The ISC supports the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which began in 2021.

Global science for the Ocean Decade 2021-2030

What is the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development?

On 5 December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, to be held from 2021 to 2030. This Decade will provide a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries’ actions to sustainably manage the Oceans and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Science We Need for The Ocean We Want

“The world is looking to the scientific community for leadership that bolsters actionable research to provide much-needed solutions for a healthy and sustainable ocean”.

Heide Hackmann, Inaugural ISC CEO

Involvement of the scientific and technological community is crucial in delivering on the Ocean Decade. That is why two of the world’s leading scientific cooperation organizations – the ISC and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), joined forces for the Decade by signing a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2020.

Key planned actions include promoting the Ocean Decade among the scientific community, contributing to Decade preparations, accelerating scientific initiatives, and exploring opportunities for joint fundraising for scientific research.

Co-designing the science we need for the Ocean we want: publication and webinars

The ISC contributed to a series of webinars held in 2020 to explore how the co-design and co-delivery of actions for the Ocean Decade could help contribute much-needed solutions for a healthy Ocean. The findings from the webinars are summarized in the 2021 publication Co-designing the science we need for the Ocean we want, which was published by IOC-UNESCO with input from the ISC.

Get involved

To contribute to our blog series on the Ocean Decade, contact Lizzie Sayer, Senior Communications Officer.

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A moonshot mission for the ocean

It’s often said that we know more about the surface of the moon than the ocean floor. With a focus on ‘moonshoots’ for research funding, it’s hoped it will that lead to the first moon landings to deliver action on critical challenges requiring scientific knowledge here on Earth.

Read other blogs about the Ocean Decade ➡

Cover photo: Ben Moat (distributed via

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