Ocean Action Hub

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Ocean-inspired curriculum for students, parents & teachers from #UNWorldOceansDay

30 Apr 2020 - Homeschooling? The UN World Oceans Day 2020 official website has complied useful resources to learn more about the ocean.

30 Apr 2020 - Homeschooling? The UN World Oceans Day 2020 official website has complied useful resources to learn more about the ocean.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://unworldoceansday.org/news/ocean-inspired-curriculum-students-parents-teachers

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Gender and the ocean is the theme of World Oceans Day 2019

16 May 2019 - The importance of gender equality for the effective conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources is increasingly being recognized.

16 May 2019 - This year, World Oceans Day is “Gender and the Ocean”, an opportunity to explore the gender dimension of humankind’s relationship with the ocean.

The importance of gender equality, in particular for the effective conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources is increasingly being recognized. However, there is very little data and research on these issues, and a concerted action towards gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is still needed in all ocean-related sectors to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality.

Gender equality is the equal valuing by society of both the similarities and the differences between women and men and the different roles they play.

The 2019 edition of World Oceans Day will strive to build greater ocean and gender literacy and discover possible ways to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine scientific researchfisherieslabour at seamigration by sea and human traffickingpolicy-makingand management.

Read more here: https://unworldoceansday.org/gender-and-ocean

Photo © Getty Images / Natnan Srisuwan

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Methodology for measuring SDG 14 indicator on ocean acidity approved

19 Nov 2018 - A methodology to measure marine acidity will help keep track of countries' efforts to combat ocean acidification as pace increases to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

19 Nov 2018 - A methodology to measure marine acidity will help keep track of national efforts to combat ocean acidification as countries fasten their pace to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The United Nations’ Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs), the body charged with developing the indicator framework to measure progress on the implementation of the SDGs, formally recognized the “conceptual clarity” and international standards of the methodology and data-gathering approach for SDG indicator 14.3.1 (“average marine acidity (pH) measured at an agreed suite of representative sampling stations”).

IOC is the “custodian agency” for this indicator, and as such in charge of reporting back to the UN on progress for this indicator. The development of the methodology, a global framework for measurement and data collection of marine pH, was only possible with the strong support of the ocean acidification scientific community and in particular the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON). It provides guidance to scientists and countries about how to carry out pH measurements and how to report them.

Endorsed in July 2018 during the 51st Session of the IOC Executive Council, the methodology has now been formally accepted by the UN IAEG-SDGs as a Tier 2 Indicator, signalling international consensus that it be used as a stock-taking tool for global efforts on the “ocean” Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 14.

In late 2017, the IAEG-SDGs had already upgraded SDG indicator 14.a.1 on the “proportion of total research budget allocated to research in the field of marine technology” from Tier 3 to Tier 2. Also under IOC custodianship, this indicator is based on a methodology developed for and exploited by the Commission’s flagship Global Ocean Science Report.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/ioc-oceans/single-view-oceans/news/methodology_for_measuring_marine_acidity_recognized_by_unite/


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The Ocean is Losing its Breath: Declining Oxygen in the World’s Ocean and Coastal Waters – Summary for Policy Makers
31 Jul 2018 - This technical brief presents a summary of scientific experiments and observations on the problem of declining oxygen in the ocean. 

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO)

Authors: Breitburg, D., Grégoire, M. and Isensee, K. (eds.). Global Ocean Oxygen Network 2018. IOC Technical Series, No. 137 

Oxygen is critical to the health of the ocean. It structures aquatic ecosystems, impacts the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and other key elements, and is a fundamental requirement for marine life from the intertidal zone to the greatest depths of the ocean.

Nearly all ocean organisms larger than a single cell, and even many microbes, require oxygen for survival. They depend on oxygen in the water in the same way that animals on land depend on oxygen in the air. A reduction in ambient oxygen below required levels causes physiological stress, behavioural changes and ultimately death of key marine species. ‘If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters’.

Climate change is decreasing oxygen concentrations in the open ocean. The combined effects of climate change and excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus from sources such as agricultural runoff and human waste) are leading to oxygen loss in coastal marine systems and semi-enclosed seas that are strongly influenced by their watershed. Global and regional models predict that the oxygen content of marine waters will continue to decline as atmospheric and ocean temperatures rise and human population size increases. Ocean health is expected to decline and human well-being may ultimately suffer.

This technical brief presents a summary of scientific experiments, observations and numerical models addressing the following questions: How has the oxygen content in the open ocean and coastal waters changed over the past century and through geological time? What are the mechanisms behind this oxygen decline? How is ocean oxygen content predicted to change over the rest of the twenty-first century? What are the consequences of low and declining oxygen concentrations in the marine environment?

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High Level Scientific Conference "From COP21 to the UN Ocean Decade (2021-2030)"

UNESCO, Paris, 10-11 September 2018

High Level Conference "From COP 21 to the UN Ocean Decade (2021-2030)" - see information on sessions and link to registration: https://on.unesco.org/2mGLmzs 

Since COP21, new knowledge has enhanced our understanding of the interactions between ocean, climate and biodiversity. 

The conference aims at synthesizing recent scientific progress on ocean and climate interplays; evaluating the latest ocean-climate trends within the context of increased ocean action; and reflecting on ways to move “from science to action”.

