Guiding the ocean community towards an integrated, timely, and sustainable observing system


Guiding the ocean community towards an integrated, timely, and sustainable observing system

Guiding the ocean community towards an integrated, timely, and sustainable observing system 1000 666 Ocean Decade

Coordinating over 30% of Decade Actions endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (‘Ocean Decade’), the Decade Coordination Office (DCO) for Ocean Observing, led by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), held a webinar to underscore the pivotal role of reinforcing ocean observing capacity for the successful implementation of the Ocean Decade.

Since its inception in 2021, the Ocean Decade strives to enhance and expand existing ocean observing systems across all ocean basins to deliver needed ocean data and information. The DCO for Ocean Observing and GOOS support this mission by overseeing Decade Actions focused on Challenge 7: Expanding the Global Ocean Observing System, which make up the largest focal area of the Decade.

Taking place on 6 December 2023, the webinar offered a complete overview of the DCO for Ocean Observing and presented a progress summary of endorsed Decade Actions on ocean observation and prediction. These Actions represent almost all of the thematic and spatial components of the ocean – from the coast to the deep sea, and from air-sea interactions to bathymetric mapping.

Terry McConnell, the DCO lead, emphasized the importance of transitioning from a scientific focus to a focus on societal value creation to create a lasting impact for the ocean observing community. “This shift is crucial to attract support from non-traditional donor groups and to ensure that projects are co-designed with the end-user in mind,” he said. “Achieving this pivot demands new perspectives and ways of presenting ourselves.”

To ensure the delivery of accessible, timely, and actionable data and information, capacity development efforts are imperative. To this end, participants reviewed efforts made to secure the necessary resources and funding for ocean observing within the Decade. They also discussed approaches for providing scientists involved in ocean observation with the essential tools and skills to effectively engage and appeal to non-scientific donor audiences.

During the event, the speakers delved into an assessment of the requirements for effective ocean observing determined by the regional Decade Collaborative Centres (DCCs) and the Working Groups of the Vision 2030 process.

The insights of this discussion will inform the strategies for capacity development, communications, and progress tracking to support ocean observing actions at all levels and scales through the Ocean Decade.

Click here for the presentation and watch the recording of the webinar here.

For more information, please contact:
Ocean Decade Communications Team (


About GOOS:

The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is the global home of ocean observing expertise. We lead and support a community of international, regional and national ocean observing programmes, governments, UN agencies, research organizations and individual scientists. Our Core Team of expert panels, networks, alliances and projects supported by a GOOS Office is in touch with ocean observing and forecasting around the world. We are an Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) led programme with UN and science co-sponsors: World Meteorological Organization (WMO), UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the International Science Council (ISC).

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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