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December 9th, 2016
WOC and UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Sign Partnership Agreement At SOS 2016

IOC Executive Secretary, Vladimir Ryabinin, and WOC CEO, Paul Holthus, signed the Partnership Agreement at the opening session of the Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), Rotterdam, 30 Dec-2 Nov.

Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the IOC, stated that, “WOC is a very important partner for IOC. We count on WOC in reaching out to the ocean industry and engaging its huge potential into science-based, profitable but sustainable use of the ocean ecosystems and resources. With the help of the private sector we hope to make ocean observations more sustainable and resourceful and to develop innovative solutions for protection and restoration of ocean ecosystems. To a large extent, long-term investments of private sector into green and blue economy secure irreversible implementation of main intergovernmental agreements with regard to protection of climate, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.”

Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), a WOC Member, stated that, “The WOC is uniquely able to foster and facilitate collaboration between the diverse global ocean business community and the international ocean science community. We especially look forward to progress with the WOC ‘Smart Ocean-Smart Industries’ program, which seeks to advance the collection of data from ‘ships and platforms of opportunity’ in support of safe and sustainable ocean industry operations.”

The IOC, established in 1960 as a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO, is the only specialized organization for marine science within the UN system. The purpose of the Commission is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programs in research, services and capacity-building, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, the protection of the marine environment, and the decision-making processes of its Member States. In addition, IOC is recognized through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as the competent international organization in the fields of Marine Scientific Research and Transfer of Marine Technology.

The IOC Partnership Agreement further increases WOC’s ability to formally engage the ocean business community in key intergovernmental bodies and processes on ocean science, planning and regulations that are important to ocean industry activities.

The WOC “Smart Ocean-Smart Industries” (SO-SI) program is working to expand the role of ocean industries in collecting and sharing of oceanographic information.

The SO-SI program is developing coordinated initiatives to systematically engage the use of industry vessels, platforms, and other infrastructure (e.g. wind farms, aquaculture facilities) in hosting or deploying scientific instrumentation to gather data. Participation in the program enables companies to demonstrate their contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14a which calls for “increasing scientific knowledge” of the ocean.

Advancing the development of the WOC “Smart Ocean-Smart Industries” program was the focus of a session at the WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), Rotterdam, 30 Nov-2 Dec 2016.

The SOS 2016 again brought together a unique CEOs and senior executives from a wide range of ocean industries, including: shipping, oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore renewable energy, marine mining, ports, dredging, submarine cables, marine science/technology, the maritime legal, finance communities, and others.

Upcoming WOC Outreach and Engagement

5-9 December
PARIS: Large Marine Ecosystem Annual Conference (Panelist on the Blue Economy)