Ocean News

UNESCO Launches New State of the Ocean Report

During the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference, taking place from 27 June to 1 July, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched a new flagship report entitled “State of the Ocean Report”, offering a brief, accessible, one-stop overview of the current state of the ocean, and to mobilize global society to act - and monitor progress - towards global goals.

This pilot edition of the State of the Ocean Report (StOR) was proposed and developed to demonstrate the feasibility of keeping the world up to date on the current state of the ocean. It is intended as complementary to other assessments such as the World Ocean Assessment and the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Building on initial examples from IOC-led or joint initiatives, the report is structured around the initial 10 Challenges of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021–2030.

“The Report will help to efficiently monitor the progress of the UN Ocean Decade, and, in time, can become an eagerly anticipated worldwide publication that will contribute significantly to mobilizing global society to act towards ‘ocean we need for the future we want’,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO).

At the driving seat of the new report, the IOC-UNESCO is the main United Nations body for the promotion and international coordination of marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. Hosted within UNESCO, the Commission enables 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning, advancing knowledge-based solutions to key economic and social issues.

IOC-UNESCO Member States continuously expand their work in managing and protecting the ocean, placing the agency in a unique position to initiate and coordinate a periodic publication to inform the world about the current state of the ocean.

The State of the Ocean Report is the first such report to succinctly compile the most current knowledge on the state of the ocean - from pollution to biodiversity - bringing all the key information policy-makers and ocean managers require for making informed decisions in ocean protection and sustainable planning.

The pilot edition of the State of the Ocean Report invited contributions from over 100 renowned experts, between authors and reviewers, across all major marine science fields, including ocean acidification, deoxygenation, marine pollution, tsunami early warnings, marine spatial planning, data management as well as enabling infrastructure to name a few.

Subsequent editions of the Report will also invite contributions from other United Nations agencies, along the model of the State of the Climate report, regularly published by the World Meteorological Organization.

Building on the pilot edition, UNESCO aims to publish the State of the Ocean Report on a regular basis, with the launch of future issues expected to always coincide with the United Nations World Oceans Day, celebrated annually on 8 June.

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