We are pleased to announce that the Regional Consultative and Planning workshop towards the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) will take place in Tokyo, Japan, 31 July - 2 August 2019, with the support of the Government of Japan, through its Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).


The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed, at its seventy second session, in December 2017, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (and more particularly SDG 14) and will contribute to UN processes.

As mandated by UNGA, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) was tasked to coordinate the Decade’s preparatory process (2018-2020), inviting the global ocean community to jointly prepare an implementation plan for the Decade in ocean science and technology to deliver, together, the ocean we need for the future we want. This Implementation Plan will be submitted for approval to the 75th session of the UNGA in autumn 2020.

To this end, the Decade Roadmap considered by the IOC Executive Council offers an initial guide for the steps and processes needed to develop the Implementation Plan of the Decade, and also formulates a preliminary set of globally defined objectives and research and development (R&D) Priority Areas.

The Decade preparation takes a two-way process, with a top-down approach: the objectives and outcomes will be agreed globally; and a bottom-up approach: to allow the regional and even local definition of these outcomes and objectives, with the formulation of scientific products, activities and partnerships that could be proposed in the context of the Decade.

Global and regional consultative workshops are essential mechanisms in the Decade design process to achieve the objectives and to engage various communities through a multi-stakeholder process and structured dialogues. The first Global Planning Meeting (Copenhagen, 13-15 May 2019), will bring all key stakeholders with an interest in the Decade to the same level of information and encourage stakeholders to take ownership of the objectives of Decade as well as further develop its scope, outline potential projects, and identify collaborations aiming to refine the initial strategic objectives of the Decade.

Following this first global planning meeting, a series of regional consultations will be held, aiming at assessing the status of ocean research vis-à-vis the requirements of the sustainable development agenda (Agenda 2030, and other global and regional policy frameworks) and initiate the development of transformative partnerships. The regional workshop will identify regional specific priorities and requirements as well as contributions to global objectives.

In this context, the Decade regional workshop for the North Pacific and Western Pacific Marginal Seas will be organized by the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC), in close cooperation with the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), Japanese National Committee for IOC/UNESCO, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the University of Tokyo and other partners in the region.


The aims of the UN Decade regional workshop are :

  • communicate the purpose and expected results of the Decade to all stakeholders;
  • engage and consult the ocean community concerning the implementation plan for the Decade and more particularly assess the status of regional ocean research vis-à-vis the requirements of the six societal outcomes as well as the requirements of regional policy requirements (for example, identifying priorities in research or in capacity development and training);
  • identify the possible contributions of regional bodies to the Decade objectives, aligning their agenda with the Decade;
  • workshop possible themes or topics that may be part of the Decade;
  • identify potential initiatives to be further developed under the Decade, including whenever possible scope, objectives, expected results, participation and possible schedule;
  • identify opportunities (but not necessarily commitments) for investment and resource mobilization for the Decade.


The following expected outputs are envisaged for the regional workshop:

  • Knowledge gaps and list of the regional scientific priorities identified vis-à-vis the six societal outcomes of the Decade Roadmap;
  • Identification of priorities in capacity-development/training requirements towards achieving these research priorities;
  • List of existing partnerships/networks/initiatives in ocean science, observation , data and information systems;
  • Identification of interested partners clustered around themes/potential initiatives to be developed under the Decade;
  • Follow-up arrangements (timeline for the development of individual partnerships/initiatives; responsibilities of various partners, identification of potential resources, identification of expert that will represent the region in the global planning meeting, calendar of events, communication/reporting mechanisms).


The regional workshop will provide a platform for advancing dialogue amongst scientists and academia, policy makers and managers, civil society organizations, ocean businesses and industries, and donors and foundations towards the identification and development of solution-oriented approaches to ocean sustainability. The three-day meeting will include a mix of plenary and break-out sessions to facilitate international, interdisciplinary discussions

Representatives of Member States of IOC/UNESCO, or the United Nations, members of UN specialized agencies and relevant organizations, bodies, funds, or programmes within the UN system, shall be entitled to participate in these planning meetings. Relevant Intergovernmental organizations, regional marine scientific institutions and organizations as well as non-governmental organizations are particularly encouraged to participate.

In order to ensure sufficient interactions amongst experts, the number of participants for each workshop should remain within the 50-100 persons range. The participants are expected to provide inputs through their expertise, knowledge, data, information and capacity-building experiences.


For anyone who is interested to join this regional workshop, please register online at the WESTPAC website or (https://www.regonline.com/westpac-un-decade ), input your information, and, if needed, upload your CV and relevant supporting documents. For these who wish to apply for financial support, you are strongly advised to upload your CV.

Due to a limited number of seats and financial constraints, selection will be made on all registrants to select the most suitable participants, based on his/her descriptions about work experience and/or engagement in international programmes and activities as well as regional networks. The organizer will notify these selected participants by sending them invitation letters.

In case that you encounter difficulties in making on-line registration, please contact Ms. Anastasia Kuswardani (a.kuswardani@unesco.org) and Ms. Nachapa Saransuth (n.saransuth@unesco.org).