It’s a world full of riddles: though the ocean shapes the face of our ‘blue planet’, covering 70 percent of its surface, we still know far too little about what actually transpires in its ecosystems. In response, the United Nations declared the years 2021 to 2030 the “UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”.
This international campaign addresses all those who can contribute to a better understanding of the ocean – regardless of whether they hail from the scientific community or politics, business or nature conservation. The goal is to bring together these diverse experts in a network that investigates open research questions and develops solutions for the preservation and sustainable use of the ocean. Its motto: “The science we need for the ocean we want”. After all, intact ocean waters are essential to human health, well-being and prosperity.
The questions to be explored in connection with the Decade are correspondingly diverse. Some focus on combating pollution, others on preserving biodiversity or the functionality of ecosystems. In addition, new concepts for an environmentally sound marine economy are needed – with regard to e.g. fishing, raw materials production, energy production and tourism. Another important goal is to improve our ability to predict future developments, as the various interactions between the ocean, ice and atmosphere have a considerable influence on climate change. And time and time again, coastal regions are struck by floods or other ocean-related natural hazards. In this context, better forecasts mean more safety.
In the context of the Decade, all of this knowhow is to be made available worldwide. And last but not least, the goal is to raise awareness for the economic, social and cultural value of the ocean; the world of water is to become a source of fascination and inspiration for as many people as possible.