Vision & Functions

In line with the Vision and High-Level Objectives (HLOs) of IOC and challenges this particular region is facing, WESTPAC has become recognized as a key catalyst, advocate, coordinator and facilitator in the region to promote ocean knowledge, sustained observations and services for the improvement of ocean governance towards a healthy ocean and coasts for prosperity.

Bringing together and in partnership with governmental agencies and marine scientific communities, WESTPAC is committed to developing, coordinating and implementing marine scientific research, observations and services on four themes:

  • Understanding Ocean Processes and Climate in the Indo-Pacific;
  • Ensuring Marine Biodiversity and Seafood Safety;
  • Safeguarding the Health of Ocean Ecosystems; and
  • Enhancing knowledge of emerging ocean science issues

Specifically, WESTPAC endeavors to:

  • define regional problems, the solution of which calls for international co-operation, and promote, develop and co-ordinate the required marine scientific research programmes and related activities;
  • implement and co-ordinate the regional components of global marine scientific research programmes and activities of the Commission;
  • promote the development and use, at the regional level, of ocean services and related supporting activities, co-ordinated or maintained by the Commission;
  • facilitate the exchange of scientific data and information and the transfer of knowledge resulting from marine scientific research, especially to developing countries in the region;
  • assist with the identification of training, education and mutual assistance needs in the region, particularly those relating to the programmes of the Sub-Commission, and promote the required TEMA activities;
  • make recommendations to the governing bodies of the Commission on policy matters, and submit proposals on the budgetary and other forms of support required for the programme of work of the Sub-Commission;
  • co-operate with other subsidiary bodies of the Commission on technical matters of common interest;
  • provide general guidance and serve as a mechanism for Member States for the formulation, evaluation and follow-up of proposals for extra-budgetary projects aimed at strengthening national and regional capabilities in marine scientific research and the establishment of common institutions, services and facilities (e.g. centres, networks, etc.);
  • co-operate with regional subsidiary bodies of UN organization members of ICSPRO (Inter-secretariat Committee on Scientific Programmes Relating to Oceanography) and of other UN organizations as well as regional bodies collaborating with the Commission;
  • when appropriate:
    • form Task Teams to carry out specific assignments;
    • establish Groups of Experts, and
    • organize technical meetings (e.g. workshops), provided costs fall within the budget allocated to them or extrabudgetary funding is available for that purpose; otherwise recommendations to that effect shall be submitted to the governing bodies of the Commission for their consideration and approval.

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