Actions for the Ocean Decade

The Ocean Decade is a collective global initiative, with a transformative vision to harness ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. It will inspire new design, delivery and use of ocean knowledge to enable lasting change to our shared ocean.

About the Ocean Decade

  • A clean ocean where sources of pollution are identified and removed.
  • A healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are mapped and protected.
  • A predicted ocean where society has the capacity to understand current and future ocean conditions.
  • A safe ocean where people are protected from ocean hazards.
  • A sustainably harvested and productive ocean ensuring the provision of food supply.
  • A transparent ocean with open access to data, information and technologies.
  • An inspiring and engaging ocean where society understands and values the ocean.

Decade vision and outcomes

The Decade vision and outcomes will require the engagement of many different people to create ideas, solutions, partnerships and applications, these include: scientists, governments, academics, policy makers, business, industry and civil society.

“Our shared ocean is key to reversing our planetary crisis. Improved knowledge can help us find the relevant, sustainable solutions we need so that the ocean can fully support human health and wellbeing.

“The Ocean Decade provides a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to create a new foundation across the science-policy interface to strengthen the management of our oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity.”

The NOC supports this vision by leading the UK delegation of the International Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC), as well as leading and collaborating on UN endorsed Action projects.

NOC and the Ocean Decade

Sustainable Development Goals

The Ocean Decade is an initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Read about Sustainable Development – Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

International Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

The UK Delegation to the IOC-UNESCO is provided by the National Oceanography Centre. The UK is one of the IOC’s 150-member states and is also a member of the IOC Executive Council.

We work with national stakeholders, the marine science community, policy makers and marine partners to guide the activities of the UK IOC Delegation. The Delegation participates in national committees such as the UK Marine Science Coordination Committee (MSCC) and the NOC Association of Marine Science National Capability Beneficiaries to ensure dissemination of information to the UK marine science community.

Visit the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) to learn more

Living our Values

Aligned to our established corporate values and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we launched our first ever Sustainability and Social Responsibility (SSR) Strategy in 2021.

With a reputation as the UK’s leading charity for innovative ocean research and technology we are committed to conducting our business to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

“As a charity we bear an extra responsibility to be sensitive to social, cultural and environmental aspects of their operations, with an emphasis on higher moral and ethical standards, beyond mere legal compliance. With this SSR Strategy we are making a considered and deliberate inclusion of employee, stakeholder and public interest into corporate decision making that goes beyond the statutory obligations to comply with legislation. It’s something we’re all very proud of.”

Read about the first Sustainability and Social Responsibility Strategy successes

** Add page to config of the ‘It’s time to turn the tide – donations’ block **


It’s time to turn the tide. Will you help our ocean thrive?

Knowledge is power. Without the knowledge, we lack the power to make change.

By deepening understanding and sharing knowledge of our ocean, we create opportunities for people to play a part in shaping a healthy future for it.

Will you be part of an Ocean Alliance, working to build a world where everyone feels empowered to make the change we need for a thriving ocean?