2024 Ocean Decade Conference

The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference was hosted by the Government of Spain in Barcelona and co-organized with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO).

The event served as a pivotal gathering focused on the theme ‘Delivering the science we need for the ocean we want.’ This event brought together the global Ocean Decade community and partners to take stock of the achievements of the first three years of the Ocean Decade and formulate a shared vision for the years ahead. Spanning from April 8-12, 2024, the Ocean Decade Week unfolded across Barcelona city, showing commitment to ocean stewardship and collaboration.

In addition, the conference addressed an array of pressing Ocean Decade Challenges including, climate change, food security, sustainable management of biodiversity, sustainable ocean economy, pollution, and natural hazards. The conference led to the creation of a new foundation to strengthen the sustainable management of the ocean and science-based innovation.

The GEMS Ocean was a key participant and made significant contributions aligned with the event’s overarching theme in various panel sessions and satellite events.

There was an outcome statement and more importantly landmark series of six major announcements and commitments which represent a substantive first step towards achieving the decade priorities including;

  • Launch of a roadmap for cooperation between IOC/UNESCO and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation in the framework of the Ocean Decade.
  • Launch of new Ocean Decade programmes on sustainable ocean planning, and on sustainable ocean management in Africa.
  • Commitment by the Barcelona City Council and the Port of Barcelona to develop a Decade Collaborative Centre focusing on sustainable ocean economy.
  • Launch of the Ocean Matcher Tool to enhance opportunities for philanthropic funding to Decade Actions.
  • Launch of new funding opportunities for Africa through the Belmont Forum, and SIDS through the Marine Institute, Ireland.
  • Launch of the Cities with the Ocean Platform to enhance the use of science for policy and decision making by coastal cities, including the offer of Qingdao Municipality to host the first Ocean Decade Coastal Cities Conference in 2025. The Plenary Session on 'Resources and Partnerships for the Ocean Decade'
UN Ocean Decade Collaborative Centre

The Decade Coordination Centres (DCCs) offer specialised, long-term assistance in coordinating Decade Actions at the regional (i.e., major ocean basins) or thematic (i.e., Decade Challenges) categories. They facilitate new partnerships and initiatives as part of the Decade and support Decade Actions through resource mobilisation, communications, capacity building, and progress tracking. GEMS Ocean is a part of the UN Ocean Decade Collaborative Centre on Ocean Prediction as an endorsed Ocean Decade Programme.