Report Open Access

Southern Ocean Action Plan (2021-2030) in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Annemie R. Janssen; Renuka Badhe; Nicole C. Bransome; Phillippa Bricher; Rachel Cavanagh; Taco de Bruin; Pjotr Elshout; Susie Grant; Eoghan Griffin; Emily Grilly; Sian F. Henley; Eileen E. Hofmann; Nadine M. Johnston; Deneb Karentz; Rhona Kent; Amanda Lynnes; Torge Martin; Patricia Miloslavich; Eugene Murphy; Joseph E. Nolan; Elisabeth Sikes; Michael Sparrow; Marten Tacoma; Michael J.M. Williams; Javier A. Arata; Jeff Bowman; Stuart Corney; Sally C.Y. Lau; Clara Manno; Rahul Mohan; Hanne Nielsen; Maria A. van Leeuwe; Catherine Waller; José C. Xavier; Anton P. Van de Putte

Annemie R. Janssen
Project leader(s)
Anton P. Van de Putte

In 2017, the United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (hereafter referred to as the UN Ocean Decade) from 2021 until 2030 to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health. To achieve this ambitious goal, this initiative aims to gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the world’s oceans. The initiative strives to strengthen the international cooperation needed to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society at the global scale.

Based on the recommendations in the Implementation Plan of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Version 2.0, July 2021), the Southern Ocean community engaged in a stakeholder- oriented process to develop the Southern Ocean Action Plan. The Southern Ocean process engaged a broad community, which includes the scientific research community, the business and industry sector, and governance and management bodies.

As part of this global effort, the Southern Ocean Task Force identified the needs of the Southern Ocean community to address the challenges related to the unique environmental characteristics and governance structure of the Southern Ocean. Through this community-driven process, we identified synergies within the Southern Ocean community and beyond in order to elaborate an Action Plan that provides a framework for Southern Ocean stakeholders to formulate and develop tangible actions and deliverables that support the UN Ocean Decade vision.

Through the publication of this Action Plan, the Southern Ocean Task Force aims to mobilise the Southern
Ocean community and inspire all stakeholders to seek engagement and leverage opportunities to deliver innovative solutions that maintain and foster the unique conditions of the Southern Ocean. This framework provides an initial roadmap to strengthen links between science, industry and policy, as well as to encourage internationally collaborative activities in order to address existing gaps in our knowledge and data coverage.

We thank the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) for the financial support under BELSPO, contract n°FR/36/ AN1/AntaBIS and BL/36/FWI34_PUNDOS-PPODS in the Framework of EU-Lifewatch.
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