Explore the Decade


Ocean Decade Communities of Practice Resource Page

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

UN Agency

The vision of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. To achieve the Ocean Decade vision, a wide range of partners will implement endorsed Decade Actions.

  • What is a Community of Practice?
Throughout the Ocean Decade, partners around the world will lead numerous Decade Actions in the form of programmes, projects and contributions. In order to achieve the Decade’s aim of collective action around major global and regional priorities, these partners need to be able to communicate and collaborate to achieve the Decade’s ambition of collective action around shared priorities. 

Over the course of the Ocean Decade, Communities of Practice will be established to ensure that partners working on similar themes or in similar geographies can find each other and work together to optimize collective impact throughout the Decade. Communities of Practice are a way of loosely organizing and making legible a very complex landscape throughout the Decade. They are not formal structures or mechanisms but rather can be seen as a fluid framework to facilitate connections between partners. 

  • What will Communities of Practice do?
Communities of Practice will allow partners to work together, when it is advantageous, to carry out a range of essential functions including:

• Horizontal coordination to optimise communications and collaboration among partners
• Vertical coordination to aid coherence of actions across projects and assist with overall work planning, implementation, and monitoring
• Identification of thematic or geographic gaps and priority needs, leading to input to the design of future Call for Decade Actions
• Monitoring and reporting the impact of Decade Actions
• Communications and outreach activities to engage new partners and raise awareness
• Work with Decade structures on resource mobilisation, including need assessments
• Facilitate information exchange to other Decade structures and across Communities of practice to avoid siloing and duplication of work

  • Who can join a Community of Practice?
Communities of Practice will comprise partners engaged in endorsed Decade Actions (programmes, contributions or projects). Partners can join as many Communities of Practice as relevant for their work. Decade coordination and support structures - including Decade Coordination Offices, Decade Collaborative Centres, Decade Implementing Partners and/or regional taskforces may participate in Communities of Practice and help to facilitate connections between members of the Community of Practice. Members of National Decade Committees will be able to participate in Communities of Practice via the Decade Actions that they are engaged in. 

  • How will Communities of Practice be coordinated?
Each Community of Practice will have a unique way of working, driven by the priorities of its members and available resources. The Decade Coordination Unit will work with Communities of Practice as needed to facilitate initial discussions on structure and functioning. Where they exist, Decade coordination structures like Decade Collaborative Centres, will play an integral role in coordinating the Communities of Practice. The Global Stakeholder Forum which will be progressively rolled out in late 2021 will provide an online platform for use by Communities of Practice.

  • What are the current Communities of Practice?

Currently the following Communities of Practice are proposed. Over the life of the Ocean Decade new Communities of Practice will emerge.    

Multiple Ocean Stressors
Deep Sea Research and ManagementFisheries and Blue Food
Sustainable Ocean Economy
Sustainable Ocean Planning
Ocean - Climate Nexus
Ocean Observations
Coastal Ecosystem and Community Resilience
Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems
Data, Information & KnowledgeCapacity Development
Ocean Literacy
Inclusivity and Cultural Values of the Ocean 

OceanArctic Ocean
Indian Ocean
North Atlantic
South Atlantic
North Pacific
South Pacific
Mediterranean Sea

  • Registering for a Community of Practice
Partners involved in Decade Actions can join one of more Communities of Practice via this link:

Further Information:
Please find the full concept note explaining Communities of Practice here.
 Please contact oceandecade@unesco.org with any questions 


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