Ocean Practices for the Decade


    “Developing global consensus on how methods should interoperate and evolve into best practices is a major challenge on the path to realizing the Ocean Decade’s ambitions.”  


The Ocean Practices for the Decade Programme (“OceanPractices”) supports all ocean stakeholders in securing, equitably sharing, and collectively advancing your methodological heritage. By engaging diverse communities of practice, OceanPractices can transform how science and other stakeholders align their interests/capacities, creating and using practices to promote sustainable human and ocean well-being. 

Why Best Practices?

Best practices (e.g., common and accepted practices) improve interoperability and facilitate training so broader global participation naturally evolves. They also provide “known conditions” when looking at data and information from others and thus build Trust. Additional benefits are provided here.


Access to information and knowledge about the ocean for the Ocean Decade requires coordinated and interoperable observations and analyses from local to global scales and across disciplines.


Coordinating ocean methodology that underpins cooperation and interoperability is essential” 

The challenges are described here and have been discussed in more detail in a recent publication: (Pearlman, et al, Frontiers in Marine Science, 05 May 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.619685).



Methods and best practices are created and then used by experts. Methods may be local, regional or global. OceanPractices (and OBPS) provides a sustained repository of practices and facilitates access to methods at all appropriate scales. The approach is to engage with an ocean-wide community of practice including experts and new participants.  OBPS suggests templates that enable consistent metadata and methods descriptions. The activities planned for OceanPractices include: 

  • consolidating discussions on ocean practices; 
  • expanding the digital infrastructure for methodologies management; 
  • coordination to promote links between scientific methodology and sustainable development; 
  • enable equitable access and world wide capacity development; 
  • collaboratively develop and implement pilot activities. 

Details for each of these activities is available here.

OceanPractices Outcomes

The outputs are framed by five high level objectives that will result in the outcomes described here.


A dedicated OceanPractices Programme action has been established within the OBPS governance structure as a dedicated work package (WP8). This includes sustained activities such as communications, training and strategic technology coordination. Also, under WP8, there are shorter term (probably multi-year) focused projects for key developments including the pilot actions. The OBPS Steering Group serves as an Advisory Board. 

SDG Relevancies

OceanPractices will support progress towards multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will primarily focus on those identified by the Ocean Decade Coordinator where we expect major impact including SDG 13, 14 and 17.

Read the programme document

We welcome discussion with you about how we can work together to achieve Decade goals

Contact: decade@oceanbestpractices.org