Summary of the Implementation Plan of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Released
Recently, the summary of the Implementation Plan of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (hereinafter referred to as the UN Ocean Decade) was formally released to provide a framework for the implementation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science.
In 2017, during its 72nd Session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated the years 2021 to 2030 as the 'Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development', with an aim to provide scientific solutions to improve ocean management around the world within the legal framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, so as to reverse the decline of ocean health and guarantee the oceans' continuous support for the long-term sustainable development of mankind and contribute to the goals of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by stimulating a profound reform in ocean science. Meanwhile, the UNGA called on the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO to take the lead in the preparation of the Implementation Plan of the UN Ocean Decade. Afterward, the IOC established an Executive Planning Group (EPG) comprising 19 global leaders in ocean science, including Dr. QIAO Fangli from the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO), Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) of China, to develop the Implementation Plan.
Between June 2019 and May 2020, a series of global, regional and thematic planning meetings convened with over 1900 participants from the scientific community, governments, UN entities, NGOs, private sector and donors across ten ocean basins. These meetings provided important input to the Implementation Plan on scientific priorities and capacity development needs, as well as information on existing and future partnerships to implement Decade Actions. The Implementation Plan was then finalized after several revisions and has been submitted to the 75th session of UNGA for consideration and approval.
The summary of the Implementation Plan defines the vision, mission, outcomes, objectives, challenges, action framework, governance and coordination mechanism, and measuring progress of the UN Ocean Decade. It welcomes the active involvement of stakeholders at all levels, including local government, research institutions, and industrial sectors. The Decade Coordination Unit will be established in the headquarters of IOC in Paris, while decentralized coordination structures will be in different regions to promote the implementation of UN Ocean Decade.