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Towards a 2nd International Ocean Research Conference

Advancements in ocean science are occurring with unprecedented speed due to opportunities presented by 21st century technology, and it is essential that the scientific community, policy makers and NGO representatives discuss these advancements. The 2nd International Ocean Research Conference (IORC) provides this opportunity, and will also allow the scientific community to come together to plan the coming decade of international collaboration in marine science and technology, with a view to improving ocean governance.

Mike Roman, President of the Scientific Committee Conference and Past-President of The Oceanography Society (TOS) and Luís Valdés, director of ocean sciences at the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) met with the conference’s team this week in Barcelona, Spain, where the conference will be taking place on 17-21 November 2014. The event, which will gather the Ocean Science community for the first time since 2005, will also be incorporated into the Barcelona World Race scientific and educational projects.

The Ocean, which provides the oxygen for every second breath among many other services and good, is now one of the Earth’s most threatened ecosystems. The more healthy and resilient the ocean, the more positive its contribution to the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development and vice versa. Advancements in Ocean Science are key to our understanding the ocean, and to inform sound decision making for human development and economic growth in the future. This conference will bring together Ocean Science stakeholders as the international community works towards a post-2015 international development agenda, thus informing the process to define future Sustainable Development Goals. Over 500 delegates are expected to attend.

The conference is organized by IOC-UNESCO and TOS with the support of the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB), the organizers of the Barcelona World Race. One Planet One Ocean, IOC-UNESCO’s slogan, a perfect expression of the spirit of the conference, also matches the Barcelona World Race's mission to project scientific and educational values through ocean sailing. It expresses the special balance between water, sea, air and land which the ocean-going communities understand so well. “The 2nd International Ocean Research Conference expands the role of the Barcelona World Race as a platform for scientific development and the application of environmental and climate research techniques” said Andor Serra, Director General of FNOB, explaining that the agreement reached between IOC-UNESCO and FNOB is confirmation of the Fundaciò's mission.

FNOB encourage a spirit of competitive sailing that seeks to provide sustainable solutions and maximizes its communication potential to share scientific knowledge, promote sustainability and raise awareness of our common heritage: the ocean. Innovative R&D projects were integrated into the third edition of race to enable the two-person crews to contribute to expanding our knowledge of the ocean; they will be presented during the conference. The third edition of the World Barcelona Race will set off from the Catalan capital on 31 December 2014.

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