A new Decade Collaborative Centre for the Southern Ocean Region (DCC-SOR) joins the global ecosystem of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the ‘Ocean Decade’). The announcement comes as part of a collection of newly endorsed Decade Actions to celebrate the 2023 UN World Oceans Day.
The DCC-SOR will be key in coordinating international efforts to protect and conserve the Southern Ocean. It will be hosted by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) – an international organisation coordinating scientific research in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region, and advising policymakers. A long-standing partner of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), SCAR coordinated with the Southern Ocean Task Force the Southern Ocean Action Plan – a framework for Southern Ocean stakeholders to develop tangible actions to support the Ocean Decade.
“Delivering ‘the science we need for the ocean’ calls for all stakeholders to collectively align their research and investments to create, deepen and share the knowledge and understanding required for a healthy and resilient ocean,” said Julian Barbière, Global Coordinator of the Ocean Decade and Head of Section for Marine Policy and Regional Coordination at IOC/UNESCO. “We thank SCAR for their generous support and commitment towards achieving the vision of the Ocean Decade.”
The DCC-SOR will coordinate existing Decade Actions for the region, catalyse new initiatives, lead targeted communications and outreach, engage diverse stakeholders, and mobilise resources. The DCC-SOR will work across all ten Ocean Decade Challenges in the Southern Ocean region, focusing on:
- Challenge 1: Understand and beat marine pollution
- Challenge 2: Protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity
- Challenge 3: Sustainably feed the global population
- Challenge 4: Develop a sustainable and equitable ocean economy
- Challenge 6: Increase community resilience to ocean hazards
- Challenge 9: Skills, knowledge and technology for all
- Challenge 10: Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean
The Southern Ocean has a global impact on the Earth system. The relationship between the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the surrounding Southern Ocean impacts global sea-level rise. The Southern Ocean also acts as a strong yet exhaustible buffer against climate change, as it stores some of the excess carbon from the atmosphere, and it plays a crucial role in ocean circulation by distributing atmospheric heat from pole to pole.