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New Website Puts Aotearoa New Zealand On The Ocean Science Map

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO has developed a new website - which showcases the outstanding work currently taking place in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific in the ocean science space.

The website has been developed to highlight Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030).

The UN Decade of Ocean Science (the Decade) aims to reverse the global decline in ocean health and campaign for transformative ocean science to inform solutions that will contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is leading New Zealand’s response to the Decade.

“The ocean is integral to the lives and wellbeing of all people of the Pacific. Therefore, we are making the Decade of Ocean science a priority. We want to showcase and support activities that weave together different knowledge systems, enabling multidisciplinary research and the promotion of mutual learning, both within Aotearoa New Zealand and globally,” says New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO Chair Robyn Baker.

The website promotes the objectives of the Decade and enables users to search for ocean science projects currently underway in New Zealand and the Pacific. The website also showcases the importance of indigenous knowledge (particularly Mātauranga Maori and Pacific knowledge) in ocean science.

The Decade acknowledges the importance of indigenous knowledge systems weaving insights and evidence into ocean science to produce solutions to address declining ocean health.

The Decade is an opportunity to increase mobilisation of the scientific community, policymakers, business and civil society, around multi-disciplinary solutions to both local (Aotearoa and the Pacific) and global oceans issues.

“Better linking science to society and increasing citizens science is essential to creating societies that strive to find solutions to today’s acute economic, social and environmental challenges and achieving sustainable development,” says Robyn Baker.

The website was launched at Parliament by the Hon Jan Tinetti, Minister responsible for UNESCO, on UN World Oceans Day on June 8th. World Oceans Day celebrates our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as raising awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.



UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is a specialised agency of the United Nations. Its aim is to lay the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development through dialogue and sharing knowledge.

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO represents New Zealand to UNESCO, and takes the best of the UNESCO collective resources, networks, programmes and connections and applies them in a way that benefits New Zealand.

The National Commission partners and supports programmes, initiatives, events and promotional activities that are relevant to UNESCO’s mandate and help build peace in New Zealand. It also plays an active role within UNESCO’s work in the Pacific.

The National Commission creates opportunities for people to gather locally, nationally and internationally (virtually), providing space, opportunity and time to ‘build peace through dialogue’.

The National Commission has established an Aotearoa New Zealand Decade Committee to facilitate national contributions to the Decade and to act as an information conduit internationally. The membership is drawn from across ocean science, indigenous knowledges, government and youth representatives. It covers a wide range of expertise from ocean-related scientific research themes, regions in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and the Pacific as well as Maori and Pacific.

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