Global Ocean Science Report: The Current Status of Ocean Science around the World | JPI OCEANS

Global Ocean Science Report: The Current Status of Ocean Science around the World


Global Ocean Science Report: The Current Status of Ocean Science around the World

Published for the first time, the IOC-UNESCO Global Ocean Science Report (GOSR) assesses the status and trends in ocean science capacity around the world. The report offers a global record of who, how, and where ocean science is conducted.

To be published every five years, the inaugural Report also serves as an instrument to assess progress in the accomplishment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal  (SDG) No.14 for 2030: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.” The report is further intended to facilitate international ocean science cooperation and collaboration. This is essential to increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology (i.e. SDG target 14a).

The Report advocates for increased investment into research and calls for greater international scientific cooperation. It encourages alternative funding models, in the form of joint ocean science projects and expeditions, shared infrastructure and new technology development will reduce the costs of field expeditions and enable countries to strengthen their range of scientific expertise.

In general, GOSR found that countries’ investment in ocean sciences varies significantly according to their size, the length of their coastline and the economic benefits they draw from their marine resources. According to data in the Report, the share of national scientific budgets allocated to the ocean varies from 0.1% (Russian Federation) to 21.4% (Argentina). The share of research and development budgets dedicated to ocean sciences also varies a great deal, ranging from 0.04% (Ecuador) to 4.7% (Croatia). The other leaders in this area are Norway, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Currently, also the number of ocean science researchers per capita varies substantially among countries around the world, with Belgium and Norway topping the list. Female scientists comprise on average 38 % of the researchers in ocean science, about 10 % higher than the global share of female researchers.

The report also includes information about the number of scientific publications dedicated to the ocean, as a gauge of this sector’s importance. The good news is that the production of global ocean science is increasing. Between 2010 and 2014 more than 370,000 manuscripts in ocean sciences were published and more than 2 million articles were cited.

Finally the report calls on countries to align national reporting mechanisms on ocean science capacity, productivity and performance. This will  enable the community to assess and track developments in the technical and human capacities in ocean science worldwide which is indispensable to evaluate investments, monitor changes, and inform policy- and decision-makers.

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