Ocean Decade Conference 2024 Barcelona

The ICM program

ICM contributes to the UN Ocean Decade Week 2024

Over five days from the 8 - 12 April, the 2024 Ocean Decade Week will create a new foundation to strengthen the sustainable management of the ocean and drive science-based innovation, from global to local, leaving no one behind.

The ICM, as a co-organizing institution, celebrates more than a dozen events and is the venue of many more at its headquarters in Barcelona.



8th of April

08 / 04 | 9:00h -13:00h | Museu Marítim de Barcelona (Auditorium) | Register here

Towards the 2030 goals: Best practices in citizen science for ocean challenges

The session will be divided into three different blocks dedicated to citizen science: the first block on water sports in action and DIY tools, the second block on tracking climate data in the Mediterranean, and the last block on the use of smartphones to analyze the coastline. The dialogue will focus on supporting technologies and citizen participation in the context of the Ocean Decade.


08 / 04 | 09:15h -14:00h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'actes Ramon Margalef) | Register here

Rising to the Ocean Decade challenges: a regional and city perspective

The Satellite Event will have the subsequent debates: (1) Blue Economy, a sea of opportunities; (2) The role of science in the maritime agenda of Catalonia; (3) From science to market in Barcelona’s Blue Economy; and (4) Innovative initiatives for integrated coastal management (‘Resilience of urban marine ecosystems, a dialogue between two decades’, and ‘Maritime co-management of the Baix Empordà coastline – Catalonia’). At the end, synthetic closing remarks will be followed by one of these visit options: (1) Transformation project of the Olympic Port; (2) Facilities of the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC); or (3) Guided observation of the Barcelona coastline front.

08 / 04 | 11:30h -13:00h | ICM-CSIC (Aula Pepita Castellví) | *By invitation

Sea Turtles as Sentinels of Marine Pollution: Expanding the Ecotoxicological Toolbox

In this event, we hope to establish a collaborative network between experts on the ecotoxicology field to improve understanding of the effect of marine pollutants on loggerhead sea turtles. We connect experts working in sea turtle conservation to others from the marine ecotoxicology field. A series of short talks by various speakers and discussions will deal with: (1) the current conservation status of loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean; (2) the current state-of-the-field with regards to how pollutants may affect turtle’s health; and (3) emerging ecotoxicological tools that could help to consolidate turtles as a “sentinel species” in the Mediterranean Sea.


08 / 04 | 14:30h - 16:30h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'actes Ramon Margalef) | *Only for Conference-registered participants

Cities with the Ocean – Ocean science for the sustainable development of coastal cities and ports

The Satellite Event will highlight the deep connection between coastal cities and the ocean, and how coastal cities and ports can use ocean science to take action to protect the ocean and adapt to global change, for the benefit of their inhabitants and local stakeholders. The event will kick-start the new “Cities with the Ocean” platform within the Ocean Decade to facilitate global collaboration in this domain. Built as a dialogue between coastal cities, ports and ocean science, the event will connect various initiatives around the world to promote a strong and sustainable connection between coastal cities and the ocean, catalyze synergies and innovation, share experience and discuss the future, inspire and empower cities and stakeholders.


08 / 04 | 15:00h - 16:30h | ICM-CSIC (room P31) | Register here

Monitoring the Ocean: Panel Discussion and Networking Event

The objective of the proposed Satellite Event is to draw the attention of policymakers to the need for high-resolution satellite observations and continued in situ observations for monitoring the ocean health and its impact on the Earth system, by inviting them to join a panel discussion of experts coming from different fields of climate and marine science, from oceanographers and climate modelers to high performance computing experts and adaptation experts.