Organized around four sessions, the event will bring together scientists from multiple disciplines, civil society, businesses, decision-makers and UN entities, to share their expertise on ocean and climate related issues.

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NEW: UNESCO Ocean Literacy Portal
13 Jul 2018 - A one-stop shop for ocean literacy sharing existing global ocean knowledge - accessible free of charge online and designed for all ages, from students to educators, from researchers to policy makers.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO has launched a new "Ocean Literacy Portal". This Portal has been developed to provide a one-stop shop for ocean literacy worldwide, by sharing existing global ocean knowledge. The resources are accessible to citizens worldwide, from different backgrounds and of all ages, from students to educators, from researchers to policy makers.

The Portal contains resources, news and information about events and projects that are relevant for all ocean stakeholders, from different backgrounds and of all ages. The Portal has been built to respond to the need of the ocean literacy community to have access to educational resources that are based on rigorous scientific knowledge, that cover different themes, e.g. marine litter, ocean observation, marine policy, and that are useful for different users, such as educators, scientists, journalists, policy-makers and representatives of the private sector.

In addition, the Portal users can register for a collaborative workspace. Through the Ocean Literacy Collaborative Workspace – UNESTEAMS, experts from all around the world can work directly with fellow members by co-working on topics and ideas and co-creating and developing new joint projects. This is a further step towards creating a collaborative network.

“It is our hope that this platform will contribute to further information and communication regarding the understanding of our ocean,” said Francesca Santoro, IOC Programme Specialist in charge of ocean literacy activities.

What is ocean literacy?

Ocean literacy is defined as the understanding of our influence on the ocean and the ocean’s influence on us. Ocean literacy is a way not only to increase the awareness of the public about the ocean, but it is as an approach to encourage all citizens and stakeholders to have a more responsible and informed behaviour towards the ocean and its resources. It is not just knowledge about the state of the ocean but a deeper understanding of our individual and collective responsibilities to take care of the ocean.

The ocean literacy framework and approach has been developed by a group of educators and scientists in the United States, and then taken up, and adapted by European, Asian and African scientists and educators. While all these organizations and associations have been critical to promote ocean literacy nationally and regionally, the need for an international collaboration and exchange of good practices and experiences led to the engagement of UNESCO in ocean literacy, both through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and its Education Sector.

Why was the portal created?

The high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development, convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017, provided the platform to further promote the ocean literacy concept and framework internationally. A voluntary commitment #OceanAction15187, “Ocean Literacy for All: A Global Strategy to Raise the Awareness for the Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainable Use of Our Ocean”, was submitted by UNESCO in partnership with many institutions and other relevant partners. The main aim of the initiatives outlined in the Voluntary Commitment is to develop a global partnership to improve public knowledge across the world citizenry regarding our global ocean.In this context, IOC has, at the occasion of the 51st session of its Executive Council, launched the Ocean Literacy Portal, developed with the support of the Government of Sweden. For more information, please contact:

Francesca Santoro (f.santoro(at)unesco.org)

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UNESCO International Conference on Ocean Literacy: Ocean literacy for all

Conference in Venice to discuss UNESCO's voluntary commitment to the Ocean Conference

Draft Agenda

UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe
Venice, Palazzo Zorzi

Ocean Literacy for All
4–5 December 2017

4th December 2017


Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores, Director UNESCO Venice Office

Welcome message

11:00 –11:30

High Level panel

Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO/IOC)

Gesine Meissner, Member of the European Parliament 

11:45 – 12:30

Keynote speaker

Francesca von Habsburg, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21)

13:30 – 15:00

Good practices in formal education (rapporteur)

15:00 – 16:30

Good practices in non-formal education (rapporteur)

5th December 2017


Opening speech (Platform & publication presentation)

10:30 – 11:30

Best Partnerships all over the word (rapporteur)

11:45 – 12:30

Keynote speaker & rapporteurs’ presentation

13:30 – 16:00

Definition of priority action and future perspective

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One Planet, One Ocean: Mobilizing Science to #SaveOurOcean

Join UNESCO to #SaveOurOcean and call for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development!

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is a global community that enables nations to work together to study our ONE shared OCEAN and observe its changes. Join us to #SaveOurOcean and call for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development from 2021 to 2030! For more information on how the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is helping its member countries achieve SDG14 please visit: http://ioc.unesco.org

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UNESCO-IOC Information meeting with permanent delegations in Paris on the Ocean Conference

Meeting in Paris presenting UNESCO-IOC's planned actions for the Conference.

Information meeting with permanent delegations in Paris to present the actions that will be put in place by UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) during its participation in the Ocean Conference, to be held in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017. Mr Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, will chair the meeting, accompanied by his team in charge of IOC Programmes, as well as by colleagues from the Culture Sector.

  • When, local time: Friday, 7 April 2017 - 10:30am to 12:30pm
  • Where: Paris, France
  • Type of Event: Information Meeting with Permanent Delegations
  • Contact: r.herve@unesco.org

Simultaneous interpretation of the proceedings will be provided in English and French. All distributed documentation will be provided in English at the meeting, and made available in French and Spanish subsequently