World Ocean Day 2014

World Ocean Day Celebrations at UNESCO

"Together we have the power to protect the ocean "Each year, World Oceans Day (8 June) is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges fEach year, World Oceans Day (8 June) is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges faced by the international community in connection with the ocean.

It is essential to sustainable development: the ocean is the source of life and continues to play a crucial role in the lives of seven billion human beings. Several million people depend directly on the oceans for their food, travel and work. It is the Earth’s main lung, providing most of the oxygen we breathe, and is at the center of the planet’s climate processes.

On 10 June 2014, UNESCO will celebrate World Oceans Day with a day of events highlighting the organization’s multidisciplinary approach to work on ocean-related issues. The main objective of the day is to demonstrate how, by combining our efforts, each of us can contribute to the mitigation of threats to the ocean, and how we can change our relationship with the ocean to a mutually beneficial interaction.

QARTOD Water Level QA/QC Manual Announcement

 QARTOD Water Level QA/QC Manual Announcement

The US IOOS Office is pleased to announce the publication of a new US IOOS quality control procedures manual, Water Level, the fifth publication from the US IOOS QARTOD project. The manual can be downloaded at:


UNESCO Message 22-05-14: International Day for Biological Diversity


Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity, 22 May 2014

 UNESCO and Island Biodiversity

 This year, the International Day for Biological Diversity is dedicated to “island biodiversity,” in line with the designation by the United Nations General Assembly of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States.

 In September, Samoa will host the Third International Conference of Small Island Developing States. UNESCO is helping to prepare this major event, which will help to shape a new global sustainable development agenda to follow 2015. This agenda must recognize the importance of Small Island Developing States for global sustainable development.

 Island biodiversity is essential here. Many islands and archipelagos have evolved unique biodiversity over time, with a high rate of endemism and particular conservation challenges, with species on small islands being particularly vulnerable to extinction.

 The livelihoods and cultural identities of islanders have always been inextricably linked to biodiversity. However, with the presence of people and associated biodiversity — crops, livestock and pests — the risk of extinction to native biodiversity is especially high, and novel communities of species have largely replaced native island biodiversity in many places. Today, climate change, natural disasters, and skewed development are threatening the sustainability of human communities on islands as well as island biodiversity.

 UNESCO is acting to address these challenges. The sub Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves (20 members) and the Network for Pacific Biosphere Reserves (10 members) belong to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. The World Heritage Convention also includes many natural sites on islands.

 UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission is building the leadership capacity of the directors of marine and coastal sciences institutes, with a focus on Small Island Developing States, where livelihoods depend heavily on marine resources. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Ocean Biogeographic Information System is a gateway to the world's ocean biodiversity and biogeographic data and information, building and maintaining a global alliance of over 500 institutions in 56 countries, including in Small Island Developing States.

 UNESCO is also working through such initiatives as Climate Frontlines and Sandwatch, to build the capacities of islanders and to develop networks that help communities to self-organise and create their own resources that are culturally sensitive and scientifically sound. This includes initiatives to help conserve island biodiversity.

 Throughout all of this, UNESCO is committed to working with all partners for the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, and the Organization is contributing full-steam to preparing a successful Third International Conference of Small Island Developing States.

 As we shape the post-2015 development agenda, we must recognise the importance of island biodiversity and work together to ensure the conservation of this precious and irreplaceable natural resource, which is the basis of human well-being.