Ocean Best Practices: A Foundational Element for the Ocean Decade

Author: Jay Pearlman

The OBPS-Steering Group and many partners in the ocean community submitted a proposal to the IOC called “Ocean Practices for the Decade”. A brief summary of the proposal outlines the urgency and approach to interoperability and partnering for the Ocean Decade.

Humanity’s connection to the ocean is based on how we act and react to its multifaceted wonder. Our “ocean practices” are an essential bridge between humanity’s cultural and natural heritage. The Ocean Practices for the Decade Programme (“OceanPractices”) will support all ocean stakeholders in securing, equitably sharing, and collectively advancing this methodological heritage. By engaging diverse communities of practice and interlinking them through FAIR digital technologies, OceanPractices will transform how science and other stakeholders align their interests/capacities, creating ever-better practices, promoting sustainable human and ocean well-being. These practices improve interoperability and facilitate training so broader global participation naturally evolves.

Access to information and knowledge about the ocean to achieve the UN Ocean Decade’s outcomes and objectives requires coordinated and interoperable observations and analyses from local to global scales and across disciplines. Thus, coordinating the ocean methodology – including guidelines, policies, standard specifications, and protocols – that underpins cooperation and interoperability is essential.

The OceanPractices has five high level objectives:

  1. Enable the development, adoption, and continuous evolution of context-sensitive methodologies and best practices related to ocean research, operations and applications to support the UN Ocean Decade objectives and goals.
  2. Accelerate the co-development and convergence of methodologies across ocean communities into community-accepted, trusted and interoperable best practices and standards.
  3. Sustain a trusted and FAIR- and CARE-compliant system through which the ocean community permanently archives and accesses its methods, standards, guidelines and other methodological content.
  4. Facilitate the creation of a federated network of complementary and seamlessly interoperable methodology management systems, bringing together UN IGOs, non-UN IGOs, NGOs, regional and global programs, projects and the private sector.
  5. Foster community-led capacity development in ocean best practices to enable equitable access to information, technology and knowledge and facilitate more ocean science that is fit for purpose.

We are open to new partners as institutions or individuals. Please join us by emailing jay.pearlman[at]fourbridges.org [on behalf of the OBPS Steering Group)