12.11.2018 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Experts selected to help prepare the UN Decade of Ocean Science

© UNESCO/IOC - Official logo of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) has announced the composition of the Executive Planning Group (EPG), tasked with providing advice on preparations for the upcoming United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The Decade is a ten-year global framework to foster scientific research and bolster technological innovation toward a healthier, more sustainable ocean.

The newly established Executive Planning Group will advise the Decade coordination team and help guide Decade preparations, ensuring a wide gender, geographic and sectoral inclusiveness. The Group covers over fifteen countries from all regions (and ocean basins) of the world, and strikes a good balance of geographical diversity and interdisciplinary expertise in the fields of ocean science and management.

“We are delighted to have such a diversity of profiles and expertise coming together to support the preparatory work for the Decade,” cheered Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary. “We received a lot of nominations, which reflects the broad swath of interests and actors already mobilized around this initiative.”

The Decade of Ocean Science is set to begin on January 2021, but it has been taking shape rapidly since its official proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly on 5 December 2017. The Assembly requested UNESCO’s IOC to coordinate a three-year preparatory phase (2018-2020), through which regional and global consultations with various sectors of the ocean community will feed into an Implementation Plan. The Plan will cover the scientific, capacity development, resource mobilization, and communications aspects of the Decade.

“We are launching this preparatory phase with limited resources, and though the IOC Secretariat is fully mobilized to raise extra-budgetary funds and in-kind support to implement the many activities foreseen in the next couple of years, I am confident that the members of the Planning Group will add an extraordinary value to our efforts,” commented Julian Barbière, Lead Decade Coordination within the IOC Secretariat.

The members of the Executive Planning Group will hold their first meeting at UNESCO Headquarters on 17-19 December. They will review the Decade strategy and kick-off preparations for the various consultations planned for 2019, including a first Global Planning Meeting and several regional workshops.

Meet the members of the Executive Planning Group: complete list and biographic details

For further information, queries, or communication about the Decade of Ocean Science and its Executive Planning Group, please contact:


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