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IOC News - April 2018

This month: Ocean science that's fit for purpose - UN ocean family sets the stage for greater collaboration - Caribbean tests tsunami alert system - Netherlands supports tsunami preparedness in the Caribbean - Toward a healthy Indian Ocean - IOC Person of the Month: Lisa Emelia Svensson

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Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Welcome!

Dear friends of the IOC,

We are continuing to build momentum around the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. As the preparations get underway, IOC is reaching out to scientists, policy makers and colleagues from across the United Nations system about the huge opportunities and tasks ahead. Through the Decade of Ocean Science, we have a once-in-a-lifetime window to transform oceanography from a curiosity-driven science into a global collective framework and community delivering much needed ocean-based solutions for sustainability.

All across the science-policy nexus – whether in Mexico, at the Economist World Ocean Summit; in Indonesia at the Indian Ocean Science Conference; or in Paris where we were thrilled to host the annual meeting of the UN-Oceans inter-agency mechanism, – IOC is fully mobilized to help governments recognize the crucial and enabling role of ocean science in building sustainable societies. We reach out for your contributions and support to deliver the ocean we need for the future we want!

Ocean science that’s fit for purpose

We already rely intensely on the ocean for food, transportation, tourism, energy production and a host of other economic activities. At the same time, the ocean’s deteriorating health threatens its ability to continue providing for human livelihoods, to sustain ecosystems, moderate and mitigate climate change, and even produce oxygen. When we add to the equation trends such as increased globalisation and demographic expansion, the outlook is fairly bleak.
 
It’s clear that if we want to save the ocean, we need to recognise – politically and practically – that investing in ocean science is worth our while.
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UN ocean family sets the stage for greater collaboration

The ocean knows no national boundaries, often challenging decision-makers with complex, transversal and multinational issues from food security to biodiversity conservation. For the United Nations System, in particular, conserving and sustainably managing the ocean and its resources is a common goal and therefore requires ever-stronger dialogue and cooperation between the twenty-four UN bodies working on ocean issues.

Caribbean tests tsunami alert system

On 13 March 2018, over 388,000 people from countries bordering the Caribbean participated in an exercise aiming to assess and update their tsunami preparedness. Known as Caribe Wave 18, the exercise tested the early warning systems established for tsunami and other coastal hazards in the region since 2005 under the aegis of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and allowed for an assessment of warning systems put in place by regional actors in charge of managing emergencies.
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Kingdom of the Netherlands supports community preparedness and tsunami early warning in the Caribbean

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but what does it take to raise a village into a tsunami-ready community? In 2017, the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC) of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) made considerable progress to improve early warning systems, public awareness and preparedness in the region thanks to a €80,000 contribution from the Kingdom of Netherlands.
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Toward a healthy Indian Ocean

On 18-19 March 2018, Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, travelled to Jakarta, Indonesia to take part in the International Indian Ocean Science Conference 2018 (IIOSC) and the 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition-2 (IIOE-2) Steering Committee Meeting. The visit also aimed at strengthening cooperation and coordination between UNESCO’s IOC and the Government of Indonesia in the fields of coastal and marine hazards and ocean health, as well as encouraging Indonesia to take a regional leadership role in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
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IOC Person of the Month: Lisa Emelia Svensson

Dr. Lisa Emelia Svensson is the Director for Ocean at UN Environment, heading  up  the  marine  and  costal  ecosystem  work  program  in  the  UN.  She  has  been  in  the  diplomatic  service  since  2002,  posted  in  New  York,  Washington  D.C.  and Brussels.  Before  taking  up  her  assignment  in  UN,  she  was  Sweden’s  Ambassador  for  the  Ocean,  where  she  advised  the Government of Sweden on international issues on ocean affairs. Dr. Svensson is focal point within UN Environment for the UN-Oceans inter-agency mechanism, which held its 17th annual meeting at UNESCO Headquarters between 26-28 March.

Could you briefly explain what is the UN-Oceans inter-agency mechanism and its role within the United Nations System?

UN-Oceans is a mechanism put together to ensure all agencies whose mandate and activities touch on ocean issues coordinate and collaborate in a continuous manner. The goal is to seek positive societal and environmental transformation on a variety of ocean issues through the United Nations’ competitive edge. Working together, UN-Oceans agencies can provide a well-rounded view on all issues impacting the ocean, from fisheries management to scientific research.
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UN-Oceans meeting - Interview with Lisa Svensson

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