The Ocean Decade at Oceanology International Americas 2023: leading the science, data, technology and skills we need for the ocean we want


The Ocean Decade at Oceanology International Americas 2023: leading the science, data, technology and skills we need for the ocean we want

The Ocean Decade at Oceanology International Americas 2023: leading the science, data, technology and skills we need for the ocean we want 2560 1824 Ocean Decade

Engaging sessions at OiA 2023 reinforced awareness of the Ocean Decade among industry stakeholders, shared knowledge and best practice, and discussed the collaboration and support required from the private sector to further the goals of the Ocean Decade.

The Oceanology International Americas Conference (OiA) in San Diego, which showcases innovative ocean technology solutions and expertise to mainly government and industry attendees, wrapped up on 16 February 2023. For the first time, the Ocean Decade featured prominently in the conference programme during two dedicated sessions.

In the first session, a distinguished panel of experts discussed how the Ocean Decade is working to deliver the science, technology and skills of the future. The session speakers included:
– Nicole LeBoeuf, Assistant Administrator, NOAA
– Margaret Leinen, Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Co-Chair of the Ocean Decade Advisory Board
– Dr Jyotika Virmani, Executive Director, Schmidt Ocean Institute
– Kate Wing, Executive Director, Intertidal Agency, Co-Chair of the Ocean Decade Data Coordination Group
– Dr Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, ESRI

The speakers demonstrated the progress that has been made in activating more than 250 scientific programmes and projects to address the 10 Decade Challenges, and technology’s role in these initiatives alongside establishing the strategies and structures needed to implement the Decade. The panel and the audience also recognised the tremendous positive impact that the Ocean Decade has had in its first two years, in raising global awareness among many stakeholders about the importance of ocean health to humanity.

The second session focused specifically on the key role industry can play in the success of the Ocean Decade. An inspiring panel discussion, organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, discussed the importance of unlocking privately owned ocean data. These datasets are currently invisible to science and the panellists highlighted the technical, cultural and legal obstacles, as well as the potential solutions and benefits, based on lessons learned from successful use cases in the offshore renewables sector. Valuable insights from this discussion will be carried forward into the newly formed Ocean Decade Corporate Data Group, tasked with developing strategies and equitable frameworks to make industrial ocean data publicly accessible. Joining IOC/UNESCO’s Louis Demargne in this session were the following speakers:
– Kate Wing, Executive Director, Intertidal Agency
– Corinne Bassin, Data Solutions Architect, Schmidt Ocean Institute
– Jean-Stephane Naas, Sustainable Ocean Business Coordinator, UN Global Compact
– Dr Ruth Perry, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Offshore Wind Americas, Shell
– David Millar, Government Accounts Director, Fugro

In addition to the two sessions, the Ocean Decade-endorsed Seabed 2030 programme was also in the spotlight on the last day of the conference, with a dedicated session that highlighted the steady progress made in the last five years in mapping the seafloor, but also highlighting the magnitude of the task ahead to reach the 2030 goal – and a call to action for industry to contribute to this important effort.

Overall, the OiA conference marked a meaningful step forward for the Ocean Decade, in collaborating with the private sector to support ocean science for sustainable development.

For more information, please contact:
Ocean Decade Communications Team


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/UNESCO) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.


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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