Read a statement on fostering an engaged ocean research community

Photo: Praveen via Flickr
At a recent United Nations meeting, representatives of Future Earth and the International Council for Science (ICSU) delivered a statement on behalf of the scientific and technological community, saying, "More than ever, scientists need to work directly with people on the future of our oceans."

Representatives from Future Earth and the International Council for Science (ICSU) delivered a statement yesterday at a preparatory meeting for the upcoming United Nations Ocean Conference. At the event in New York, Craig Starger of Future Earth and Charles Ebikeme of ICSU spoke about the need for scientists to work with diverse members of society to address challenges facing the ocean. Starger and Ebikeme represented the Scientific and Technological Community at the event.

The Ocean Conference will run from 5 to 9 June 2017 in New York and will focus on finding ways to implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 – which addresses improving ocean sustainability and the wellbeing of people who depend on the ocean for their health, livelihood and culture.

Future Earth and ICSU, in collaboration with the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean,” recently held a meeting on ocean sustainability in Kiel, Germany. The workshop brought together experts from around the world to discuss how to build a global network for ocean research, called the Ocean Knowledge-Action Network. This network joins researchers in the natural and social sciences with leaders in policy, business, civil society to develop innovative solutions for ocean issues, such as marine debris and disasters.

You can learn more about this effort and how to get involved here, or join the Ocean community on the Open Network.

Read the full statement below:

Thank you very much Mr(s). Co-Facilitators and Distinguished Delegates:

I am speaking on behalf of the Scientific and Technological Community Major Group. and I represent an international organization for sustainability science called Future Earth and our partner organization the International Council for Science.

Human wellbeing is inextricably linked with the wellbeing of the ocean, however the rate of change in ocean health is accelerating, putting at risk the many services that the Ocean provides to humanity.

Strong partnerships between the scientific and technological community and all other sectors of society are vital in a world where deliberative enquiry and verifiable facts are increasingly questioned. More than ever, scientists need to work directly with all sectors of society to ensure the future of our oceans.

A key initiative being launched at the Oceans conference in June and feeding especially into theme number 6 and target 14 a on scientific knowledge is a multi-stakeholder platform led by Future Earth and our partners, called the “Ocean Knowledge Action Network.” This network seeks to stimulate and accelerate new partnerships for knowledge generation and implementation of SDG14.  The Ocean Knowledge Action Network benefits from the rich and relevant work of a number of existing marine research projects under the umbrella of international science bodies such as the International Council for Science (ICSU), the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), the World Climate Research Programme, IOC-UNESCO, and Future Earth.

Scientific knowledge can admittedly be slow in the making, while the challenges are urgent. However, what we already know can effectively be put into action. The Ocean Knowledge Action Network will roll out an integrated research agenda to catalyze and focus national ocean research and innovation networks. Our goal is to increase knowledge and research capacity in tandem with critical users of that knowledge. We invite you to join us in unlocking the power of action-oriented research to secure the future health of our oceans.