Setting the stage for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in the North and Western Pacific

14 - Life Below Water

A three-day UN Ocean Science Decade Regional Planning Workshop (RPW) for the North Pacific and Western Pacific Marginal Seas (RPW-NPWPMS) in Tokyo, Japan culminated in a wide range of actions and partnerships to advance scientific knowledge needed for sustainable development.

The planning workshop drew overwhelming interest with more than 160 participants from 18 countries, spanning communities from ocean policy and management, ocean science and technology, business and industry, NGOs and civil society, donors and foundations, and various intergovernmental and international bodies/programmes.

The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2017, aims to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals.

The North and West Pacific regions are the most densely populated areas in the world with a population of more than three billion. Human activities have been inextricably linked to the ocean, with large impacts on the surrounding coastal waters and marine ecosystems. Primarily associated with increasing economic development, climate change, non-sustainable resource extraction, land-based pollution, and habitat degradation are threatening the productivity and health of the ocean.

This Regional Planning Workshop (RPW) sought to build dialogues amongst various ocean stakeholders in the region, focusing on the co-development of solution-oriented research strategies to address the Decade six societal outcomes: a clean ocean, a healthy and resilient ocean, a predicted ocean, a safe ocean, a sustainably harvested and productive ocean, and a transparent and accessible ocean.

A group of prestigious representatives opened this event, sharing their perspectives for the Decade and expectations in terms of future efforts in the region. These included Mami Oyama, Secretary-General, Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, MEXT; Vo Si Tuan, Chairperson of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific; Takashi Hamada, Cabinet Counsellor, Cabinet Office, Japan; Chul Park, Chairperson of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization; Shigeru Aoyagi, Director of the UNESCO Bangkok Office; and Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).


Find out more about the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development @


For more information, please contact:

Julian Barbière (