News | 02 March 2023

Barcelona to host 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference


The event, in which the ICM-CSIC will participate, aims to find science-based solutions to achieve a more sustainable ocean.

La conferència es durà a terme del 10 al 12 d'abril del 2024 a Barcelona / © HEMAV
La conferència es durà a terme del 10 al 12 d'abril del 2024 a Barcelona / © HEMAV

Three years after the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), Barcelona will host a global conference that will bring together the Ocean Decade community and partners, among which there is the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC), to celebrate the achievements and set joint priorities for the future of the Decade.

Hosted by Spain and co-organized with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), the 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference will take place on 10-12 April 2024 in the Catalan capital. It will be a 3-day, in-person event co-led with a range of partners: the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council through the Barcelona Capital Nàutica Foundation, and the Spanish National Ocean Decade Committee, which is led by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the Spanish Research Council (CSIC).

The Minister for Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, welcomed the fact that this conference is taking place in Barcelona: “It strengthens Spain’s commitment to the blue economy and sustainable development of the ocean and, furthermore, confirms our country’s position in marine sciences.”

“Catalonia has a long tradition as a center of marine research and ocean science and as a maritime hub, with a strong commitment to sustainability. This synergy with the vision of the Ocean Decade makes Catalonia and Barcelona an ideal location for the first in-person convening of the global Ocean Decade community since its start in 2021,” said Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labour at the Generalitat of Catalonia.

“It is an honor for the city of Barcelona to host a conference of such relevance for our planet. We are a city of the sea, and the sea is in our identity, culture and economy. Barcelona has adopted a Blue Economy strategy which promotes the creation of companies and quality jobs in line with environmental sustainability," added Laia Bonet, Third Deputy Mayor of Barcelona.

The conference will be a key moment for governments, leaders, maritime sectors, philanthropy, universities, private sector, NGOs and more, to take stock of the achievements of the first three years of the Ocean Decade and define a collective vision for the coming years. Participants will benefit from concrete examples and best practices in ocean science to deliver “the science we need for the ocean we want”.

A key outcome of the 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference will be the publication of a set of white papers related to the 10 Decade Challenges, that will identify future priorities for the Ocean Decade to generate the knowledge needed for science-based solutions related to global challenges, such as climate change, food security, biodiversity conservation, sustainable ocean economy, pollution and natural hazards.

A number of related high-level national and international events will take place before and after the main conference and there will also be scope for partners to propose and lead side events, exhibitions and networking events relevant to the conference themes on the days before the conference and in the sidelines of the conference itself.

“We are very pleased to be working hand-in-hand with Spain to bring this important milestone of the Ocean Decade to life,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO. “The conference will be an incredible opportunity for actors from around the world to collectively reflect on the use of science and knowledge for the sustainable management of the ocean, and in turn pave the way for the future of the Decade.”

More details about the programme, registration process and calls for proposals for side events will be available soon. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up here.