engagement of African partners in the upcoming 2024 Ocean Decade Conference, including a flagship African-led event during the conference, fostering inclusivity and collaboration.

Capacity Development Initiative for Decade Actions: support, mentoring, and training for the co-design of future Decade Actions in Africa and Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with a focus on selected initiatives responding to Call for Decade Actions No. 06/2023 will benefit from this program.

Global Network Support for Early Career Ocean Professionals: support to ECOP nodes in Africa and Caribbean SIDS, fostering the development and collaboration of young professionals in ocean-related fields.

Operationalisation of the Sustainable Ocean Planning Flagship Program: further build out and operationalize the Ocean Decade flagship program on Sustainable Ocean Planning. The official launch of this program is scheduled to take place at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, marking a crucial milestone in advancing sustainable practices for ocean planning.

Beyond the Ocean Decade, Norad is also supporting the core programmes of IOC/UNESCO in support of its Capacity Development Strategy, including activities with particular focus on increasing the number of SIDS communities recognized as “Tsunami Ready”, and on developing a pilot in the Caribbean region of the IOC/UNESCO Ocean Best Practices project aimed at facilitating international open exchange and collaboration around ocean data and information.

“Norway’s steadfast commitment to UNESCO’s ocean programs, particularly in bolstering the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, is truly inspiring. Their generous contribution reflects a shared dedication to advancing ocean research and knowledge-based ocean action. We express our sincere gratitude to Norway for their leadership and ongoing support, which plays a pivotal role in realizing the objectives of the Ocean Decade and furthering the core programmatic work of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. This collaboration underscores the importance of international cooperation in addressing the challenges and opportunities of our shared marine environment,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the IOC and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO.

In addition, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (MoER) simultaneously renewed its contribution to IOC/UNESCO for the fifth consecutive year, for an amount of 1.5 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD 151,000). The MoER contribution will strengthen core IOC programmes based on the priorities collectively agreed by Member States.

“Norway is a proud supporter of IOC/UNESCO. We are therefore pleased to see that IOC/UNESCO plays an increasingly important role on climate, where knowledge of the oceans plays a key role. The role of the Ocean Decade is crucial also for food security. We are therefore pleased to see that our contribution is enabling scientific cooperation between developing countries,” said Norway’s Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

Norway: a history of commitment to UNESCO’s ocean initiatives

Norway has traditionally been a leading donor to IOC/UNESCO, and has been fully engaged in the Ocean Decade throughout the preparation phase from 2018 to 2020. Since the start, Norway has been an active partner in the Decade including via development of a national action plan for the Decade and the establishment of a multi-stakeholder National Decade Committee.

Norway is a leading member of the Ocean Decade Alliance. In February 2022, Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre accepted UNESCO’s invitation to become a Patron of the Alliance, on the occasion of the One Ocean Summit (Brest, France). An imminent group of individuals and institutions, the Ocean Decade Alliance aims to catalyse support for the Ocean Decade through targeted resource mobilization, networking and influence, leveraging and multiplying financial and in-kind resource commitments.


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.

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.


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