On February 1st, Peace Boat was pleased to celebrate with the US National Committee for the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’s first anniversary. The US National Committee for the Ocean Decade  February Meeting  served to summarize their year of work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while also showcasing their partners. Over 100 attendees from more than 35 organizations heard exciting updates from the U.S. Youth Advisory Council, Heirs to Our Oceans, and the Tula Foundation Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific Ocean.

US National Committee of the UN Ocean Decade highlights PeaceBoat US’s Decade-related efforts for youth empowerment, ocean conservation and climate action

The committee meeting, headed by Larry Meyer, began by highlighting the themes and principles which govern their work, and in particular the report which they have been tasked to create by the US government. Mr. Meyer presented “Six Crosscutting Themes for the US Contribution to the United Nations Ocean Decade,” which included looking for ocean-based solutions to climate issues as well as researching strategies to address challenges that urban coastal living creates for the surrounding environment. The committee’s partners are engaged in collective action and are devoted to solving these problems. Partners were featured alongside discussions on the theme of ocean-oriented action. Peace Boat is proud to be amongst these member organizations and is grateful for being featured at the meeting as well as on the committee’s website

Mr. Meyer’s presentation of the Six Crosscutting Themes for the US Contribution to the Ocean Decade of Science for Sustainable Development

The discussion continued with a focus on Youth in relation to the UN Ocean Decade, with  presentations by Chloe McKenna and Shiv Goel of the US Youth Advisory Council (YAC). They stressed the importance of local action and instilling the urgency of ocean issues in youth globally. Their work goes beyond grassroots campaigning, with the YAC holding several meetings with members of Congress in the Capitol. Their future projects include a podcast, to further their goal of outreach and exposure for ocean issues, as well as a youth summit to be held in early June 2022. This was followed by comments from April Peebles of Heirs to Our Oceans (H2OO), who shares the YAC’s concern for the importance of youth engagement. To help address this issue they have created a toolkit, helping young people to set up their own youth advisory councils in their own countries and areas.

The faces of the first cohort of US Youth Advisory Council (YAC) who kicked off the Ocean Decade together with Heirs to Our Oceans and youth leaders.

The theme of local action was continued with the introduction of the Tula Foundation’s project: the Ocean Decade Regional Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific. In collaboration with the Hakai Institute, the group works toward long term protection and scientific research in the British Columbia area. Rebecca Martone’s presentation introduced the group’s Ocean Decade 10 Challenges as well as the Ocean Decade 7 Outcomes, all of which can be found on their website. To achieve these goals, she stressed the importance of collaboration between civil society groups and the involvement of Indigenous leaders. 

US National Committee of the Ocean Decade highlights their 2021 feats in a snapshot

Peace Boat US looks forward to seeing all that these initiatives bring and is excited to continue collaborating for the good and sustainability of the world’s oceans. We hope the Ocean Decade U.S. members will also join us for the UN World Oceans Week of activities this year in June! For more details, visit http://www.unworldoceansday.org