08 / 04 | 15:00h - 16:30h | Port Olímpic (Espai Maestral) | Register here

Dialogue for building bridges between intersectional gender equality and ocean science: A multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach

The event aims to be an open space for multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral dialogue aimed at contributing to the definition of a joint vision of "the science we need for the ocean we want" from a gender perspective. How to improve gender equality and women's empowerment in ocean science and ocean-related activities, and how to include the gender dimension in the production of knowledge in marine research will be discussed. It will be a space to recognize and make visible the contribution of women to the knowledge and sustainability of the ocean. The conclusions of the event, turned into recommendations, will be provided to key actors in policy making and research.


08 / 04 | 16:00h - 18:00h | Museu Marítim de Barcelona | Register here

A dialogue between stakeholders of the ocean observation community identifying common priorities and challenges to respond to global objectives 2030 

From Reaserch Infraestruture to oceanographic vessels for data accessibility, accuracy and interoperability. 

The workshop promotes the statement of the Metrology for Integrated Marine Management and Knowledge-Transfer Network (MINKE) in which research infrastructures, industries and scientific community and stakeholder commit to the improvement of the global ocean observing system by means of an integrated marine management and knowledge-transfer networks. Will also be addressed the conclusions about benefits and constraints of oceanographic vessels observations.


08 / 04 | 17:00h - 18:30h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'actes Ramon Margalef) | Register here

The European BlueSchools toward the ambitious target of UNESCO about ocean literacy in the school curricula

A dialogue promoted by the ProBleu and SHORE Consortia Coalition under the EU Ocean Mission toward the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) goal.

The SHORE, ProBleu and BlueLightS Consortia Coalition, in collaboration with EMSEA, propose a dialogue toward a common commitment in ocean literacy engaging the Network of European Blue Schools. To bring to life the ocean literacy in school curricula by 2025 goal, the projects are promoting the European Blue Schools Statement about the direct involvement of countries of the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic basins covered by them in the UNESCO goal implementation. The coalition will promote the engagement with actions of local stakeholders for a successful implementation of the IOC/UNESCO goal in the framework of the Mission and its lighthouses, contributing to the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) objective.


08 / 04 | 17:00h - 19:00h | ICM-CSIC (room P31)

Capacity Development for the Ocean We Want: Exploring Science Communication and Solving Global Capacity Development Challenges

This Satellite Event strives to find innovative and efficient solutions to address specific challenges related to capacity development/sharing. By ensuring an inclusive, international and intersectoral atmosphere, we aim for an impactful and meaningful event that will inform further development of the Ocean Decade by supplying concrete suggestions for further capacity development. The mini-hackathon will be designed to be interactive and action-oriented, with a focus on providing Early Career Ocean Professionals with opportunities to develop practical skills and tools that they can use in their careers, through solving ‘real world’ challenges.


08 / 04 | 19:00h - 21:00h | Disseny Hub Barcelona | Register here.

Art for environmental advocacy: Discovering the deep sea through new forms of knowledge emerging from the exchange between art and science

The event explores the question of the deep-sea from a hybrid perspective, entangling scientific research with artistic speculation. Aiming at creating a space for horizontal discussion, it is structured around a workshop activated by experts and visitors. The creative processes of diverse art installations will be shared with the participants, who will enter the deep-sea epistemic community, trespassing the borders traditionally defining the dissemination of scientific knowledge and exploring how the empathy generated through artistic experiences can effectively turn this unknown region into a profoundly relatable one. A performative conference will close the event highlighting art’s potential for triggering change.



9th of April

09 / 04 | 9:00h - 17:00h | Centre de la Platja

Blue education in action: join & enjoy the conversation!

Join the blue education wave! An interactive and immersive experience with children, teachers, ocean professionals and youth to discover inspiring blue education projects, share and learn from experiences and contribute to the co-building of future blue challenges for schools... and much more to discover on-site!


