Ocean Frontier Institute Priorities for the United Nations Ocean Decade

Canada's official launch of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is on March 3, 2021, from 11:00 - 14:00 EST. 

Canada’s Ocean Frontier Institute is advancing ocean science initiatives in four priority areas to contribute to the UN Ocean Decade. The Institute is collaborating with international partners, and capitalizing on areas of strength and universal importance.  

Indigenous Engagement 

Indigenous engagement was recognized as a key priority for the UN Ocean Decade at the North Atlantic Regional Workshop hosted by the Ocean Frontier Institute in 2020.

Since 2019, the Ocean Frontier Institute has worked with our Committee on Indigenous (Inuit, Métis, and First Nation) Engagement to develop the Guide to provide researchers with guidance. The Guide has been collaboratively developed with Indigenous communities, organizations and governments. 

This guide provides an important first step in the active incorporation of Indigenous interests and rights into the Ocean Frontier Institute’s ongoing vision for North Atlantic research and environmental stewardship. 

Ocean Data 

Over time, the ability to collect ocean data has increased tremendously, especially with increased access to automated technologies. With so much data being collected, we need to ensure we access the right data, with and for the right people, and sharing it the right way. Collaborations with data-focused groups such as CIOOS and GOOS are critical, and OFI will be facilitating conversations to build capacity.

Graduate Training 

Training has been a focus of the Ocean Frontier Institute since its inception, and with the launch of the  Ocean Graduate Excellence Network (OGEN), the Institute aims to catalyze effective, transdisciplinary graduate training through partnerships with industry and government. There are currently 23 extraordinary opportunities for graduate students underway within Canada. Throughout the Ocean Decade, the Ocean Frontier Institute will continue to add international opportunities to grow the network.

Ocean Literacy 

Ocean literacy is a priority for the Ocean Frontier Institute, delivered primarily through Ocean School and a founding partnership with the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition. Ocean literacy can be improved during the Ocean Decade by focusing on science communication, youth, and partnerships. In 2020, we announced Dr. Boris Worm as its first Ocean Ambassador in the subject area of Ocean Literacy. He will be focusing on expanding the Ocean Frontier Institute’s leadership in this area.