New York, United States of America
Global Compact to mobilize private sector for UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 3 September 2020 — The UN Global Compact has renewed its commitment to advancing science-based sustainable ocean business by signing a letter of intent with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO’s IOC), the UN agency charged with the preparation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
The UN Global Compact’s Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business will play a key role in mobilizing the private sector in the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Scheduled to start in 2021, the Ocean Decade offers a unique opportunity for the private sector and science to work together to increase ocean knowledge.
Together, the UN initiatives will continue to foster science-industry collaboration for a sustainable and thriving blue economy. Rapid declines in ocean health and marine ecosystems underscore the urgent need to intensifycollaboration. Advancing science-based ocean business is essential to balance the need for a clean, healthy and productive ocean with the strong growth in ocean industries required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s IOC, welcomed the new partnership as key to delivering on the Decade’s promises of inclusivity: “As a collaborative framework, the Ocean Decade will be uniquely positioned to convene stakeholders from scientific disciplines and ocean industries to work together, leverage expertise and resources, as well as to accelerate ocean knowledge creation and the implementation of impactful solutions. The UN Global Compact will play a key role in bringing the private sector voice into the Decade framework of action to deliver the ocean we want.”
Sturla Henriksen, UN Global Compact, Special Advisor, Ocean, said: “Better ocean science and stronger science-industry collaboration has numerous benefits for both the planet and the private sector, ranging from environmental improvements and cost savings to predictable, stable supply chains and increased market shares. We are delighted to formalize our commitment to science-based ocean business and to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”.
Last month, together with UNESCO’s IOC, the UN Global Compact published the paper Advancing Science for Sustainable Ocean Business, clearly outlining the opportunities for the private sector to support the Ocean Decade’s objectives. The UN Global Compact has also identified key opportunities for science-industry collaboration in a new report released last week.
The Blue Resilience brief outlines areas where scaling-up joint science-industry action could enhance the resilience of the blue economy and contribute towards a more sustainable future. Focusing on three blue economy areas, several joint science-industry action areas are identified which could drive a more sustainable ocean economy and could emerge through partnerships created during the Ocean Decade, including:
- Advancing technological innovation, such as the digitalisation of maritime trade, investing in ocean bandwidth, and using digital solutions for seafood traceability.
- Increasing data-sharing across industries and scientific disciplines, including the joint development of and contribution to global ocean data platforms.
- Developing capacity building programmes to ensure technology and innovation benefits are shared equally, strengthening the blue economy and its supply chains.
- Engaging in joint science-industry responsible policy engagement to inform the enabling legislation needed to scaling-up science-based sustainable business.
The report is co-authored by Dr Matthew Slater of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Dr. Robert Blasiak of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and Prof. Thomas Peacock of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The brief is the outcome of a multi-stakeholder ocean Task Force initiated by the Action Platform to help address some of the challenges facing the blue economy, including new ones brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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About the United Nations Global Compact
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Launched in 2000, the mandate of the UN Global Compact is to guide and support the global business community in advancing UN goals and values through responsible corporate practices. With more than 10,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and more than 60 Local Networks, it is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world.
About the Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform
The Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform of the United Nations Global Compact convenes leading actors from business, academia and Government institutions to determine how ocean industries can advance progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The work of the platform also builds upon the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, which outline business responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
About the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), established in 1960 as a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO, is the only competent organization for marine science within the UN system. The purpose of the Commission is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes in research, services and capacity-building, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, the protection of the marine environment, and the decision-making processes of its Member States. In addition, IOC is recognized through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the competent international organization in the fields of Marine Scientific Research (Part XIII) and Transfer of Marine Technology (Part XIV).
About the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
In 2017 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation and thus reverse declines in the state of the ocean system while catalysing new opportunities for sustainable ocean uses. 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.
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