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Policy and Practice Reviews ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00470

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

 Vladimir Ryabinin1*, Julian Barbière1, Peter Haugan2, Gunnar Kullenberg1,  Neville Smith3,  Craig McLean4, Ariel Troisi5,  Albert S. Fischer1, Salvatore Aricò1, Thorkild Aarup1,  Peter Pissierssens1,  Martin Visbeck6, Henrik Enevoldsen1 and Julie Rigaud1
  • 1Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), France
  • 2University of Bergen, Norway
  • 3GODAE OceanView, Australia
  • 4National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United States
  • 5Naval Hydrography Service, Argentina
  • 6GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany

Our civilization needs a clean, resilient, productive, safe, well-observed, documented and
predicted ocean. “The ocean we need for the future we want” was the motto of the IOC
proposal to the United Nations to consider the merit of an Ocean Science Decade. By
proclaiming the Decade, the UN General Assembly offered the oceanographic community a
unique, once in a life-time, opportunity to change the way we do things, make
oceanography fit for purpose of effectively supporting sustainable development, and energize
the ocean sciences for future generations. The Decade is the chance to put in place a more
complete and sustainable observing system and feed the resulting data into a science-based
informed decision-making system allowing increased reliance of our civilization on the
ocean, its ecosystem services and, at the same time, preserving ocean health. Strong and
proactive engagement of the oceanographic community in the design of the Decade and its
observing component and subsequent energetic implementation of the ideas are
sought. Participants in OceanObs’19 are invited to consider the additional possibilities and
requirements associated with the Decade in their contributions to and brainstorming at the
Conference. It is essential to use collective wisdom of OceanObs’19 to help developing an
ambitious and also realistic implementation plan for the Decade, with a strong observational

Keywords: Ocean observing, sustainable development, Disaster Risk Reduction, climate, ocean health, Science for policy, Ocean science

Received: 30 Mar 2019; Accepted: 12 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Carlos M. Duarte, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

Reviewed by:

Martin Ostrowski, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Kentaro Ando, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Japan  

Copyright: © 2019 Ryabinin, Barbière, Haugan, Kullenberg, Smith, McLean, Troisi, Fischer, Aricò, Aarup, Pissierssens, Visbeck, Enevoldsen and Rigaud. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Vladimir Ryabinin, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), Paris, 75352, France,