Celebrating global ocean science and action

NOC representatives (left to right) included Dr Katy Hill, Dr Jo Hopkins, NOC CEO Dr John Siddorn, Dr Patricia López-Garcia, Dr Helen Snaith and Alan Evans. Prof. Ed Hill also attended.

Last week a team of scientists and ocean experts represented the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) at the UN Ocean Decade conference, to support and promote global ocean science and action.

The conference, hosted in Barcelona from 10–12 April, took place three years after the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It brought together diverse global representatives from the scientific community, governments, NGOs and civil society, philanthropy, industry, and United Nations entities, marking the first in-person gathering of the community to celebrate achievements and set joint priorities.

NOC representatives engaged in a diverse range of thematic marine science areas, including seafloor mapping, coastal resilience, global ocean observing, data management, digital twins of the ocean, engagement with UN and other international agencies, as well as representing the UK National Decade Committee. Several members were active participants in satellite events, either as panel members or moderators. The programme highlighted key achievements of the Ocean Decade’s first three years, and through the Vision 2030 process, identified future priorities for ocean knowledge and science generation and uptake, as well as priority ocean science infrastructure needs and priority cross-cutting issues. All outcomes of the conference were captured in the Barcelona Statement, which was unveiled during its closing session

Reflecting comments made by NOC’s delegation, Alan Evans, Head of Marine Policy, said: “The conference was a great celebration of ocean science and its relevance in supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We valued the opportunity to meet up with and consolidate relationships with a diverse community of science and ocean infrastructure practitioners, as well as with policy and other ocean stakeholders. Such relationships help foster future partnerships and guide the development of ideas for working together to deliver solutions through identifying the science we need for the ocean we want.”

Learn more about NOC’s Actions for the Ocean Decade