First International Ocean Decade Conference


1 June 2021 | 11 am to 3:30 pm (CEST)

High-Level Launch of the Ocean Decade


Event Program


 David Eades, News Anchor, BBC World News TV
— Ranga Yogeshwar, Science Journalist

11:00 am

Opening – “Creating the Ocean We Want”

 Anja Karliczek, German Federal Minister of Education and Research

11:10 am

Opening statements on the Ocean Decade

— António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

11:20 am

Virtual Ocean Voyage

Video showcasing international marine research projects with an emphasis on the international efforts and networks of marine science.

11:30 am

Visions and Missions Round Table

This round table aims to provide a platform for high-ranking leaders from government, the United Nations, civil society and philanthropy to express, firstly, their support for the Ocean Decade in general, but more importantly, to discuss prevalent topics, put forward questions and challenges that will be faced by the Ocean Decade, and inspire action and engagement across the world.

— H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Head of State – Principality of Monaco
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO
— Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, Youth and Sport
— Anja Karliczek, German Federal Minister of Education and Research
— Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director & CEO, United Nations Global Compact
 Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles

12:15 pm

Introduction to the Ocean Decade – “The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want”

The Decade, both in terms of action and outcomes, needs to move beyond business as usual to a true revolution in ocean science. This Round Table will discuss and explain the rationale and key elements of the Decade.

Elva Escobar Briones, Professor in Oceanography at Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (ICML) UNAM
The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Deputy Director for Climate and Environment,
    White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Ambassador Peter Thomson, UNSG Special Envoy for the Ocean
Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary
    of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO

12:35 pm


12:45 pm

Ocean Decade Outcomes

The Ocean We Want for a sustainable future is represented by seven Decade Outcomes: A Clean Ocean, A Healthy and Resilient Ocean, A Productive Ocean, A Predicted Ocean, A Safe Ocean, An Accessible Ocean as well as An Inspiring and Engaging Ocean. This session gives a brief introduction to each Outcome with a focus on the problem as well as the challenges. Also, cooperation partners are invited to express their ideas about what ocean we want to live with, and which challenges we have to overcome on the way to “Creating the Ocean We Want”.

Antje Boetius, Director of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
Peter Ng Kee Lin, National University of Singapore

1:20 pm

Round Table “Leaving No One Behind in the Race to the Ocean We Want”

The Ocean Decade is designed to facilitate global communication and mutual learning across research and stakeholder communities. Discussion of experts with international stakeholders; providing context to a cross-cutting topic as well as the importance and mechanisms for inclusivity in the Decade’s implementation.

Nouzha Alaoui, Secretary General of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection
 Antje Boetius, Director of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
The Honorable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 
    South Shore – St. Margarets, Canada
Farah Nibbs (ECOP), Early Career Disaster Scientist, University of Delaware
The Honorable Henry Puna, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum

1:45 pm

Round Table “The Ocean Decade from End to End”

The ocean is our planet’s largest ecosystem. It stabilizes climate, stores carbon, nurtures unimaginable biodiversity, and directly supports human well-being through food and energy resources, as well as by providing cultural and recreational services. All these effects have to be taken in account and thought through.

Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General
    of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
Heide Hackmann, Chief Executive Officer, International Science Council
Mark Heine, Chief Executive Officer, Fugro
Stuart Minchin, Director General, Pacific Community
 Bruno Oberle, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Guillermo Ortuño Crespo (ECOP), Postdoctoral Researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre

2:10 pm


2:20 pm

Round Table “Mobilizing Resources and Partnerships for Decade Actions”

The Ocean Decade supports new, collaborative partnerships that can deliver more effective science-based management of our ocean space and resources and will implement a series of stakeholder engagement mechanisms which will be discussed in this session.

Ulrike Decoene, Chief Communications, Brand and Sustainability Officer
    and Member of AXA’s Management Committee
Taylor Goelz (ECOP), Program Manager, Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, Aspen Institute
Gideon Henderson, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra),
     United Kingdom
Jan Ole Huseby, EVP, Global Head of the Ocean Industries Division, DNB Bank ASA
Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of the Sea, Portugal

2:45 pm

Outlook on the Ocean Decade Laboratories

Prof. Dr. Colin Devey, Oceanic Volcanism – Research Division “Dynamics of the Ocean Floor”, 
    GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

2:50 pm

Final Statements

Gesine Meissner, Former MEP, Chair National Committee for the UN Decade Ocean Science
    for Sustainable Development
Julian Barbière, Head of Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section, UNESCO/IOC
Maya Gabeira, 2x World Record holder and Oceana Ambassador
Thando Mazomba (ECOP), South African All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador

3:05 pm


Anja Karliczek, German Federal Minister of Education and Research
Fiona-Elaine Strasser (ECOP), German All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Thando Mazomba (ECOP), South African All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador

Formal handover to the Virtual Early Career Ocean Profession (V.ECOP) Day – starts at 4:00 pm (CEST)