Barcelona to host 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference

Barcelona to host 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference

Barcelona to host major event on science-based solutions for the ocean in the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Paris/Barcelona, 2 March 2023 – Three years after the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), a global conference will bring together the Ocean Decade community and partners to celebrate achievements and set joint priorities for the future of the Decade.

Hosted by Spain and co-organized with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), the 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference will take place on 10-12 April 2024 in the coastal city of Barcelona.

It will be a 3-day, in-person event 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).

The Minister for Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, welcomed the fact that this conference is taking place in Barcelona: “It strengthens Spain’s commitment to the blue economy and sustainable development of the ocean and, furthermore, confirms our country’s position in marine sciences”.

“Catalonia has a long tradition as a center of marine research and ocean science and as a maritime hub, with a strong commitment to sustainability. This synergy with the vision of the Ocean Decade makes Catalonia and Barcelona an ideal location for the first in-person convening of the global Ocean Decade community since its start in 2021”, said Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labour at the Generalitat of Catalonia.

“It is an honor for the city of Barcelona to host a conference of such relevance for our planet. We are a city of the sea, and the sea is in our identity, culture and economy. Barcelona has adopted a Blue Economy strategy which promotes the creation of companies and quality jobs, in line with environmental sustainability”, added Laia Bonet, Third Deputy Mayor of Barcelona.

The conference will be a key moment for governments, leaders, maritime sectors, philanthropy, universities, private sector, NGOs and more, to take stock of the achievements of the first three years of the Ocean Decade and define a collective vision for the coming years. Participants will benefit from concrete examples and best practices in ocean science to deliver “the science we need for the ocean we want”.

A key outcome of the 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference will be the publication of a set of white papers related to the 10 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.

A number of related high-level national and international events will take place before and after the main conference and there will also be scope for partners to propose and lead satellite events, exhibitions and networking events relevant to the conference themes on the days before the conference and in the sidelines of the conference itself.

“We are very pleased to be working hand-in-hand with Spain to bring this important milestone of the Ocean Decade to life”, said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO. “The conference will be an incredible opportunity for actors from around the world to collectively reflect on the use of science and knowledge for the sustainable management of the ocean, and in turn pave the way for the future of the Decade”.

More details about the programme, registration process and calls for proposals for satellite events will be available soon. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up here.

Communications contacts:

General contact

Ocean Decade

Aya Khalil

Barcelona Capital Nàutica Foundation

Institute of Oceanography-Spanish Research Council (IEO-CSIC)

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/UNESCO) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.


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.

About the Barcelona Capital Nàutica Foundation:

Barcelona Capital Nàutica is a public-private foundation that promotes initiatives linked to the nautical environment to improve people’s lives and raise awareness of the care of the sea, through sport and sustainability. It was founded in 2005 as Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB) to promote ocean sailing, and in 2022 it became the Barcelona Capital Nàutica Foundation with the aim of promoting sailing and blue development through nautical activities. Its aim is to transform the city of Barcelona and the region of Catalonia into one of the nautical capitals of the world, an international benchmark for top-level competitive sailing, from a sports, educational, business and scientific point of view. Its creation was the result of the idea of a platform formed by Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Generalitat de Catalunya, Ajuntament de Barcelona, Port of Barcelona, Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona, Diputació de Barcelona, Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona and Barcelona Global association, which are the current trustees of the Foundation.

The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference is co-organised by:

sponsor sponsor sponsor sponsor sponsor sponsor sponsor