Launched in January 2021 and coordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021- 2030), known as the “Ocean Decade”, is a unique opportunity for ocean actors across the world to come together to generate knowledge and foster the partnerships needed to support a well-functioning, productive, resilient, sustainable and inspiring ocean.
Decade Challenges identify the most immediate and pressing needs of the Ocean.
The Blue Skills initiative addresses challenge #2 because through a scientific approach it promotes training programmes and seminars related to specific marine matters. The interdisciplinary perspective focusing on different aspects of the ocean and the strong link with the scientific community, mainly research centres and academia, contributes to the challenge as it promotes the understanding of the effects of multiple stressors on ocean ecosystems for finding solutions in monitoring, protecting, managing, and restoring marine ecosystems.
Blue Skills also addresses challenge #9 by ensuring comprehensive capacity development and equitable access to data, information, knowledge and technology across all aspects of ocean science and for all stakeholders. The development of skills and capacity-building is achieved through a number of activities including an Advanced Master, a Summer School, research mobility opportunities and a traineeship programme.
The Blue Skills initiative addresses challenge #10 by considering the importance of community engagement behind the actions dedicated to promoting research and innovation at a higher scientific level. It values the role of the policy makers and the importance of science to policy at a national level and science diplomacy at an international level, to identify and overcome barriers to behavior change required for a step change in humanity’s relationship with the ocean. The project also joins events dedicated to research promotion in order to target a larger public. For this reason, it ensures that the multiple values and services of the ocean for human wellbeing, culture, and sustainable development are widely understood.