Backgrounder – United Nations Ocean Science Decade endorsed projects


Launched in 2021, the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for sustainable development aims to reverse the global decline in ocean health to ensure we have a sustainable ocean for future generations. The Government of Canada, in collaboration with domestic and international partners, has engaged in various targeted initiatives and activities to advance Ocean Decade outcomes and to help inform ocean policies and decisions to conserve our ocean and support sustainable development.

Canada is already an active participant in global efforts to generate and share knowledge, information, data, technologies, and expertise around the world. The Ocean Decade will help bolster and accelerate our existing efforts while also by creating new opportunities for those wishing to participate (either as contributors and/or as recipients).  We are also focused on efforts to ensure equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in ocean science, particularly with respect to addressing gender disparities for long-lasting and impactful change.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the lead United Nations agency, has formally endorsed eight projects, funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as official United Nations Oceans Decade projects. They include initiatives for building ocean science literacy and growing technical capacity amongst Canadian and Indigenous communities, using environmental genomics to collect biodiversity data, crowd-sourcing to collect hydrographic data in remote coastal areas of British Columbia, and researching the potential of kelp forests to mitigate climate change. The IOC also endorsed a ninth project, announced last year through the Ghost Gear Fund to map and remove ghost gear from waters in Malahat Nation territory. These endorsements enable the knowledge and information collected by our partners to be shared with the international community, and contribute to the global science effort.

The United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, beginning in 2021, to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and ensure a sustainable ocean for future generations.

June 2022

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