29 June 2022 02:13 PM

The African Conference on Priority Setting & Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Tuesday، 10 May 2022 - 12:18 PM

The African Conference on Priority Setting & Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is hosted by the Government of Egypt, under the auspices of Dr.Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF) headed by Prof. Amr Zakaria Hamouda, the Government of Egypt.

The Conference is organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO through its Sub-Commission for Africa (IOCAFRICA), in partnership with a wide range of partners in the region. 

The three-day conference will be held from 10-12 May 2022 in a hybrid format, with a limited physical presence in Cairo, Egypt.

The conference will witness the participation of representatives from 25 African countries, as well as representatives from France, the United States of America, Greece, and Portugal.

Objectives

The conference aims to pave the way for the Climate Change Conference (COP27), which will be hosted in Sharm El Sheikh on November 7-18.

The event consists of multiple workshops targeted at developing the regional programmes and projects on the challenges pertaining to oceans. 

It will present the results of the pre-conference workshops, the regional gap analysis, and national surveys, 

It will, also, showcase endorsed Decade Actions in the region and will be featuring high-level support from UN agencies, governments, regional organizations as well as other stakeholder groups to these regional initiatives.

These discussions will feed into the regional gap analysis that will support the development of the regional Ocean Decade Action Plan.

It also aims to highlight the current situation of the African coast and its problems as a result of climate change, and the challenges faced by those coasts, as well as the future vision of sustainable development of those coasts, in addition to the development of joint cooperation between the African countries in the field of marine science and ocean mechanisms, information exchange and technology transfer in order to achieve long-term benefits to the African community.

The conference also highlights the importance of providing impetus development of ocean sciences, technology and innovation necessary to harness the blue sustainable economy in Africa, according to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 under the title “Science We Need for the Ocean We Want in Africa”, and the2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy).

The conference will witness several sessions on the current status of the African coasts, the challenges they face and the opportunities for the sustainable development of those coasts.

Furthermore, during the conference, a number of cooperation protocols will be signed between the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF), representing Egypt, and a number of African countries.

Agenda

Day 1 Tuesday, 10 May 2022 – Regional priorities

Day 2 Wednesday, 11 May 2022 – From Regional Planning to Ocean Decade Actions

Day 3 Thursday, 12 May 2022 – Way Forward and Next Steps

Sessions

OCEAN DECADE CHALLENGES AND REGIONAL PRIORITIES

This session will review the results of the pre-conference workshops

FACILITATING CO-DESIGN AND CODELIVERY OF TRANSFORMATIVE OCEAN SCIENCE SOLUTIONS

Building on the virtual session on-co design for Africa that was held in November 2020 and presenting endorsed Decade Actions that are supporting co-design approaches, this session will reflect on the enabling institutional conditions for successful collaborative and transdisciplinary research, identifying capacity development needs. It will also discuss best practices and recommendations for the ocean community to deliver transformative Decade Actions.

OVERCOMING COVID 19 CRISIS TO ENHANCE THE SUSTAINABILITY OF OCEAN SCIENCE THROUGH INNOVATION AND CAPACITY-DEVELOPMENT

This session will explore how ocean science will need to play a central role in post pandemic recovery efforts by generating qualitative and quantitative ocean knowledge and encouraging capacity development efforts that will cut across geographies, disciplines, generations and genders. It will focus on Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries to develop innovative solutions leading to improved integrated ocean management and a sustainable ocean economy.

CATALYZING SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS AND SUPPORT THROUGH TARGETED RESOURCE MOBILIZATION

This session will look at new methodologies and opportunities of connections and collaborations by creating new groupings of ocean actors, with the participation of industry, and local and indigenous groups in ocean science. It will contribute to ensuring that the result of the collective effort will be exponentially greater than the sum of the parts. This session will also explore how we can mobilize sustainable ocean-based investments by aligning research, investments and initiatives around a set of common objectives for the ocean we want.

EMPOWERING AFRICAN YOUTH TO BUILD THE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE THEY WANT

This session will engage and youth and ECOPS to explore how we can build Ocean Literacy and communications strategies targeting youth and how we can dedicate core financing to attracting more youth ECOPS to careers in ocean science.

AN OCEAN DECADE ROADMAP FOR AFRICA AND THE ADJACENT ISLAND STATES

This session will provide an opportunity for discussing the Ocean Decade Roadmap for Africa will focus on a common set of priorities for the implementation of the Ocean Decade in Africa and the partnerships, co-design and co-delivery processes required for the development of the Ocean Decade Actions to deliver the Science We Need for the Ocean We Want in Africa.

Side events:

SIDE EVENT ONE: ENABLING COLLABORATIONS AMONG EARLY CAREER OCEAN ROFESSIONALS IN AFRICA

SIDE EVENT TWO: THE FUTURE OF THE NANSEN PROGRAMME: PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT PROGRAMME PHASE 2023- 2028

SIDE EVENT THREE: IDENTIFYING THE CULTURAL HERITAGE GAP: CONTRIBUTING TO THE ‘SCIENCE WE NEED FOR THE OCEAN WE WANT IN AFRICA’

Workshops

BLUE ECONOMY WORKSHOP:
DEVELOP A SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE OCEAN ECONOMY

This is a two days workshop on development of skills and circulation of talents for a sustainable blue economy, where the following topics are to be discussed:

Day 1 (11 May, 2022)

- Marine contamination, by Prof. Abeer Moneer, Head of Marine Pollution Department, NIOF

- How to improve the health of the Mediterranean Sea, by Prof. Maria Cristina Pedicchio, University of Trieste and European Starfish Mission Member

- Challenges of climate change in the Mediterranean, by GianMaria Sannino, Head of Laboratory for Climate Impact Modelling System, ENEA

- Challenges of climate change in Egypt, by Dr. Ahmed El-Shazly, Director, Office of Sponsored Projects and Centers, Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, Cairo

- Sustainable and circular management models of the Blue Economy, by Cristian Chiavetta, Resource Efficiency Division, ENEA

- Food and Sustainability of the Mediterranean Sea, by Dr. Waled ElSawy – Fisheries Division – NIOF

- Sustainable blue economy growth in Egypt, Dr. Suzan El-Gharabawy- Head of Marine Geophysics Department – NIOF

- Bibliotheca Alexandrina Building Capacities towards Sustainable Development, by Marwa Elwakil, Head, Academic Research Sector, Library of Alexandria

Day 2 (12 May, 2022)

- The Union for the Mediterranean, by Nasser Kamel, Secretary General

- The “Blue Italian Growth Technology Cluster”, by Roberto Cimino, Vice President, Cluster BIG

- The benefit of inter-Mediterranean dialogue and socio-economic integration, by Mahdi Khomsi, Project Coordinator at BUSINESSMED

- EU-Africa cooperation opportunities in Horizon Europe, by Heba Gaber, Research and innovation officer at the European Union Delegation to Egypt.

- A Euro-Mediterranean higher education and research area EMUNI, by Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry EMUNI President

- Blue Skills project, the Italian contribution to capacity building and circulation of talents in the Mediterranean, by Mounir Ghribi, ICAP Director, OGS, Italy

- The Italian contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, by Rosalia Santoleri, ISMAR Director, CNR, Italy. President of the Italian Oceanographic Commission

About the Ocean Decade:

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.

About the IOC-UNESCO:

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.



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