Japan Boosts Commitment to United Nations Ocean Decade
The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has renewed its financial support to communication and engagement activities carried out in the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), coordinated by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
Japan’s commitment boost comes at a critical time when the Ocean Decade is building momentum and public visibility gained after three years of preparations and a widely successful launch in the first semester of 2021.
The announcement was made official on 27 August, in official communication from MEXT to UNESCO.
The new contribution ($US210k), under the JFIT for Scientific Programme on Global Challenges in Asia and the Pacific Region, will enable the roll-out of a global, public campaign (Generation Ocean) and the creation of a Global Stakeholder Forum (online platform and in-persons events) to facilitate engagement, collaboration and exchange, and to create an enabling environment for the officially-endorsed Decade Actions.
Through MEXT, the Government of Japan has provided continuous support to the Ocean Decade, from as early as the Preparatory Phase (2018-2020), enabling the Secretariat of UNESCO’s IOC to carry out a rich portfolio of communication activities, including the development of the Ocean Decade website, and a series of promotional videos on the Decade Challenges representing the most pressing needs of the Decade.
MEXT’s contribution also enabled the participation of early career scientists and experts from Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries in the planning of the Ocean Decade. In 2019, MEXT supported the organization of the Decade Planning Workshop for the North Pacific and Western Marginal Seas, which convened 160 participating experts from 18 countries who outlined cross-cutting priorities and the next steps in preparing regional action plan.
To implement the various lines of action foreseen in the Ocean Decade’s Implementation Plan, UNESCO’s IOC relies on contributions from Governments, private sector, and civil society institutions. These contributions go a long way in creating the knowledge base for the ocean we want by 2030.