De National Ocean Decade Committee

De National Ocean Decade Committee zal binnen het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden invulling geven aan de VN ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’. Het comité bestaat uit een groep onafhankelijke oceaanexperts, die de uiteenlopende expertises binnen de oceaanwetenschap goed vertegenwoordigt. Het comité is zelfsturend en zal zich vooral bezighouden met het samenbrengen van de gemeenschap van oceaanexperts en stakeholders in het Koninkrijk, het verbinden van initiatieven binnen het Koninkrijk met het internationale netwerk van de Ocean Decade en het vergroten van het bewustzijn van het belang van oceaanwetenschappen.

De National Ocean Decade Committee

A national committee for the Kingdom of the Netherlands1 for the UN Ocean Decade

  • The ocean is vital for humankind as it regulates climate and provides the food and other resources that form the basis of the livelihood of billions of people. The ocean currently faces challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, marine pollution, marine habitat degradation and overfishing. We need to take action to improve our general understanding of the functioning of the marine system and its role in planetary well-being, to address these challenges.
  • The Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) presents a unique opportunity to deliver a step-change in the development of this ocean knowledge. It will influence how countries invest and participate in ocean science and innovation to embrace societal goals, and thereby help to achieve a sustainable relationship between humanity and the ocean. The Ocean Decade will align research investments to contribute to common goals such as the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN, particularly SDG 14, to protect and ensure sustainable use of our ocean.
  • The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is committed to the Ocean Decade mission and has facilitated the formation of a National Ocean Decade Committee, consisting of independent ocean experts who will foster international collaboration within the UN Ocean Decade framework, promote knowledge sharing, stimulate capacity building, and contribute to technology transfer. The National Ocean Decade Committee for the Kingdom of the Netherlands will aim to catalyse and support the design of Ocean Decade Actions. It will act as the link between the UN Ocean Decade organisation and the national network of public and private stakeholders involved with the ocean. It will mobilise the ocean community across disciplinary boundaries to activate funds, efforts and liaise with other National Ocean Decade Committees and, importantly, promote and create awareness about the ocean.

Why a National Ocean Decade Committee for the UN Ocean Decade?

  • The committee recognizes the long maritime history of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its past and present cannot be understood without the ocean. Legacies of seafaring contact, the trade in enslaved people and overseas imperialism continue to shape that history. The Kingdom of the Netherlands also has a long tradition of contributing to ocean governance, dating back at least to the 17th century and Hugo Grotius’ work on Mare Liberum, and further exemplified by its current prominent role in intergovernmental bodies such as the International Maritime Organization. The National Ocean Decade Committee aims to extend the cooperative and equitable aspects of this long maritime tradition by taking responsibility for the ocean.
  • The Kingdom of the Netherlands has strong commitment to the objectives of the UN Ocean Decade aimed at achieving a sustainable relationship between humanity and the ocean, and a successful sustainable blue economy.
  • The Kingdom of the Netherlands has both the knowledge infrastructure, NGOs and industrial capability to be a major international player and can play an important role in the further implementation of the UN Ocean Decade.
  • The committee recognises the obligation that the Kingdom of the Netherlands has for inclusive and responsible stewardship of the ocean and to protect the marine environment in national and international waters.

Priorities of the National Ocean Decade Committee:

  • Develop and stimulate transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, while emphasizing the need for science-based decision-making, innovation, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Foster ocean literacy and promote ocean-based education essential to achieve the understanding and protection of the ocean.
  • Focus on creating networks across the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and law to foster collaborations and address local, regional and global ocean issues.
  • Identify and stimulate closing of critical knowledge gaps in our understanding of the ocean system that hamper responsible ocean stewardship, such as efforts that contribute to reducing marine pollution, achieve sustainable fisheries, sustainable blue economy development, promote biodiversity, implement ocean observing systems and ocean governance. Identify options and strengthen working with nature-based approaches, such as climate change mitigation and nature-inclusive and biodiversity-positive design.
  • Strengthen partnerships between government agencies, research institutions, civil society, and the private sector to leverage expertise and resources.

A national committee for the UN Ocean Decade, a call to action

  • The National Ocean Decade Committee will bring together the community of ocean experts and stakeholders in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As we realize that ocean challenges are inherently social and cross national borders, the committee will be a bridge between national and international efforts and create awareness of the importance of the ocean and ocean science (ocean literacy) with decisionmakers and the wider public.
  • The National Ocean Decade Committee issues a call to action to all stakeholders, including government officials, scientists, industry leaders, artists and the general public, to support and collaborate with the National Ocean Decade Committee's efforts in advancing ocean science, conservation and sustainability.
  • The National Ocean Decade Committee will support science meetings, conferences and network and dissemination events, such as the first national ocean science conference on June 6. It will link efforts within the Kingdom to large international activities of the UN Ocean Decade, increase public awareness and support the science-policy interface. The committee will encourage active participation of the Dutch ocean community in relevant national and international programmes, projects, and initiatives to contribute to a healthier, better understood and more resilient ocean.

The National Ocean Decade Committee, 5-6-2024

1 The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of the countries of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten and is a constitutional monarchy.

The National Ocean Decade Committee

  • Erik de Lange – Universiteit Utrecht
  • Hilde Woker – Universiteit Leiden
  • Myra van der Meulen – Deltares
  • Robert Hoddenbach – Fugro
  • Ewa Spiesz – Dutch Marine Energy Centre
  • Anna Cutmore – Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ)
  • Sabine Gollner - Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ)
  • Martin Boverhof & Anne Gentenaar – Studio de maan
  • Jasper de Goeij – Universiteit van Amsterdam
  • Rob Middag - Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ)
  • Tammo Bult – Wageningen Marine Research
  • Jan-Berend Stuut - Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ)
  • Renate Reitsma – Universiteit Leiden
  • Albert Martis – Meteorologisch Departement Curaçao
  • Han Dolman - Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (NIOZ)
  • Francesca Sangiorgi – Universiteit Utrecht
  • Katja Peijnenburg – Naturalis Biodiversity Center
  • Caroline Katsman – TU Delft
  • Marck Oduber - Meteorologisch Departement Aruba / IOCARIBE / National Comité Aruba bij UNESCO
  • Manfred van Veghel – CARMABI (Caribbean research and Management of Biodiversity)
De National Ocean Decade Committee