OceanX Partners with IOC/UNESCO to Implement UN Ocean Decade Goals
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The partnership marks the ocean exploration nonprofit’s latest effort to collaborate with global entities to advance ocean protection and preservation benchmarks worldwide
Global ocean exploration nonprofit OceanX has signed a historic letter of cooperation with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) in a monumental effort to support and encourage the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), or ‘Ocean Decade’. To kick off the partnership, OceanX and IOC/UNESCO will be collaborating on a joint pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP28, the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference.
The agreement establishes a collaboration between OceanX and IOC/UNESCO on a variety of projects, including crafting international communication and outreach for the Ocean Decade, making OceanX expedition data accessible to the public, and sponsoring joint initiatives with scientific partners across the Arctic, Red Sea, Indonesia, Seychelles, and Pacific Small Island Developing States.
The Ocean Decade is a convening framework for a range of stakeholders to identify, generate, and use science research and solutions to sustainably manage marine ecosystems and connect people to the world’s ocean. Launched in 2021, the initiative is spearheaded by IOC/UNESCO, the UN body mandated to advance marine science, ocean observation, tsunami early warning systems, and ocean data through international cooperation. Working in concert with OceanX and leveraging its science and media capabilities, IOC/UNESCO will advance the Ocean Decade’s shared vision through 2030.
“With its multidisciplinary science approach and unparalleled media capabilities, OceanX is perfectly positioned to help grow access to global ocean data and inspire the world with the possibilities our ocean presents,” said Julian Barbière, Head of the Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section at IOC/UNESCO and Global Coordinator of the Ocean Decade. “Through this partnership, we will generate a captivating narrative around the role of the ocean in our lives, motivating greater participation in our collective journey towards 2030.”
As part of the communication effort, the partners will work on a coordinated digital and social media campaign around UN World Oceans Day to spread awareness about the world’s ocean and engage scientific partners, philanthropies, industry players, and governments. The partnership will also leverage OceanX’s Hollywood-caliber multimedia and videos of coral reefs, marine fauna, and marine protected areas, hosting screenings and amplifying content to key stakeholders, and the public at large. IOC/UNESCO and OceanX will also build out communication assets for and participate in major international convenings including the 2023 UN Climate Conference with a joint Blue Zone Pavilion, the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference, and regional ocean science events to advance the Ocean Decade.
“With the impact of global climate change increasingly clear, OceanX is honored to partner with IOC/UNESCO to advance the Ocean Decade,” said Vincent Pieribone, co-CEO and chief science officer of OceanX. “Credible scientific research, combined with creative media and storytelling, are vital to communicating the centrality of the world’s oceans to human life. This agreement signals the start of an innovative partnership that will share stunning oceanic research with the world and inspire human beings to protect their ocean.”
The collaborative pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP28 will be an active space for attendees to engage in in-depth discussions about the role of science in protecting the ocean, strengthening ocean-climate action, and increasing commitment to the exploration and knowledge transfer necessary to meet the Paris Climate Accords, limit warming to 1.5°C, and stabilize the Earth’s climate. With curated roundtables focused on the Ocean Decade Challenges and engaging visual media demonstrating the potential of scientific exploration, the IOC/UNESCO x OceanX pavilion will be a hotspot for ocean-climate solutions.
As part of the ocean data sharing commitment, OceanX will contribute processed bathymetric data (topographic measurements of the seafloor’s shape elevation), data collected from underway sensors (SST, salinity, CTD casts, meteorological data), and global tsunami-related data (imagery, footage, CTD casts, sensory deployment), among other metrics. OceanX and IOC/UNESCO also will collaborate on trainings and workshops for Ocean Decade partners, and OceanX will apply Ocean Decade goals to planned OceanX missions and geographies, the Research Vessel Initiative, and the Philanthropic Foundations dialogue.
OceanX and IOC/UNESCO share a commitment to spreading awareness of and support for the world’s oceans. This partnership, which takes effect immediately, will enable both groups to use their unique skillsets and networks to advance Decade Actions and inspire a new generation to protect the ocean.