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Townhall session: Scoping out an agenda for a global Knowledge-Action Network on sustainable oceans and solutions

Date: August 18, 2016

Attendees at the 2016 CLIVAR Open Science Conference in Qingdao, China, can take part in a townhall session on ocean research hosted by Thorsten Kiefer, Director of Future Earth's Global Hub in Paris. Participants in the event will have the chance to share their ideas around building a new Future Earth effort called the Oceans Knowledge-Action Network. This network, which was launched earlier this year, seeks to join researchers with experts working in policy, business, civil society and more to tackle the biggest challenges to ocean sustainability.

The townhall session will be held from 19:30 to 20:30 CST (UTC + 8) on 21 September.

You can read the official description of the event, titled "Scoping out an agenda for a global Knowledge-Action Network on sustainable oceans and solutions" here:

Oceans, including coastal and nearshore areas, provide services essential for life on earth and to the history, culture and livelihoods of people across the globe. However, oceans are also facing multiple challenges from climate change, overfishing, acidification, de-oxygenation and pollution.

Recently, an increasing concern about the health of the oceans has placed oceans prominently on several global science-policy agendas, e.g. by inclusion in the set of Sustainable Development Goals and among the upcoming IPCC special reports. Accordingly, research and information activities on ocean topics exist in abundance. Why do we wish to establish yet another ocean research network, and what do we hope to achieve with it that could not be covered by the existing structures?

The new global network intends to be an umbrella over the major existing international activities in order to coordinate research and advocacy efforts more effectively across disciplines, regions, and societal sectors. To that effect, Future Earth has recently launched an open and inclusive Knowledge-Action Network on the topic of ocean sustainability, with the objective to address societal challenges through solutions-oriented, transdisciplinary research. The network wants to build on strong fundamental research and innovative agendas of projects, organisations and communities worldwide, including WCRP, SCOR, GOOS and many others.

The network is currently scoping out its shape and agenda over the coming decade by consulting with global communities of researchers and societal actors with stakes in the generation and use of ocean knowledge. As part of this process, this townhall session solicits discussion of ideas from the CLIVAR community about the most pressing societal challenges, scientific questions and inter- and transdisciplinary opportunities to inform the framing of the agenda of this new ambitious ocean network.

CLIVAR is a project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Its 2016 meeting will cover research on climate and the oceans and will invite "the international climate community to review the state of the science, to prioritize international research plans and to initiate new collaborations."

The conference runs from 18 to 25 September. You can learn more about the event here.