Shaping the UN Ocean Decade

The NeDiT project, as part of the GIZ-funded MeerWissen Initiative, hosted a side event at the regional consultation workshop “UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development” in January 2020 in Nairobi. The event was conducted to receive expert opinion on topics relevant to biodiversity data management. The main issues in biodiversity data management, integration and sharing that were identified are a) a lack of defined and standardised parameters, which describe a species occurrence and ideal habitats and environmental conditions, b) a heterogenous legal framework with no clear definitions on how generate, cite or share biodiversity data as well as no incentives to make data openly available and lastly c) a culture among scientists, practitioners and politicians, which is not very susceptible to the concept of open data sharing.

In a separate round concrete examples were given on how to improve the current situation. Those suggestions included 1.) the definition of shared key biodiversity parameters and essential environmental variables, 2.) a standardization of monitoring efforts itself across regions, 3.) to implement policies that encourage both horizontal and vertical transfer of relevant data and 4.) the establishment of strategic alliances and tap existing resources. All results of this side event also directly feed into the IOC-UNESCOs regional African workshop report to the global Ocean Decade efforts.

A summary of the side event “From data to decision” was included in of the overall Regional Consultation Workshop Report and can be downloaded here

The United Nations has proclaimed a 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 creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the ocean.