The UN Decade Working Group V is focused on “a sustainably harvested and productive ocean ensuring the provision of food supply and ocean resources.” For the Western Tropical Atlantic (WTA) countries and ocean sciences, we have a few challenges starting the UN Decade in 2021, but these challenges can turn into opportunities for science and ocean solutions. The key to delivering a sustainably harvested ocean is the development and implementation of a transboundary, multidisciplinary, and cross-sectoral research approach. This approach should connect science, technology, service providers, private sector, policy makers and society in general, for the sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystem services for livelihoods, economic and social development.
Governments and civil society are increasingly aware of the need for further improvement of management frameworks to achieve greater sustainability and resilience of marine resources. A key component of delivering a sustainably harvested and productive ocean will involve all stakeholders taking ownership and recognizing the importance of science in a changing world. Future research will need to address these aspects. However, other immediate priorities include strengthening governance and building human capital. These priorities will also be necessary to address one of the great challenges of our time: climate change. To achieve this, we need to move beyond the traditional frameworks and move towards equal participation of all stakeholders in policy, governance, and the implementation of strategic decision-making frameworks that enable equity in ocean science, management, and conservation for the benefit of all. The Decade represents an extraordinary opportunity to bring science decision-makers and industry together with society to improve the sustainability of the oceans and make a difference for future generations.
This virtual session will present regional case studies discussion paper that will include clear recommendations and guidance for the enhancement and sustainability of marine resources under the blue economy. This could include the identification of priority issues and recommendations for the development of regional actions as well as on how we can foster multi-stakeholder participation. These short regional discussion papers (in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese) will be prepared in close collaboration with the co-convener of the regional session.