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UN Ocean Decade Conference commences in Barcelona

by Madaline Dunn

This week, the UN Ocean Decade Conference is being hosted in Barcelona from April 10 to 12 under the theme: ‘Delivering the science we need for the ocean we want.’ The three-day conference convenes governments, leaders, maritime sectors, universities, NGOs, the private sector and civil society, with attendance from 1,500 experts and over 40 international speakers.

The conference is part of the larger Ocean Decade Week, which runs from April 8 to 12 and features more than 120 Satellite Events alongside the official programme.

The Ocean Decade is a ten-year framework initiative which was launched back in 2021, aimed at identifying, generating and using ocean knowledge to manage the ocean sustainably.

The conference will set joint priorities for the future of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and launch the Barcelona Statement, which will contain recommendations on priority areas of action for the Ocean Decade in coming years.

Yesterday, opening the week, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, said: “We know that the big blue should be our obsession because the ocean is suffocating. The #OceanDecade is a movement that has already exceeded expectations, and this movement is based on three goals: understanding, educating, and protecting.”

The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference is organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO), the Generalitat of Catalonia and Barcelona City Council through the Fundació Barcelona Capital Nàutica, and the National Ocean Decade Committee of Spain, which is led by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities through the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

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