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.


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 and the Government of Flanders, empowered relevant stakeholders to understand and promote the objectives of the Ocean Decade.

As recognizing the role that education plays in increasing awareness about the state of the ocean is a priority, these trainings generated a broad dialogue to better identify how to transform ocean knowledge into actions. A total of 56 speakers from 29 countries participated in these trainings which gathered 87 participants (government officials, educators, the media, and the public) from 35 countries.

All courses provided an overview of the seven Ocean Literacy principles and highlighted the challenges the ocean is facing. Sustainable solutions were presented through successful case-studies such as the Ocean Rescue campaign of Sky News, a programme launched in 2017 to make people aware of plastic pollution; or the Educational Passages, a worldwide project where students are given the opportunity to deploy and track their very own mini boats.

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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.

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Regional initiatives and National Decade Committees

Following the Decade Regional Planning workshops that were held throughout 2019 and 2020, informal stakeholders’ platforms have been established in several regions to advance the identification of regional initiatives and programmes for the Ocean Decade.


Worldwide dedicated structures will play a key role in guiding regional activities to support the development of programmes, projects and activities that will be endorsed as “Decade Actions”.

The Western Tropical Atlantic Regional Planning Group (WTA IPG) was established in July 2020 to advance and coordinate strategic partnerships and actions for the Western Tropical Atlantic region, and benefits from the support of IOCARIBE as its official Secretariat. In 2020, WTA IPG developed a framework of major challenges and actions around each Decade outcomes and will organize a series of virtual workshops to support the elaboration of a regional action plan.

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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. On 28 May 2021, ECO Magazine and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO revealed that the latest issue of the magazine: a special digital issue on the Ocean Decade.

From citizen science projects and innovative solutions to diverse perspectives on inclusivity and leadership, this edition has it all! Click the link below to know more about inspiring projects implemented to deliver the science we need for the ocean we want: enjoy your reading now!

By aligning with the SDGs, we turn the invisible into the visible

Henry Ford once said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”. It has been long known that setting well-defined goals helps motivate people to achieve them. In 1990, after decades of studies on motivation, pioneering psychologists Dr Edwin Locke and Dr Gary Latham published their Goal-Setting Theory, focusing on what motivates employees in the workplace. So, how does one motivate entire countries to commit to large changes in order to end poverty, establish global peace and save the environment?

This is where the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) come in. Sustainable Development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” 1. The SDGs, also known as the Global Goals, are a set of 17 detailed, highly ambitious goals that were adopted by all UN member countries in 2015, serving as a united call to action against complex socioeconomical and environmental problems by 2030, such as poverty, climate change and gender discrimination. The SDGs are also integrated, meaning that they take into account that actions of one country or region will have positive or negative effects on other regions.

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