Figure 1- From left to right: Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji; Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium; Minister of State for Biodiversity of France; Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of UK; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal; Sovereign Prince of Monaco; Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management of Belize; President of Seychelles; Deputy Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute; Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs of UNDESA.

SIDS are home to a large portion of the world’s biodiversity, yet due to their remote geography, limited capacity and fragile land and marine ecosystems, they face disproportional threats and are on the frontline of multiple crises.

To address these vulnerabilities and in recognition of the importance of the ocean for the equitable, inclusive and sustainable development of SIDS, the SIDS Coalition for Nature  (the Coalition) and the Ocean Decade Alliance (the Alliance) have joined forces to leverage partnerships for sustainable ocean management in SIDS.

In their joint statement launched during a sideline event of the SDG Summit 2023, the Coalition and Alliance affirm their commitment to enhance ocean knowledge for informed decision-making, strengthen capacity development initiatives and spearhead global strategic communication and outreach efforts.

The strategic collaboration between the SIDS Coalition for Nature and the Ocean Decade Alliance signifies a powerful partnership. It will amplify our efforts and enable us to leverage the vast knowledge and expertise of both initiatives,” said His Excellency Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles. “By combining our strengths, we can develop innovate solutions to our sustainability and conservation challenges.”

This partnership builds on the strong alignment of interests between the two parties. The SIDS Coalition for Nature advocates for further bridging the knowledge and financial gaps in order to achieve global biodiversity objectives, in line with the political will of Ocean Decade Alliance members to invest in ocean knowledge generation for sustainable development.

“Generating knowledge, based on the best available science, is key for decision-making and the better protection of the Ocean and its resources. Enhancing capacities for a stronger science-policy interface will be instrumental,” declared His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.

“Advancing sustainable development in SIDS, who depend so much on marine resources for their national economies, is a priority for the Ocean Decade. Today, with the SIDS Coalition for Nature, we take another significant step in this direction,” stated Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the institution in charge of implementing the Ocean Decade. “Consolidating and amplifying global efforts through joint actions at the highest level will help us collectively and actively respond to the unique challenges faced by SIDS.”

In that regard, the joint statement calls for urgently addressing critical needs for ocean science in SIDS, including increased investments, integration of Indigenous knowledge, capacity development, fostering diversity and inclusivity and strategic partnerships. It also outlines a set of priorities as part of a 2023-2025 action framework.

“Sharing common marine-related features and development challenges, SIDS have been pioneering solutions that could be constructively replicated from one SIDS to another,” underlined Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). “As such this Joint Action framework will be powerful to leverage SIDS’ commitment towards nature-based solutions and unlocking SIDS-SIDS peer-learning and cooperation on ocean action.” Concerted  efforts will maximize impact and advance the shared vision of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development to achieve “the science we need for the ocean we want”, as well as the priorities  outlined in the Coalition’s Call to Action.

Click here or scan the QR code below to read the Statement of Collaboration & the Joint Action Framework.

For more information, please contact:
Ocean Decade Communications Team (oceandecade.comms@unesco.org)
SIDS Coalition for Nature (secretariat@sidscoalitionfornature.org)

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About the Ocean Decade and the Ocean Decade Alliance:

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’)  seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.

The Ocean Decade Alliance is a network of eminent partners of the Ocean Decade, founded with the purpose of harnessing and amplifying financial and in-kind resource commitment for the Ocean Decade. Eighteen institutional members, including 10 Member States, three of which are Small Island Developing States, catalyse support for the Decade through targeted resource mobilization, networking and influence.

About the IOC/UNESCO:

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.

About the SIDS Coalition for Nature:

Unveiled at the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention of Biological Diversity, the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Coalition for Nature aims to advocate as ONE for SIDS priorities and catalyze SIDS strategic partnerships to implement the Global Biodiversity Framework and accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The Coalition is a growing platform of over 30 governments and focuses on 3 gap-bridging priorities related to means of implementation : 1/ Financing for Nature; 2/Knowledge for Nature; 3/Biodiversity Mainstreaming. Those priorities are detailed in the Coalition’s Call for Action. The current Members and Friends of the SIDS Coalition for Nature are listed here.

About UNDESA:

Through the SIDS Unit, UNDESA aims to promote effective, coherent and coordinated implementation of the outcomes of major UN agreements on sustainable development in order to address SIDS priorities.