The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is a global initiative, which provides a vital opportunity for the global community to work together to transform Ocean-climate knowledge into action. Ensuring the sustainable management and conservation of our Ocean for both current and future generations.

The Vision 2030 Initiative and the Challenges

The 10 Challenges

The UN Ocean Decade designed 10 Challenges to complete before the decade is over. The Challenges are ambitious, so the Vision 2030 Initiative was set up to support each of the 10 Challenges.

The Challenges cover a huge number of topics and through opportunities made by our Head of Ocean Advocacy and Engagement, Nicola, we have been able to actively engage with Challenge 10 – Changing society’s relationship with the Ocean.

The Challenge 10 aim is to: Ensure that the multiple values and services of the Ocean for human well-being, culture, and sustainable development are widely understood, and identify and overcome barriers to behaviour change required for a step change in humanity’s relationship with the Ocean.

Why do we at the OCT want to engage with Challenge 10?

We know that when people feel an emotional connection with nature, they are more likely to protect and support its future. Using the data and findings that come from Challenge 10, we believe we can more effectively change people’s behaviour and strive towards our mission of a healthy Ocean.

At OCT, we are working hard to connect people with the Ocean through accessible and inclusive experiences, showcasing the Ocean and all it has to offer. We are consistently looking to improve and affect behaviour change on local and national scales, engaging with Challenge 10 will help support our message on a global scale.

The Challenge 10 Whitepaper

As these Challenges are set to span a decade, support was needed to define success for each of the Challenges, which is why the Ocean Decade Vision 2030 Initiative was created. The Vision 2023 Initiative is a collaborative, ambition-setting process with the key outcome of a White Paper for each of the 10 Challenges.

A White Paper is a document that is used as a tool to share with interested parties about how best to support or carry out a process. In the case of the Ocean Decade Vision 2023 Initiative, these White Papers will be for UN members, governments, scientists, charities and other NGO’s. The White Papers are drafted and undergoing review, they can be accessed here, but the aim is that they will:

  • Define what success looks like at the end of the Decade, or sooner.
  • Explain how we will know if we have been successful and changed society’s relationship with the Ocean.
  • Share priority actions, suggestions for data collection, indicators and milestones.

The Vision 2030 Initiative set up an expert working group for each Challenge and Challenge 10 has two co-chairs; Dr Diz Glithero from the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition, and our very own Head of Ocean Advocacy and Engagement, Nicola Bridge! They both went to Barcelona in April, to present the White Paper and its findings at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference.

What’s next?

It’s now time to think about how we can support the outcomes and findings of the Challenge 10 White Paper on the way to the UN Ocean Conference in 2025. 

Nicola is taking the first step to this support by being a keynote speaker, helping to kick off the first Ocean Literacy World Conference on 7th June 2024. She will highlight the importance of connecting people with the Ocean and the role that Ocean Literacy plays to support that, keeping in mind all the recommendations from the White Paper.  

As part of its activities, delegates will draw together a declaration, known as the Venice Declaration for Ocean Literacy, which will define key actionable priorities for Ocean Literacy in the coming year. This declaration will be shared with all UN member states ahead of the conference next year, it will form a global call for the importance and integration of Ocean Literacy principles to achieve all UN Ocean Decade Goals.  

Nicola’s wealth of experience and knowledge has shaped the work of the Ocean Conservation Trust, from making our experiences accessible, to innovative ideas to connect as many people with the Ocean as possible. We are so proud that she is amplifying our voice as part of this working group, and presenting on a global stage to help tackle the challenges that the Ocean faces.