IOC Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States

Ocean News

  • Eco Magazine: Launch of a Special Digital Issue on the Ocean Decade
    Eco Magazine: Launch of a Special Digital Issue on the Ocean Decade

    The Ocean Decade marks a new era of ocean knowledge and understanding, and offers ocean stakeholders an unprecedented opportunity to drive global change.

  • Launch of Ocean Literacy Training Courses to support the Decade 07 April 2021
    Launch of Ocean Literacy Training Courses to support the Decade 07 April 2021

    Free Ocean Literacy Training Courses, hosted by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, with the contribution of the Government of Sweden a…

Indian Ocean Youth Short Video Competition

On the occasion of the International Youth Day (12 August) UNESCO/IOC launched the Indian Ocean Youth Short Video Competition on Tsunami Awareness (News Flash click: here). This initiative is also to commemorate the International Disaster Risk Reduction Day (13 October), and the World Tsunami Awareness Day (5 November). The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) of UNESCO/IOC jointly with a youth and young professional platform on science, engineering, technology, and innovation for disaster risk reduction (U-INSPIRE Indonesia) is organizing these series of activities related to the youth short video competition.

This short video competition opens the opportunity for Youth to learn, engage in international competition, and be a winner through:

  1. Free online training webinar on Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness
  2. Free online training on Creating Short Videos
  3. Submit their creative short video to the competition and get a chance to be the winner.

The competition is divided in groups:

  • Kenya and Madagascar  is in the category of Western Indian Ocean region: along with youth from Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa.
  • Comoros,  Mauritius, and Seychelles  is in the category of Indian Ocean Small Island States group: along with youth from Singapore, Timor-Leste and France La-reunion.

The 2 minutes short video should showcase young persons' ideas, projects, activities, or campaigns towards promoting community tsunami awareness and preparedness. The video can be in the local language or English. A local language video should have English subtitles.

To know more about the Participant Requirements, important dates, Requirements for Video Submission, Submission Detail, Scoring, Jury, Prizes and Winners, and examples of UNESCO Video Competition please see:

  1. Website for Indian Ocean Youth Short Video Competition (available in multi-language with google translation):
  2. Download the concept note (in English):
  3. Register through:



An unprecedented analysis on Global Harmful Algal Blooms launched by IOC

An unprecedented analysis of almost 10,000 Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) events worldwide over the past 33 years was launched by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

The first-ever global statistical analysis examined ~9,500 HABs events over 33 years and found that the harm caused by HABs rises in step with growth of the aquaculture industry and marine exploitation and calls for more research on linkages.


Commemoration of 2021 Edition of the African Day of Seas and Oceans

The African Union (AU) in collaboration with the government of the Republic of Seychelles commemorated the 2021 Edition of the African day of Seas and Oceans under the theme “Transforming the challenges of African Seas and Oceans into opportunities”

WHO: The 2021 Edition of the commemoration of the African Seas and Oceans is organized by the African Union Commission, Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (DARBE), Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Seychelles.

The overall objective of the commemoration is to raise awareness on the critical role played by Africa’s oceans and seas in attaining sustainable development within the framework of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The celebration will also highlight the opportunities and challenges facing Africa’s resources in its Oceans, Seas, Rivers and Lakes and deliberate on appropriate policy and institutional responses.


Under the first Aspiration: “A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development”, Agenda 2063 recognizes the huge potential of the Blue Economy as a catalyst of socio-economic transformation through knowledge of marine and aquatic biotechnology, the growth of an Africa-wide shipping industry, the development of sea, river and lake transport and fishing; and exploitation and benefits from deep sea mineral and other resources. It also takes into account the marine environmental protection that includes the methods and strategies to combat climate change.


Between Past and Future: Towards the Ocean Generation

The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet, it connects the world together and human beings depend on it for their livelihood. 8 June was officially designated as World Oceans Day by the UN General Assembly to raise awareness on the preservation and sustainable use of the ocean for all and future generations. Every year, different events are held worldwide with different themes engaging the global community to actively preserve the ocean.

