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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA‑UAB)

ICTA-UAB calling for a new Intergovernmental Panel for Ocean Sustainability in Lisbon

18 Jul 2022
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Last month, ocean leaders from various sectors across the planet convened in the week-long II UN Ocean Conference (UNOC - Lisbon, Portugal, 27th June to 1st July).

Leopoldo Gerhardinger UN Conference Lisboa

The broad conference theme, "Scaling Up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the Implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, Partnerships and Solutions”, set the stage for the negotiation and agreement on a high-level Political Declaration entitled "Our ocean, our future, our responsibility”. 

A representative of ICTA-UAB, Leopoldo Gerhardinger (PDRA on Ocean Citizen Knowledge of the ERC-COG TRADITION), was accredited by the International Science Council to attend UNOC. He led and delivered a plenary intervention (here) and a written statement entitled “Bridging Shades of Blue” (here), which was also endorsed by the International Science Council, Ocean Knowledge-Action Network and its International Project Office, Future Earth project, Brazilian Future Ocean Panel, The Oceanographic Society, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, Nova FCSH (Portugal), and Oceans Past Initiative. 

Leopoldo Gerhardinger highlighted one shade of 'Blue' deserving more attention – the oceans past, our Blue Heritage, which is often not given enough credit for innovating towards ocean sustainability. He promoted the voice of the global ocean humanities and social sciences communities during the event, calling for the global ocean community to engage with ocean citizens’ knowledge to help bridge the divide between visions of “Blue Economy” and “Blue Justice”. 

A shortlist of key recommendations to bridge this deep divide included calls for support to better acknowledge the ocean’s past in policy-making, and long-term marine-related networks and transdisciplinary programs to enable the co-creation of solutions to ocean problems by local citizens together with scientists, such as the designation of a new Intergovernmental Panel for Ocean Sustainability (IPOS). The statement also called for centering social equity and traditional ecological knowledge of small-scale fishers at the heart of sustainable marine resource use, ocean conservation and blue economy innovations (here).   

The Lisbon conference offered an unparalleled opportunity for networking and envisioning of new, critical collaborations between ICTA-UAB and ocean research communities across the globe. In a side-event on “Ocean Observing for Ocean Sustainability”, TRADITION shared some challenges and insights in mobilising ocean citizens’ knowledge about the past to improve ocean policy-making programs (here).