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14 November 2023
UNESCO Headquarters
Europe/Paris timezone

14 November 2023 | 13:30-14:45 | Room II - This high-level side event will highlight the fundamental importance of sustainable ocean management to meet policy goals for climate, biodiversity, sustainable ocean economies, and coastal resilience, amongst others.

Ocean Image Bank/ Erik Lukas

Ocean Image Bank/ Erik Lukas

14 November 2023

Last update: 7 November 2023

Climate action, the sustainable use and management of biodiversity, food security, coastal resilience, access to renewable energy, and human health are all dependent on humanity’s capacity to sustainably manage the ocean. Sustainable ocean management is integrally linked to the development of a sustainable and equitable ocean economy, which is an aspiration and indeed a necessity for a growing number of Member States, including many Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. 

Via its diverse portfolio of programmes and initiatives, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission is uniquely placed within the UN system to catalyse and support action across all elements of the ocean science value chain that are needed to support sustainable ocean management. The core programmatic work of IOC/UNESCO is strongly complemented by its role as the coordinator of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, a UN-wide initiative that commenced in 2021 and that provides a global framework to create the conditions for sustainable ocean management.

Featuring high-level speakers from Costa Rica and France in their role as co-hosts of the 2025 UN Ocean Conference, the event has the primary objective of highlighting the fundamental importance of sustainable ocean management to meet global, regional and national policy goals for climate, biodiversity, sustainable ocean economies, and coastal resilience, amongst others. In doing this it would provide opportunities to:

  • Showcase the current role and future perspectives for IOC/UNESCO, including via the Ocean Decade, to support Member States to achieve sustainable ocean management, both within national jurisdictions and globally.
  • Explore the strong links that exist between IOC/UNESCO and the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, including commitments for Sustainable Ocean Planning by members of the Panel. 
  • Highlight the benefits and importance of investment in ocean science and knowledge for sustainable ocean management, and highlight upcoming international opportunities to raise global awareness, on this issue including the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference (Barcelona, April 2024), UN 4th International SIDS Conference (Antigua & Barbuda, May 2024) and the 2025 United Nations Ocean Conference (Nice, June 2025).

The programme of the side-event is as follows:

13.30 – 13.33 Welcome and Outline of Event, Ms Genie Godula, Moderator 

13.33 – 13.38 Opening Remarks, Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, ADG UNESCO

13.38 – 13.50 Keynote Address, "Ocean Science, collaboration and inclusivity are key to the success of the BBNJ treaty", Dr. Judith Gobin, Professor of Marine Biology, The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago

13.50 – 14.30 Moderated Panel Discussion: Accelerating the ocean – climate – economy nexus through evidence based sustainable ocean management, Q&A with audience 


Mr José Maria Costa, Secretary of State for the Ocean, Portugal

Mr Henrik Harboe, Special Envoy (Ocean) and Sherpa for the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Norway

Ms Nicole Leboeuf, Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service (NOS) of NOAA

Ms Arran McPherson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ecosystems and Oceans Science, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

Dr Kusdiantoro, Secretary DG, Marine Spatial Planning, Ministry Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia

14.35 – 14.35 Synthesis & Way Forward

Julian Barbière, Head of Section, Marine Policy and Regional Coordination, Ocean Decade Coordinator a.i., IOC UNESCO

14.35 – 14.45 Closing

H.E. Ms Anna Katharina Müller Castro, Minister of Public Education, Costa Rica

Mr Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, Special Envoy to the President of the Republic of France for the United Nations Ocean Conference

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
Fontenoy/Floor: RdC-Room/Salle II
125 de Avenue Suffren, Paris, 75007

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