Three years after the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference will bring together the Ocean Decade community and partners to celebrate achievements and set joint priorities for the future of the Decade. It will take place on 10-12 April 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.
With the sub-title of ‘delivering the science we need for the ocean we want’, the Conference will be firmly anchored in the precepts of the Ocean Decade related to solutions-oriented, transformative ocean science, and highlight the role of the Decade as a framework to galvanize diverse groups in inclusive and equitable co-design and co-delivery processes.
In view of this goal, the Conference will include opportunities for the presentation of innovative and transformative science solutions, in the context of a broader mandate of showcasing initiatives and generating dialogue across the whole science-policy-society interface. It will provide a global forum for governments, leaders, maritime sectors, philanthropy, universities, private sector, NGOs and more, to meet and catalyse new partnerships and collaborations.
The high-level objectives of the Conference are to:
i. Showcase and celebrate achievements of the Ocean Decade from 2021 to 2024.
ii. Generate consensus on science – policy – society priorities for the Ocean Decade over the next 3 to 5 years through structured dialogue around white papers resulting from the Ocean Decade Vision 2030 Process.
iii. Create opportunities for networking to catalyse new partnerships and initiatives amongst diverse stakeholder groups and to bring new partners to the Ocean Decade.
iv. Provide a global platform for announcements and commitments to support the solutions-oriented goals of the Ocean Decade.
v. Prepare existing and future Ocean Decade partners and initiatives for a visible and meaningful role in the 2025 UN Ocean Conference and related events.
vi. Highlight initiatives led by local partners relevant to the Ocean Decade, in particular in relation to activities related to the role of science in the sustainable ocean economy.
vii. Raise visibility and awareness of the Ocean Decade and the role of ocean science in sustainable development amongst the general public in Barcelona.
A key outcome of the Conference will be the publication of a set of white papers related to the 10 Ocean Decade Challenges, that will identify future priorities for the Ocean Decade to generate the knowledge needed for science-based solutions related to global challenges, such as climate change, food security, biodiversity conservation, sustainable ocean economy, pollution and natural hazards.
The Conference will take place prior to the 2024 pre-Conference for the 2025 United Nations Ocean Conference (location and date TBD, Costa Rica - 2024) and the 2025 United Ocean Conference itself (Nice, France - June 2025). The Conference therefore provides a unique opportunity to convene and prepare existing and future Ocean Decade partners in advance of these major global convenings.
Hosted by Spain and co-organized with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), the 3-day, in-person event is co-led with a range of partners: Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council through the Barcelona Capital Náutica Foundation, and the Spanish National Ocean Decade Committee, which is led by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the Spanish Research Council (CSIC).