2020-2030 A Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

February 16 2021

Opinion article

“Far and away, the greatest threat to the Ocean, and thus to ourselves, is ignorance.”

2020-2030 A Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development


On the 5th of December 2017, the United Nations declared a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, to be held from 2021 to 2030. (“Ocean Decade | IOC UNESCO”)

According to the UN "the Decade will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new foundation, across the science-policy interface, to strengthen the management of our oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity."

Over the coming decades, the world will face the impact generated by multiple environmental challenges such as the changing climate and the growing global population. Amid these challenges, Science-informed mitigation and adaptation policies to combat global change are urgently needed, but neither science nor policy-makers can accomplish that alone. Through stronger international cooperation, the Decade will bolster scientific research and innovative technologies to ensure science responds to the needs of society.


“Far and away, the greatest threat to the Ocean, and thus to ourselves, is ignorance”, words from Dr Sylvia Earle founder of Mission Blue.


Now more than ever, schools are important stakeholders. They need to adopt an intentional and proactive role in the moulding of our future society. We are urged to commit to making informed decisions based neither on a whim nor populist measures, but on the best available scientific and traditional knowledge available. The Decade will fuel access to accurate and compelling ocean education that will strengthen the learner´s connection with the Ocean. Ocean literacy activities and programmes can provide a deep and holistic understanding of the Ocean´s influence on us and our influence on the Ocean; more than just raising awareness, but also aiming to encourage all citizens and stakeholders to have informed and responsible behaviour towards the Ocean and its resources. It is about fostering the use of that knowledge to communicate, act and decide, understanding that we have both individual and collective responsibilities towards the Ocean.

CLIP has already joined this global blue wave. We believe the future will be shaped by extraordinary individuals who will collaborate to meet the challenges of the 21st century through versatile intellectual competence, a passion for discovery, increased social awareness and an uncompromising commitment to a better world. This, as we know, is deeply embedded in our mission and vision.


Last November, we hosted the first of a series of webinars dedicated to Ocean Literacy. We invited Docapesca which is a public managing

organ of the fishing sector, being one the most prolific and valued examples of the Portuguese “Blue Economy”; an emerging concept which encourages better stewardship of our ocean, or ‘blue’ resources. This holistic model aims at human wellbeing and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Docapesca responds to both the ministry of Finance and the ministry of the Sea being responsible for very diverse areas such as regulating fisheries, dock administration and Port Authority, as well as holding jurisdiction for fishing and recreative sea navigation. Marine biologist Carla Tabaio explored with our middle school the story of the Mackerel as reference for a variety of different aspects, from biodiversity and sustainable fishing to diet, market logistics or responsible consumption.


The next Ocean literacy Webinar will be focused on the Magellans exploration trip which contributed not only to the geographic knowledge of its time but also impacted the fields of space exploration and astronomy to this day. Be sure to check it out on our Social media follow us at @clipmarinesociety IG page.



Francisco Ferreira - CLIP Marine Society

2020-2030 A Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

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