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Nadi, Fiji – The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Pacific Islands Conference on Ocean Science and Ocean Management, begins today in Fiji with more than 200 delegates from across the region and world.
The first of its kind in the Pacific, this conference brings together ocean scientists, technical experts, policymakers, young people, and custodians of traditional knowledge to address vital issues concerning the Pacific Ocean and its region is facing, under the theme "An Ocean of Knowledge for our Sea of Islands.”
SPC Director General Dr. Stuart Minchin remarked: "This is an unprecedented opportunity for stakeholders across the Pacific to come together and address pressing ocean-related challenges. Through collaboration, showcasing scientific excellence, and discussing integrated ocean management and ocean science, we aim to chart a sustainable future together for our Blue Pacific. This conference will focus on solutions and the science we need, for the ocean we want for future generations.”
Organized in the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), or ‘Ocean Decade’, this conference will highlight SPC's recent recognition as a new Ocean Decade Collaborative Centre (DCC) for ocean science in the Pacific region.
“Spread widely across the oceanic region, Pacific Island countries and territories are strongly connected with and highly dependent on the Pacific Ocean as a source of livelihoods, food security, social and cultural needs,” emphasized Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO – the institution in charge of implementing the Ocean Decade – and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO. “We are thrilled to welcome SPC on board the Ocean Decade ship and look forward to the discussions that will help collectively identify and prioritize science-based solutions that truly respond to the specific needs of this region.”
The DCC will play a key role in coordinating efforts for sustainable development in a region where most countries and territories are Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). In particular, it aims to strengthen collaboration, coordination, and integration of ocean science by endorsed Decade Actions in the Pacific, lead targeted communications and outreach, and partner with other regional organizations, the private sector, communities, and civil society to deliver on the 10 Ocean Decade Challenges. This endorsement underpins the Pacific's dedication to advancing ocean science and integrated ocean management, making the conference a pivotal moment for collective action and dialogue.
Comprehensive Conference Programme
The conference offers a variety of session formats, including presentations, discussions, deep dives, and posters, facilitating engaging conversations, networking and knowledge exchange. It revolves around key themes, each holding immense significance for ocean science and management:
- Prioritising Pacific Ocean science and management: Collaborative discussions on crucial ocean science and management priorities, raising sustainable policies and cooperation.
- Showcasing Pacific scientific excellence: A platform for scientists to present innovative research, contributing to evidence-based decision-making and the advancement of ocean and fisheries science.
- Building a path towards integrated Ocean Management: Evaluation of current integrated ocean management approaches and needs, identification of gaps, and promotion of strong policy frameworks with decision support systems that include traditional knowledge.
- Harnessing the power of traditional knowledge: Highlighting the incorporation of traditional knowledge, science, and ocean management for more culturally appropriate and effective practices.
- Shaping the ocean decade in the Pacific: Defining goals, priorities, and strategies for the Ocean Decade's implementation in the Pacific region, fostering transformative change and stronger partnerships.
The Pacific Ocean Conference promises to be a milestone event, uniting a diverse community of stakeholders to address critical ocean-related challenges, sharing on cutting-edge approaches and collectively working toward a sustainable future for the Blue Pacific.
The outcomes of the conference will serve as a roadmap highlighting Pacific priorities on the global stage on the path to the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, Spain, on 10-12 April 2024, and beyond.
Date: 11 to 15 September 2023, from 8.30 am to 5 pm (Fiji time)
Live Stream: https://spc.zoom.us/j/96308713047?pwd=NXI0RlEzTHRCZnFoWDZFaUk4N2JnUT09
For more information about the conference programme, key speakers, and participation details, please visit the https://bit.ly/PICOSOM2023
About the Ocean Decade:
Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.
About the IOC/UNESCO:
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.