December 4th, 2023 | By Camille Jasinski
In November, the UN Decade of Ocean Science and Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) released their June 2022 - June 2023 Progress Report. The Ocean Decade is a framework to identify, generate and use critical ocean knowledge needed to manage ocean sustainability and achieve global climate, biodiversity, and human well-being goals. The Ocean Decade is the largest global ocean science initiative ever undertaken, and in its third year will focus on the strategic uptake and impact of ocean science and knowledge.
As of July 2023 five Calls for Decade Actions have been completed, with 39% of all Decade Actions being led by North American partners. Increased visibility of the Ocean Decade remains a priority, with the outreach and engagement focus of the Ocean Decade transitioning to strategic communication of the outputs and knowledge generated by Ocean Decade Actions and Initiatives.
As decentralized coordination structures, Decade Collaborative Centers (DCCs) play an essential role in supporting the Decade Coordination Unit to coordinate Decade Actions, catalyze new initiatives, build stakeholder engagement, mobilize resources, and communicate on the Decade. The Tula Foundation’s Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific Ocean (the DCC) was established in June 2022. The DCC aims to help the Ocean Decade reach its full potential of inclusive co-designed and co-delivered ocean science and knowledge in the Northeast Pacific region.
June 2023 marked the end of the first full year of the Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific. Our mission is to support and facilitate co-designed and co-produced knowledge for collaborative solutions to ocean challenges in the Northeast Pacific region, working together to solve the challenges facing the ocean and people from the coast to the deep water, from Alaska to Baja California and extending out to Hawaii. The DCC is one of 11 thematic decade collaborative centers across the globe.
The mandate of the DCC is to support and catalyze Decade Actions in our region. We have launched a number of strategies to enhance outreach, engagement, and communication, including a website, monthly newsletter, social media accounts, and participation in the Ocean Decade Network; from June 2022 to June 2023 the DCC staff participated in 253 events reaching close to 10,000 people. We have also launched a Decade Dialogue webinar series, actively participate in the ECOP Canada programme, co-hosted and attended a number of events, and helped support Ocean Decade Projects such as BECI (Basin-Scale Events to Coastal Impacts) and the Marine Plan Partnership.
The Ocean Decade Implementation Plan recognizes that Indigenous and Local Knowledge needs to be an integral part of the co-designed solutions and actions the Ocean Decade aims to deliver, and that collaborative ocean data, information, and knowledge are key enablers of the Ocean Decade’s success. Core principles of the DCC include the cultivation of productive and respectful relationships, enhancing capacity, access to, and impacts of ocean science and knowledge, and promoting a culture of learning, reflection and growth.
Looking towards 2030 the Ocean Decade is increasing its focus on ensuring that it is responding to the highest priority needs in ocean science and knowledge to meet user needs - the Vision 2030 process is at the heart of this approach. The DCC continues to engage in the Vision 2030 process, and will be launching workshops, initiatives, in cultural heritage and climate change, environmental DNA, and leading the Climate Ready B.C. Seafood Program, a $1.7m funding aimed at supporting actions from the B.C. Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Plan, a project under the endorsed Ocean Decade Programme Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability (OARS). As 2023 draws to a close, our second year of work is shaping up to be another productive one focused on expanding collaboration and advancing our participation in conferences and gatherings, including the Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona.