Norway strengthens support to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

In a new agreement between UNESCO and Norway, both parties have reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the core programmatic work of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO), with a particular focus on supporting the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 and capacity development.

Norway will contribute a total of 11.5 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD 1.1 million) to continue supporting UNESCO in mobilising ocean scientific research and knowledge-based solutions to advance the UN 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals (SDGs) and support the implementation of the IOC Capacity Development strategy in regions.

Announced at the UN Climate Conference COP28 in Dubai, the agreement renews and reaffirms the long-standing cooperation between Norway and IOC-UNESCO.

Norway, through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), will provide 10 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD 1 million) in support of the UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030 (Ocean Decade) as well as core programmatic activities of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Norad is also supporting the core programmes of IOC-UNESCO in support of its Capacity Development Strategy, including activities with particular focus on increasing the number of SIDS communities recognized as “Tsunami Ready”, and on developing a pilot in the Caribbean region of the IOC-UNESCO Ocean Best Practices project aimed at facilitating international open exchange and collaboration around ocean data and information.

In addition, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (MoER) simultaneously renewed its contribution to IOC-UNESCO for the fifth consecutive year, for an amount of 1.5 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD 151,000). The MoER contribution will strengthen core IOC programmes based on the priorities collectively agreed by Member States.

“Norway is a proud supporter of IOC-UNESCO. We are therefore pleased to see that IOC-UNESCO plays an increasingly important role on climate, where knowledge of the oceans plays a key role. The role of the Ocean Decade is crucial also for food security. We are therefore pleased to see that our contribution is enabling scientific cooperation between developing countries,” said Norway’s Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

Norway: a history of commitment to UNESCO’s ocean initiatives

Norway has traditionally been a leading donor to IOC-UNESCO, and has been fully engaged in the Ocean Decade throughout the preparation phase from 2018 to 2020. Since the start, Norway has been an active partner in the Decade including via development of a national action plan for the Decade and the establishment of a multi-stakeholder National Decade Committee.

Norway is a leading member of the Ocean Decade Alliance. In February 2022, Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre accepted UNESCO’s invitation to become a Patron of the Alliance, on the occasion of the One Ocean Summit (Brest, France). An imminent group of individuals and institutions, the Ocean Decade Alliance aims to catalyse support for the Ocean Decade through targeted resource mobilization, networking and influence, leveraging and multiplying financial and in-kind resource commitments.

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