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IOC News - July 2018

This month: The Science We Need for the Ocean We WantCelebrating 100 Years of OceanographyNew Ocean Deoxygenation Policy BriefLaunching the Ocean Literacy PortalAQUACROSS Information Platform on Aquatic Ecosystem ServicesNew Report Card offers global overview of ocean observationsEmpowering Women in Marginalized Fishing CommunitiesIOC People of the Month: Ocean Scientists for the Ocean Decade

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Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Welcome!

Dear Friends of IOC,

Before we at IOC set off to enjoy some summer holidays, I would like to share with you the latest updates from a busier-than-usual month of July. We came out of the 51st Session of the IOC Executive Council more energized than ever, with a clear mandate to coordinate preparations for the UN Decade of Ocean Science, enlarge our ocean science portfolio, reinforce assistance to countries and communities building resilience to tsunami risks, and expanding observations of our shared global ocean. We have also been busy developing strategic products to foster science-policy interactions and develop ocean science and management capacities among our Member States and stakeholders.

The Deoxygenation Policy Brief, the Ocean Literacy Portal, JCOMM Report Card, and the AQUACROSS Information Platform are just the latest examples of our commitment to building tools to transform scientific knowledge into tangible outcomes for society.

After a brief break, IOC News will be back at the end of September with many more developments. For those taking a break for the summer or winter, I wish you a most enjoyable time!

Delivering the science we need for the ocean we want at top of IOC Executive Council agenda

Meeting from 3-6 July to discuss and review IOC’s programmes and work plans, the Council adopted a resolution setting up the process for the preparatory phase (2018-2020) of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
The IOC Governing Bodies – the Assembly and the Executive Council – are set to play a critical role to play in the coming years by guiding the development of the Decade and creating the conditions for the engagement of all relevant stakeholders. Other key agenda items included building resilience to Tsunami risks, bolstering IOC’s ocean science portfolio, and expanding global ocean observations.

Would you like to be a part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science?
These documents are accessible in multiple languages on http://oceandecade.org

Read more about the 51st Session of the IOC Executive Council
Disponible en français

Celebrating a hundred years of oceanography: Prof Walter Munk

Described by the New York Times as “the Einstein of Oceanography”, 100-year-old oceanographer Walter Munk delivered the Roger Revelle Memorial Lecture at the 51st Session of the Executive Council of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). Prof Munk offered some inspiring advice to his audience: “This task was done with more enthusiasm than knowledge”, he declared, arguing that enthusiasm is the ultimate driver of knowledge generation, scientific discoveries and the contribution of science to society. Subsequent to his lecture, Prof Munk was awarded the IOC Roger Revelle Memorial Medal for his lifetime services to ocean science.

Read more
Disponible en français
Watch the Full Lecture (English | Français)
Download Prof Munk's Presentation

How to restore the ocean's oxygen? A summary for policy makers

Oxygen is declining in the ocean. Since the 1960s, the area of low oxygen water in the open ocean has increased by 4.5 million km2 and over 500 low oxygen sites have been identified around the world. The IOC Expert Working Group Global Ocean Oxygen Network (GO2NE) has produced a policy brief “The ocean is losing its breath: Declining oxygen in the world’s ocean and coastal waters,” which seeks to inform policy makers of the latest scientific data and conclusions, in a bid to ensure informed decision-making to counter this rising threat to ocean health.

Read more
Disponible en français
Check out the Summary

A New one-stop shop Ocean Literacy Portal

The Portal has been developed to provide a one-stop shop to improve ocean literacy worldwide, by sharing existing ocean knowledge and highlighting ongoing initiatives. The resources will be accessible to citizens worldwide, from different backgrounds and of all ages, from students to educators, from researchers to policy makers.

Read more

New portal on aquatic ecosystem services: Launching the AQUACROSS Information Platform

Following the INSPIRE directive to facilitate better environmental policy across the European Union, IOC and the AQUACROSS EU Horizon 2020 Project launched the AQUACROSS Information Platform (IP). The IP has been designed as the central access point for project partners and scientists for publishing data on different types of aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity and Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) practices. The open source software will improve the sharing of marine spatial data between public authorities as well as increase public access.

Read more
Check out the Information Platform

New Report Card offers up-to-date global view of ocean observations

A new Ocean Observing System Report Card provides a snapshot of the status of global ocean observations, which are critical to predict and manage extreme weather and coastal hazards, manage climate change, and monitor the state of our marine ecosystems. The report card highlights progress, priorities and shortcomings in ocean observations in an era of growing impacts on burgeoning coastal populations from sea level rise, as well as threats to marine ecosystems from pollution and climate change.

Read more
Check out the Report Card
 

Enabling women's economic empowerment in marginalized fishing communities: A Success story in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Region

Ocean science is essential to identify and manage Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – ocean and coastal areas where human activities are strictly regulated to ensure sustainable use and ecosystem health. Through this joint IOC-UNDP-GEF project on Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Strategic Ecosystem Management (SEM), ocean science has been supporting improved management of MPAs by local communities and contributing to the betterment of livelihoods. Some of the project’s key interventions support diversification of livelihood options and participatory approach in management of living marine resources.

Read more

IOC People of the Month:
Ocean Scientists for the Ocean Decade

The Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will set out in 2021 to provide the global ocean science community a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to demonstrate the societal value and potential of their work, generating greater investment in science that can improve our management of oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity. Scientists from world over are stepping up – here’s what some of them have to say:

Dr. Susan Wijffels (Australia)
The Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will draw attention to how essential the ocean is to earth’s climate and society. As part of the Decade, I plan to contribute to improving the design and implementation of the global ocean observing system. Through strong engagement with the global ocean observing community, I hope the Decade will enable us to reach out to new partners and users. Although we have made tremendous progress, we still have major challenges around access to the global ocean and open data sharing, and more needs to be done to realise the benefits for all nations of an open and freely available global ocean information system.

José H Muelbert (Brazil)
We cannot study or manage what we don’t observe. And, we are currently not observing the oceans well enough, particularly in developing countries and seas that make up most of the planets’ coastal environments. For me, a Decade dedicated to the study of the oceans is a unique opportunity to change this current scenario. The Decade Roadmap encourages “policy makers to think beyond business-as-usual and aspire for real change”. I agree, if policy makers don’t change governance of how we observe and study the oceans worldwide, real changes will not occur despite state-of-the-art science conducted in few centers of excellence. This changes are the only way we can tackle the immense challenges that face humanity survival in years to come.

Dr. Jacqueline Uku (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association, WIOMSA)
It is my deep hope that the Decade of Ocean Science will help us develop strong partnerships and collaborations both regionally and globally and that these partnerships create opportunities for new learning. I hope to contribute to the preparations for the Decade by ensuring that there is sharing of information and knowledge from the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) Region which can form a platform for the intended collaborations and partnerships. I also hope to contribute towards the enhancement of Ocean Literacy by ensuring that we tell the good story from the ocean in our region.
 
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Meet more scientists and stakeholders speaking out for the UN Decade of Ocean Science in our new brochure!

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