The European Marine Board (EMB), of which the NOC is a member, has released the 6th Forum Message highlighting the need for marine science to be at the core of the ocean governance debate, and also presenting eight specific commitments that EMB is making to underpin those needs and support future development.

Over 150 ocean governance stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds including industry, law, academia, NGO’s and policy registered to attend the 6th EMB Forum in Brussels. The event, held on 6th December 2017, focused on the topic of "Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda: What role for marine science?”.

In answer to this question, the main message of the Forum was that the role of marine science should be to provide a solid and sound evidence base to enable science-based societal debate on the future direction of ocean governance. Speakers, panelists and attendees alike also highlighted the importance of integration, moving away from silo thinking and towards greater collaboration among stakeholders to address the upcoming challenges. They also added to the growing voice calling for greater engagement of marine science with society, and improved ocean literacy.

NOC Executive Director, Prof Ed Hill, Commented “I am strongly in support of the main message of this Forum concerning the importance of science and technology to underpin effective delivery of the UN Strategic Development Goals. The National Oceanography Centre is working on a number of significant projects supporting Overseas Development Assistance for coastal and Small Island Developing States in the Commonwealth and elsewhere.”

During the Forum it was also announced that the General Assembly of the United Nations has formally supported an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030. The attendees strongly supported this initiative and highlighted the huge opportunity this will represent for the marine science community, and indeed all marine stakeholders.

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