News and Updates

The IOC ocean science portfolio of activities aims at fostering knowledge generation in IOC Member States through the design and pursuit of common research agendas; the identification of scientific protocols supporting the systematic observation of ocean physical, biochemical and biological features; and the elucidation of science questions underpinning ocean hazards (other than tsunami) such as harmful algal blooms.

The Ocean Science Section also assists in translating the findings of scientific research to meet the needs of policymakers by contributing to relevant scientific assessments and policy processes such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and in building the knowledge base on multiple ocean stressors to implement ecosystem-based management. An underpinning dimension of the ocean science work stream at IOC is to contribute to building capacities in ocean science, including by addressing priorities around gender issues and in support of African ocean science and management.

IOCAFRICA coordinates and collaborates closely with a number of UN and non-UN partners in the design and implementation of its ocean science activities, focusing on three interactive lines of work:

  1. Oceans and Climate
  2. Science for Ecosystems and Marine Environmental Protection, and
  3. Marine Science for Integrated Coastal Area Management. The programme has implemented regional activities focusing on:
    • Climate research (including climate change and ecosystems) – UNESCO/IOC has partnered with World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Science Council to develop the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The WCRP facilitates analysis and prediction of Earth system change for use in a range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. WCRP aims to determine the predictability of climate and the effect of human activities on climate. See more information on the WCRP webpage
    • Harmful algal blooms - The overall goal of the IOC Harmful algal blooms (HAB) Programme is to foster the effective management of, and scientific research on HABs in order to understand their causes, predict their occurrences, and mitigate their effects. Details on ongoing initiatives can be found in the IOC HABs site.
    • Ocean acidification & Ocean carbon - Under the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, the IOC-UNESCO is the custodian agency for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target Indicator 14.3.1, calling for the “average marine acidity (pH) measured at agreed suite of representative sampling stations”. The methodology provides detailed guidance to scientists and countries about how to carry out measurements following the best practices established by experts in the ocean acidification community and explains how to report the collected information. See more information on IOC ocean acidification programmes here
    • Ocean Science Capacity assessments- The Global Ocean Science Report (GOSR) of 2017, assesses for the first time the status and trends in ocean science capacity around the world. The report offers a global record of who, how, and where ocean science is conducted: generating knowledge, helping to protect ocean health, and empowering society to support sustainable ocean management in the framework of the United Nations Agenda 2030. See report here.

IOCAFRICA is piloting an assessment, to assess the capacities available for ocean science and technology in the region at the institutional level and at the same time get a clear view on the magnitude of utilization of new technologies for ocean observation available within institutions involved in marine and coastal sciences in the region. This will enable the identification of gaps to be addressed and supported by the IOCAFRICA programme. The online survey will be shared shortly on the IOCAFRICA website.