09 / 04 | 11:30h -13:30h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'Actes Ramon Margalef) | Register here

Diving from local to global Ocean Literacy: Exploring, sharing, and developing successful practices to know, feel and join the living Ocean

The event will share inclusive and participatory methodologies and strategies, explained as success stories by local and regional societal actors and stakeholders that promote behavioral change towards sustainability, including diagnoses, research and evaluation. Success stories encompass classical and digital arts, aquatic sports, social media influencers, blue business, traditions and rituals, ecological activism, artificial and natural intelligence, among others. The event will include a teaser video, a poster exhibition and in-person presentations. A white paper will serve for discussions on future challenges and associated solutions, for a society that recognizes the incompatibility of continuous economic growth with a limited over-exploited planet.


09 / 04 | 11:30h -12:30h | ICM-CSIC (room P31) 

Building a Marine Citizen Science Working Group in Spain

This meeting will open a dialogue among experts concerning the opportunity of creating a sort of national hub to share experiences and lessons learned and avoid duplication of efforts. During the seminar will be discussed with attendees the suitability of the national coordination point and the potential nature of this, in terms of hub, working group of experts or national committee. Some best practices of already ongoing working groups or hubs (e.g. about the MSFD’s descriptors Spanish working group or the group about participation involving in all institutes and centers of the Spanish National Research Council) will be presented to give a whole picture about strengths, weaknesses and efforts embedded in a coordinated national structure for citizen science.


09 / 04 | 14:30h - 16:45h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'Actes Ramon Margalef)

Empowering science, policy and society through co-design for sustainable ocean development

How can co-design support social inclusion and ocean sustainability? This workshop will provide a space for dialogue and learning on the importance of working across the science-policy-society interface for sustainable ocean development. Comprising inspirational examples (from different perspectives on co-design), followed by working groups, it will showcase how co-designed transformative ocean science and knowledge has contributed to sustainable ocean development. Participants will be empowered to integrate co-design across the lifecycle of their projects. They will also be eligible to apply for small pilot action grants to put the learnings of the workshop into practice over the months following.


09 / 04 | 15:00h - 17:00h | Media-TIC (Auditorium) | Register here.

Restoring European seas: sustainable fisheries management and deep-sea ecosystems

The Satellite Event will highlight insights and accomplishments from diverse stakeholders, emphasizing two vital facets of ocean health: sustainable fisheries management and deep-sea restoration. A featured workshop will showcase Project MedPath, illustrating how various initiatives have positively impacted fisheries management in the Mediterranean. Additionally, representatives from deep-sea restoration projects – H2030 REDRESS, LIFE Lophelia, LIFE DREAM, and LIFE ECOREST – will share their experiences. The event will conclude with a panel discussion exploring how these projects can contribute to enhancing ecosystem functioning in European waters, addressing science-based fisheries management and deep-sea restoration.


09 / 04 | 17:00h -19:00h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'actes Ramon Margalef + Plaça Charles Darwin) | Register here

Enbluement: connecting science and arts to expand our belonging to the Ocean

This two-part event will explore new ways towards harmony with nature, expanding the scientific approach through sensory and artistic perceptions and interactions. Part 1 of the Satellite Event will be a workshop for registered participants and Part 2 will be a participatory sensory experience open to all public. In Part 1, artists and influencers will share ideas and experiences on how to raise general awareness on the essential role of the ocean in the living planet. In Part 2, these ideas will shape out as a sensory participative and inclusive celebration in Barcelona’s Charles Darwin Square, through a 90-minute choreography of music, silence, image, motion and design.


09 / 04 | 17:00h -19:00h | Fundació Barcelona Capitan Nàutica (Sala d'actes)

Gathering forces for Science-policy nexus, Innovation, and Funding

This Satellite Event will provide a dynamic platform for participants to engage with leading experts to foster collaborative and innovative solutions for positive change, and to illustrate some barriers found for Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) to find entry-points into the science-to-policy interface. A diverse array of speakers, including policymakers, scientists, innovators and industry leaders, will provide multifaceted insights. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from experts leading to valuable insights and connections. Our event will discuss science-policy nexus, innovation and funding, and will bring subject matter experts and industry leaders to explore topics through structured panels and back-and-forth conversations.