Within the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe in close collaboration with the project office of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) organided a one day event titled “Between Past and Present: Towards the Ocean Generation” to celebrate this year’s World Oceans Day on 8 June in La Maddalena, Sardinia (Italy). The event focused on accentuating the importance of the ocean to the planet, critically involving and educating young people on this issue. It was an eventful day of roundtables talks, debates and interactive activities to communicate the invaluable role of the ocean in our lives. The goal was to inspire a conscious generation for the future and the ocean.

Guests and speakers in attendance came from a variety of professions; researchers, scientists, institutional representatives, seafarers, chefs, entrepreneurs, actors, journalists, and artists. The event kicked off with introductory speeches, among them from Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General of UNESCO; Franco Bernabè, President of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO; and, Rosalia Santoleri, President of the Italian Oceanographic Commission. The event was livestreamed from Sardinia with guests and speakers at the location.

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Collection of 1000s of stunning and powerful ocean images by award-winning photographers made freely available to support the Ocean Decade

The Ocean Agency together with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission announced today the official launch of the Ocean Image Bank, an online library of thousands of powerful ocean images that have been made freely available for download and use. The imagery collection has been developed specifically to support the objectives of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the ‘Ocean Decade’) and has been endorsed as one of the official contributions to the Decade.

The Ocean Image Bank is designed for use by the media, educators, creators, communicators, and anyone else looking to support the Ocean Decade by helping raise awareness about the ocean and its importance as well as inspiring greater support for ocean science and conservation action.

“Accessing affordable media-quality ocean imagery has been a major challenge for communicators that has limited both the intensity of media coverage and the convincing power of communications about the ocean for many years. It is one of the reasons why there remains a widespread lack of understanding about the importance of the ocean and the seriousness of ocean issues. It has also contributed towards the chronic lack of support for ocean science and conservation action that the Ocean Decade is suffering,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s IOC in charge of global coordination for the Ocean Decade.

The Ocean Image Bank was created by The Ocean Agency – the nonprofit, famous for taking Google Street View underwater and revealing the impacts of climate change on the ocean in the Netflix Original Documentary Chasing Coral. 

“People say that an image is worth a thousand words, but in ocean conservation, an image can be far more valuable than that. Some of our individual images, that reveal what’s happening in the ocean, have helped generate media coverage that’s been valued at well over a million dollars for each image, educating an audience in the billions. That’s why we are making the imagery even more accessible.” said Richard Vevers, Founder of The Ocean Agency.

Over 100 of the world’s top ocean photographers have generously supported the initiative - providing stunning and powerful imagery that is being made available alongside The Ocean Agency’s own imagery taken during their Underwater Street View and Chasing Coral expeditions.

The imagery covers a wide range of ocean subjects and issues ranging from coral reefs to mangroves, to life in the high seas. Additional imagery as well as creative communication and inspiration toolkits will be added to the Ocean Image Bank over the coming months and throughout the Ocean Decade. The Ocean Image Bank was funded by the Lemonade Insurance GiveBack programme. 

Media are encouraged to showcase galleries of the image to help raise awareness of the ocean and the importance of the Ocean Decade 2021-2030.

More at:



The Ocean Decade Exhibition: Transforming the image of the ocean to raise awareness about its importance and inspire action through creativity

The Ocean Agency together with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Adobe, HP Inc. and other key partners announced the official launch of the Ocean Decade Exhibition – a global exhibition of creativity that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the ocean and inspire greater ocean knowledge and conservation during the pivotal UN Ocean Decade for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the Ocean Decade).

The exhibition kicked off this month in the center of Paris at UNESCO headquarters. Over the course of the next months, it will then travel to other UN locations, beginning with UN Headquarters in Geneva, and major conferences and events. The artworks are also being made freely available so anyone can curate and create their own exhibitions. Micro-exhibitions are already being planned and displayed in venues ranging from schools in Paris, to universities and major aquariums across the globe.

Read more here: