The key to Celebrate Ocean Progress and Build Connections 🌊

The key to Celebrate Ocean Progress and Build Connections 🌊

April 10, 2024, saw how diverse stakeholders convened in Barcelona for the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference. A 3-day conference where global stakeholders gathered to review progress and outline priorities for the remainder of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). An initiative that aims to address the challenges and threats the ocean is facing, bringing together stakeholders to support further Sustainable Development Goal 14 (life below water).

Hosted by Spain and co-organized with UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the conference emphasized collaborative action to safeguard our oceans for future generations. Through working groups and open discussions, participants provided input into a set of ten draft white papers related to the UN Decade’s 10 Challenges. These papers will be used to identify future priorities for the Ocean Decade and generate knowledge on science-based solutions against threats to biodiversity conservation, climate change, food security, a sustainable ocean economy, pollution, and natural hazards (among many others).

Challenge 9 of the Ocean Decade Conference, led by Working Group Co-Chairs from the University of Ghana and the University of Michigan, emphasized the imperative to support early-career ocean professionals and address funding disparities in capacity development efforts.

Key recommendations included increasing the representation of under-represented groups in ocean-related fields and setting milestones for diversity goals by 2030.

Experts from various institutions highlighted the importance of collaboration, equitable representation, and innovative approaches to education and outreach, underscoring the need for inclusive strategies to engage diverse stakeholders in ocean conservation and management.

While much of the progress will happen in the upcoming months and most of the main program was closed to the public, this conference offered the opportunity for grassroots organizations and the private sector to organize side events throughout the week and host key conversations for the blue sector industry.

A great opportunity for professionals like you, to dip your toes into the latest news and projects happening in the marine sector.

The Vital Role of Networking Events

But why as a marine professional should you attend a conference like these? Networking events play a crucial role in fostering collaborations and sharing insights within the marine science community.

Events like "Stories for the Ocean We Want," organized by ECOP Spain on April 11 at Go Beach Club Barcelona during the UN Ocean Decade Week Conference in Barcelona, provide platforms for professionals to connect, exchange ideas, and explore avenues for cooperation and innovation.

ECOP Spain event at UN Ocean Decade Week in Barcelona. Source: Blue-jobs.

Engaging with peers at such events often leads to the creation of new partnerships and projects that further the goals of the Ocean Decade and beyond.

📅 Upcoming Events in the Mediterranean Blue Economy

Looking ahead, several noteworthy events are scheduled to sustain the momentum in the blue economy and marine conservation:

  • THALASSA 2024 Marine Sciences Conference (May 28, 2024 to May 29, 2024): The conference aims to explore and identify the challenges faced by marine and coastal environments and propose ways to tackle them.
  • 2nd European Blue Forum Annual Meeting “From position to practice” (May 30, 2024): Toward a more sustainable and vibrant blue economy through action. Turning ideas into impactful practices, identifying innovative solutions to deliver bold and ambitious changes for a brighter, more sustainable future.
  • European Maritime Day (May 30-31, 2024): An annual gathering of Europe’s maritime community to discuss sustainable blue economy initiatives.
  • #OceanHack4EU Hackathon (June 03, 2024 to June 07, 2024): The hackathon aims to find data-driven solutions to the ocean's challenges. It’s targeted at oceanographers, web/app developers, business visionaries, marine environment students, field experts, and others.
  • Ocean Literacy World Conference (June 07, 2024 to June 08, 2024): This conference brings together ocean literacy and ocean education communities from around the world to promote a more harmonious relationship between humans and the ocean.
  • UN World Oceans Day Celebration (June 7, 2024): A virtual event celebrating the theme ‘Awaken New Depths,’ bringing together global policymakers, scientists, and artists.
  • International Underwater Glider Conference (June 10-14, 2024): A key meeting for stakeholders involved in ocean observation and data gathering using underwater gliders.
  • Shaping Sustainable Innovation in the Mediterranean (June 18-19, 2024): Focuses on sustainable practices and innovations in the Mediterranean region.


These events serve as pivotal forums for stakeholders across the marine and maritime sectors to collaborate and share best practices in sustainability and innovation.

Join the Global Effort

Source: GREMM

The UN Ocean Decade is not just a framework for scientific advancement; it's a global call for collective action and cooperation. Attending an event such as the UN Decade Conference offers numerous benefits for professionals and organizations involved in ocean conservation and sustainable development.

Attending events and engaging in networking opportunities are essential for anyone looking to contribute to the sustainable management and protection of our ocean.

Firstly, these events provide unparalleled opportunities for networking and collaboration within the global ocean science and policy community, facilitating the exchange of ideas, expertise, and resources.

Additionally, participation allows individuals to stay informed about the latest advancements, initiatives, and best practices in ocean science, technology, and management, thereby fostering professional development and capacity building.

Moreover, by engaging with diverse stakeholders and contributing to the dialogue on pressing ocean-related issues, attendees can play a vital role in shaping the future of ocean governance, conservation, and sustainable use.

For more information on upcoming events and how you can contribute, stay tuned for further opportunities at

Join us in shaping a sustainable future for our ocean.