09 / 04 | 17:00h -18:30h | PRBB (Auditorium)

Widening Opportunities for Ocean Exploration in the Decade

The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona provides an opportunity to raise awareness on opportunities and challenges for ocean exploration in the Decade, and the role the philanthropic fleet can play in supporting research led by scientists from different geographies globally, as well as contributions from early career researchers (ECRs) and other related professionals such as artists and educators. We will highlight the need for partnerships and identify key objectives that need be addressed as enablers of the success of the Ocean Decade in achieving its goals.

8th & 9th of April

8 & 9 / 04 | World Trade Center (Auditorium) | Register here

Ocean Decade MPA Forum: Progress, obstacles and solutions

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are the lynchpin of ocean conservation. As we move towards our target of effectively protecting 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030, we need to focus more on the “effectively” part of the equation. This forum, hosted by a myriad of organizations working across the globe, will take the form of a hybrid workshop-symposium, and will explore four cross-cutting themes over the two days: (1) What seemingly insurmountable obstacles are we facing?; (2) What best practices have we developed to ensure effective implementation of existing MPAs?; (3) What solutions to obstacles have we found that may be useful to other areas?; and (4) How can we scale up and mutually strengthen our projects, and how can we maintain the momentum of community engagement?

Ocean Decade Movie Nights

10 / 04 | 19:00h - 21:00h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'Actes Ramon Margalef) | Register here

We are ocean

  • Wadden Sea 
  • Berlin+Brandenburg


11 / 04 | 19:00h - 21:00h | ICM-CSIC (Sala d'Actes Ramon Margalef) | Register here

Tsunami night

  • Tsunami 11th Relative (26 minutes)
  • Tsunami singalong (90 seconds)
  • Ready for the Tsunami? Documentary (52 minutes)
Art and Sea for Social Change Program

From 8 to 12 April | 8:00h - 20:00h | ICM-CSIC

"The Blue and Us" Exhibition

"The Blue and Us" is an art exhibition that arises from an interest in exploring new narratives. The purpose is to think about the ocean and our connection with it through different languages and approaches. Among the artists and entities that collaborate are the Quo Artis Foundation, the Good Karma Projects organization, the photographer Xavi Bou, the artists Anna Rierola, Paola Idrontino, and Robertina Šebjanič and Katja Loher, who are part of the Creative Europe project A Sea Change. The exhibits provide a different perspective that connects us with transdisciplinarity, key to face present and future challenges with forcefulness. The exhibition is part of the program Art and Sea for Social Change of Barcelona Mar de Ciència, a pioneering and transformative space proposed by the ICM to change the relationship of citizens with research and the sea".

Related Events

08 / 04 | 9:00h - 11:00h | ICM-CSIC (Aula Pepita Castellví)

SMART Cables, a powerful tool for continuous global ocean observation systems

SMART cable technology will enhance spatial and temporal resolution for marine environmental scientific monitoring using a network of sensors within submarine cable systems. Accessing key information in near real time can be the paradigm for understanding and mitigating problems such as climate change, sea level rise, ocean warming, earthquakes and tsunamis. (SMART = Scientific Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunications).


From 10 to 14 April | Hivernacle del Parc de la Ciutadella (Passeig de Picasso, 7, Barcelona)

Primary Ocean Exhibition - Coastal communities facing environmental emergency

The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between RUIDO Photo and ICM that aims to warn about the rising sea levels, global warming, plastic waste, polar melting and coastal destruction. 

According to its creators: "In the age of climate change, the battle for our planet is fought in the ocean. The harm we've caused our seas for decades is generating dire consequences for not just the environment, but the people that inhabit it. This is not tomorrow's problem. Coastal communities around the globe, oftentimes the most vulnerable, already find themselves gravely affected by this crisis. They have to deal with a problem created by all of humanity, but especially by those from rich nations."

It is against this backdrop that is born Primary Ocean, a photographic and journalistic project about the people who find themselves on the first line of defense on a battle that, sooner or later, all of us will have to face.