Korea commits increased support for international cooperation to boost ocean science for research and development


A new Letter of Intent signed between UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Republic of Korea’s Institute of Marine Science and Technology Promotion (KIMST) commits even stronger synergies between IOC and KIMST to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and Marine S&T International R&D Programme of the Republic of Korea.


The Letter of Intent (LOI) signed by KIMST President Seung Hwan Cho, and IOC Executive Secretary Vladimir Ryabinin firms up the country’s commitment to participate in preparations for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). KIMST and IOC will contribute specifically to the Decade’s Science Plan, through the development of its own programme in Marine Science and Technology (S&T) International Research and Development.


“We will actively cooperate with IOC and will support a successful launch of international joint research activities in the context of the UN Decade and the IOC’s Global Ocean Science Report (GOSR),” announced Mr Hwan Cho during the exchange of signatures.


The LOI reinforces an already solid contribution by the Republic of Korea toward supporting IOC’s global ocean science coordination on behalf of the United Nations system. A prior Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2017 between IOC and Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries formalized major financial and in-kind support for IOC’s two flagship initiatives, namely the coordination of the Preparatory Phase (2018-2020) of the UN Decade of Ocean Science, and the GOSR (first published in 2017, with a second edition due to appear in mid-2020).


“This milestone marks the joint efforts of both IOC and the Republic of Korea to strengthen ocean science so that it can help us cope with global challenges such as climate change and ocean deterioration,” highlighted Mr Ryabinin, while also reiterating the central role of the Korean Government in supporting IOC’s GOSR, the only existing mechanism to measure global and national capacities in ocean science.


The signing ceremony took place on the margins of the 30th Session of the IOC Assembly, the Commission’s main governing body which brings together all 150 Member States every two years to establish general policy and main lines of work. Preparations for the UN Decade of Ocean Science figured prominently in Assembly deliberations, with the now traditional IOC Assembly Ocean Science Day dedicated to brainstorming Decade scientific and societal priorities with scientists, civil society organizations, governmental representatives, and interested citizens.



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