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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Govt, stakeholders urged to key into 2024 Ocean Decade Conference Statements

A call has gone out to the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and all maritime stakeholders in Nigeria to key into the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference Statement.

Anthony Akpan
Mr. Anthony Akpan, President of PAVE

Mr. Anthony Akpan, President of Pan African Vision for the Environment (PAVE), made the call in the aftermath of the just concluded 2024 Ocean Decade Conference which took place in Barcelona, Spain, from April 8 to 12, 2024.

Akpan, who also doubles as the National Coordinator of the Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) Network in Nigeria and a member of the Nigeria National Ocean Decade Committee, noted that the conference discussions centred around the development of a common vision for the future priorities of the Ocean Decade, and thus the global ocean science agenda. These discussions were nourished by the results of the Vision 2030 process, including the Vision 2030 Outcomes Report.

He said: “The conference discussed and identified future priorities for ocean knowledge and science generation and uptake that could be fulfilled via the Ocean Decade framework.”

He also noted that the conference recognised its pivotal role in kicking off a series of major international convening, including the Immersed in Change Summit in Costa Rica and leading to the 2025 United Nations Ocean Conference in Nice, France.

The conference highlighted that, by working collaboratively across this series of events, the global ocean science community has the possibility to catalyse previously unforeseen levels of action that will indelibly anchor the role of ocean science and knowledge in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To achieve this and fulfill the identified priorities, the conference issued the following Call to Action to all societal actors, including government, philanthropy, UN entities, industry, and the scientific community to “be proactive in the development of partnerships and collaboration for the co-design and co-delivery of transformative Decade Actions that translate the priorities identified during the Conference to tangible action.

“To significantly increase investment of in-kind and financial resources in ocean science, including the development of policies and innovative financial instruments, thereby ensuring the sustainability of existing and future Decade Actions, structures, and processes that are collectively working to fill the priorities identified during the conference.

“Increase investment in capacity development, sharing, and coordination with a focus on SIDS, Least Developed Countries, and other under-represented groups including Early Career Ocean Professionals.

“To also seize all opportunities to raise awareness and visibility of the Conference outcomes and the Barcelona Statement as an essential guiding framework for global ocean science and knowledge priorities in the lead-up to the 2025 United Nations Ocean Conference.”

Over 1,500 in-person participants and thousands of virtual participants gathered for the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference, which was hosted by Spain, and co-organised by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) in close collaboration with the Region of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council.

Reflective of the spirit of diversity of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, this first in-person gathering of the Ocean Decade community convened geographically and generationally diverse representatives from the scientific community, governments, NGOs and civil society, philanthropy, industry, and United Nations entities.

By Ajibola Adedoye

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