The vision of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) is the "science we need for the ocean we want". The Ocean Decade is a convening framework for diverse stakeholders to co-design and co-deliver solution-oriented research needed for a well-functioning ocean in support of the 2030 Agenda. Capacity development, ocean literacy and the removal of barriers to full gender, generational, and geographic diversity are essential elements of the Decade.
"The IOC has an important role to play in key areas needed for implementing SDG14, particularly capacity development and technology transfer."
- Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Decade of Ocean
Since 2018, over 2,000 stakeholders have been consulted to develop the Ocean Decade Implementation Plan that provides a non-prescriptive framework for Decade implementation. Two peer review processes generated nearly 300 submissions on the draft Plan from IOC Member States, UN agencies, and other stakeholders. An Executive Planning Group including representatives of Early Career Ocean Professionals provided advice on the Plan’s development.
The Plan documents the Decade outcomes that describe the "ocean we want" by 2030. It describes a series of ten Ocean Decade Challenges that will unite partners around common ocean science priorities related to knowledge gaps, essential infrastructure, capacity development, and behavior change. These Actions - taking the form of programs, projects, activities or contributions - will be implemented throughout the Decade to create collectively the Ocean We Want and help achieve the 2030 Agenda and related global policy frameworks.
Regular Call for Decade Actions are planned throughout the entirety of the Ocean Decade.
The Decade will promote the emergence of an extensive stakeholder engagement network including National Decade Committees, regional and thematic stakeholder fora. All of these networks assemble around the Ocean Decade's Global Stakeholder Forum to co-design and co-deliver the innovative science we need to improve our understanding and management of a more sustainable ocean.