Ocean Decade Initiative

IEEE OES Ocean Decade Initiative

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (referred to as ‘the Ocean Decade’) , is a once in a lifetime opportunity for ocean actors across the world to come together to generate knowledge and foster the partnerships needed to support a well-functioning, productive, resilient, sustainable and inspiring ocean. The Ocean is our largest and most important ecosystem for human survival on Earth, and it requires a concerted effort from humanity to change our relationship with the ocean. The Ocean Decade Initiative (ODI) aims to boost OES’s participation in this global movement, and interface its actions and activities with the Decade.

About the Ocean Decade Initiative

Our Vision is that engineering joins science in a partnership that supports the goals of the Ocean Decade.

Our Mission is to make OES a resource for engineering expertise and the place and learn about technological advancements that lead to enhanced capability for “the Science we need for the Ocean we want”.

The Initiative project will boot-strap the participation of OES and our members in the Ocean Decade and promote recognition of members and their activities that align with the goals of the Ocean Decade.

It will increase awareness of the Ocean Decade through highlighting Ocean Decade goals at OES events, creating incentives for members and OES communities to become aware and make others aware of the Ocean Decade, and recognizing activities of OES members that support the Ocean Decade goals.


Our Activities

Our members and communities will be encouraged to take actions that will increase Ocean Decade awareness and support the global ocean science and technology communities in achieving the Ocean Decade and Sustainable Development Goals. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Support the Young Professionals of OES to engage with other Early Career Ocean Professional groups working for the Ocean Decade worldwide
  • Support engineering in the Ocean Decade in collaboration with scientists
  • Increase community awareness in coastal communities and society at large, of the main themes of Ocean Decade through IEEE OES volunteers.
  • Facilitate the expansion of ICT into ocean observations, data assimilation, modelling etc. through workshops, and special events.
  • Increase pre-university awareness of the themes of the Ocean Decade (such as ocean protection, renewable ocean energy, coral reef protection, and more) through things like high-school competitions relevant to Ocean Decade actions.
  • Promote the engagement of developing countries in Ocean Decade activities.
  • Take up any other activities pertinent to Ocean Decade initiatives.

Read more at our recent Beacon article here and here.


Recent Activities

  • Ocean Decade Ambassador program: Ambassadors will be expected to propose, and be responsible for, one or more activities within the scope of the Decade. The ODI will fund the activity and support the Ambassador to represent and promote the Ocean Decade in OES activities. See the call for Ocean Decade Ambassadors 2023 below.
  • Earthzine/Beacon coverage of Ocean Decade event : Funding will be provided to Student Branch chapters whose members report on Ocean Decade-themed events and activities via Earthzine and Beacon articles. Deadline: 15 November 2024. More details here.
  • Ocean Decade Chapter and SBC funding : OES Chapters will be provided funding upto $2000, and student branch chapters upto $1000, for organizing Ocean Decade-themed events. Deadline for the 1st call for proposals for Ocean Decade activity funds 2024 will be 30 June 2024. Later submissions will be considered on a rolling basis, but earlier submission is encouraged in order to allot funds on time. All the activities must be completed by 31 Dec 2024. More details here.
  • Design the Future Ocean workshops : Workshops and panel discussions targeting specific themes of the Decade, organized at OES conferences and symposia possibly connected across various events. An example of
  • Represent OES at Ocean Decade working groups and events worldwide: Including the UN Ocean Conference 2022, Lisbon and UN Ocean Decade conference, Barcelona 2024. OES represented IEEE at these conferences. Read our statement at the conference here. Some sessions at the UN Ocean conference were covered on Earthzine. OES also participates in the Ocean Best practices group, Coastpredict, ECOPs-Asia, and the Technology and Innovation working group.
  • Young Professional activities: Our YPs have long been involved with activities that contribute to ocean awareness and education including student outreach activities around the world, such as the Singapore AUV Challenge and the European Robotics League. YPs are also working with Ocean Decade ECOPs to bring the voice of the youth to the movement. One such event was the recently held Virtual ECOPs Day on 1st-2nd June. We highlighted our YPs involvement with Earthzine, SAUVC, ERL, and in helping organize workshops and symposia. Watch the video we presented here
  • Early-career ocean professionals program collaboration: OES Tech committees deliver Engineering-themed webinars in coordination with ECOP program: https://www.ecopdecade.org/webinars . We also participated in their outreach program “ECOP conversations” (eg. Hari Vishnu). One of our committee members, Hari Vishnu, is on the advisory board of the ECOP programme.
  • Expert plenary talks: will be organized at conferences, workshops and symposia
  • Planet Positive 2030 campaign by IEEE. Find out more here.




Call for Ocean Decade Ambassadors 2023 (now closed)

OES seeks to designate enthusiastic volunteers as Ocean Decade Ambassadors to represent and promote the Ocean Decade in OES activities. Ocean Decade Ambassadors can continue to work within one of their existing networks but would add activities that are aligned with the Ocean Decade goals.  See the full call for Ocean Decade Ambassadors 2023 here. Application form was available here (now closed). The first call for applications closed on Feb 21, 2023, and ambassadors are undertaking their proposed activities. The list of Ambassadors and their designated activities will be listed here shortly.


Expected outcomes of Ocean Decade initiative

Through this initiative, we expect, 

  • a majority of our membership to be aware of the Ocean Decade
  • a measurable increase of awareness in conference attendees and exhibitors
  • a significant number of presentations at our workshops and symposia that specifically address technology challenges posed by the Ocean Decade.

Elements of the initiative will be integrated into the normal operations of various parts of the society, including chapters, technology committees, workshops, symposia and the OCEANS conference. 

The current list of committee members are

  • Laura Meyer
  • Hari Vishnu
  • M. A. Atmanand
  • Jay Pearlman
  • Venugopalan Pallayil
  • Christopher Whitt
  • Brandy Armstrong
  • Malcolm Heron
  • Francesco Maurelli
  • Fillipo Campagnaro
  • Giulia de Masi
  • Karl von Ellenrieder

Contact us: oceandecade.oes@gmail.com

Interested to volunteer for the Ocean Decade initiative activities? Sign up at this form. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested!

OES Ocean Decade-endorsed Activities:

More info on UN Decade: www.oceandecade.org

The Ocean Decade was proclaimed by the 72nd Session of UN General Assembly (UNGA) on the 5th of December 2017. The Decade is being coordinated by a small team (referred to as the Decade Coordination Unit – DCU) within the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESO) in an effort to promote transformational, large-scale change to advance urgent action on moving from the ‘ocean we have’ to the ‘ocean we want’.