AXA & IOC-UNESCO Call for Research Projects on Coastal Livelihoods

AXA & UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission are collaborating to improve awareness and solution building around the Ocean.

Over 40% of the world’s population lives in coastal areas and three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. By 2050, an estimated 800 million people will be at risk of storm surge and over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face a sea level rise of at least 0.5 meters.

As ocean health declines, the profile of hazards, exposure and vulnerability will change, likely creating more uncertainty and further risks for the stability of many countries. That is why it is critical to build resilience and protect oceans with the global financial community, governments and civil society having an important role to play to drive systemic change in a system that places a value on nature. 

Partnering for Coastal Resilience

AXA as a global insurer and a leader in the field of corporate action for climate change is joining UNESCO, via its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, to align actions with and support the vision and goals of the UN Decade for Ocean Science and Sustainable Development (2021-2030), known as the Ocean Decade.

AXA XL, a division of AXA Group, has already been engaged with UNESCO’s IOC since 2020 through the “Ocean Risk Initiative”, developing a toolkit for governments to help increase ocean literacy across the world.

Today AXA is extending its engagement with the IOC and coming onboard the Ocean Decade through a joint project with the AXA Research Fund, its global scientific philanthropy initiative on key societal challenges. The AXA Research Fund has earmarked 1M € to support 8 transformative postdoctoral research projects in the area of coastal livelihood preservation as part of the Ocean Decade. This call for research projects, which has been co-developed with the Ocean Decade Coordination Unit, forms a central part of the Ocean Decade Call for Actions No. 02/2021 which is soliciting research and solutions initiatives from around the world to meet challenges related to climate adaptation and mitigation, marine pollution and ecosystem management.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26 and the launch year of the UN Ocean Decade offer a unique opportunity for the world to take a stand and make a step change both in how we treat the ocean and its resources and how we invest to protect its biodiversity and the lives and livelihoods of those who depend upon it.

“Research is critical to understanding evolution of the ocean and taking the right actions to preserve the livelihoods and ecosystems that depend on it – both of humans and nature. Our partnership with IOC-UNESCO aims to support transformational research in the area of coastal livelihoods and disseminate findings to better inform decision-making for true impact.” said Marie Bogataj, Head of the AXA Research Fund and Group Foresight.

“We are thrilled to announce this collaboration with the AXA Research Fund as part of the Ocean Decade Call for Actions. With its focus on coastal resilience and early career researchers this initiative is contributing to two major priorities of the Ocean Decade and we look forward to receiving a wide range of transformative solutions-oriented research projects from around the world.”  said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), entity responsible for the global coordination of the Ocean Decade.

Registration is open until November 8

Application and guidelines are available here

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