EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The United Nations (UN) is launching the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) “to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health”. The ocean research community understands ocean threats arising from climate change and the unsustainable use of ocean resources. However, because of disciplinary and sectorial siloes, this scientific knowledge has often failed to be transformed into scalable ocean solutions that support an equitable and sustainable blue economy, and help mitigate climate change. 

To overcome the persistent gap between research and solutions, in 2020 multi-sector organizations have come together to establish a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions (GEOS) as a flagship Programme of the UN Ocean Decade.
 
The mission of GEOS is to “establish a vibrant, global ocean solutions community of researchers, innovators, investors, decision-makers and other stakeholders to co-design and co-deploy equitable, durable, and scalable ocean-based solutions for climate change and ocean grand challenges”. 
Aerial Photo of an Ocean

THE GEOS STRATEGY

The GEOS strategy for action is (1) to deploy new multi-sector processes that enable the generation and transition of scientific knowledge into co-developed ocean solutions (2) to address ocean grand challenges in climate change and the ocean that require system level (e.g. multi-sector and interdisciplinary) use-inspired research and action. 

To this end, the GEOS ecosystem is organized around three synergistic functions and pillars:

● CONVENE:  Catalyze new knowledge and innovation through a GEOS Network, consisting of research, private, and public sector actors.

 
● CO-DESIGN:  Co-create ocean solutions through multi-sector GEOS Task Forces that integrate innovations from science, technology, governance, and finance.
 
● ACT:  Prototype, accelerate, fund, and deploy equitable, durable, scalable solutions through an ocean-focused GEOS Innovation Engine for a healthy society, ocean, and an equitable and sustainable blue economy.

PARTNERSHIPS

To lay the foundation for the GEOS platform, we are developing a set of focused partnerships, with a particular focus on including leadership and participation of the Global South, among research universities and institutions, professional ocean-focused societies, NGOs, IGOs, foundations, financial institutions, and ocean innovation & solutions platforms all whom have a committed interest in ocean solutions. 

The key to GEOS success is to break down the silos that exist among these organizations, thereby linking research, development, and deployment processes. Members of GEOS are committed to all stages of the research, design and deployment of solutions and have a shared vision around achieving equitable, scalable outcomes. Since a non-siloed, research-centered community for developing global oceans solutions does not yet exist, we have first gathered a number of international research and education institutions with a strong focus in ocean science, policy, and engineering as part of the Ocean Visions and Future Seas initiatives to jump-start the GEOS community. 

To implement GEOS, an international multi-sector group of coordinating partners have joined forces:
 
Lake

GRAND CHALLENGES

We are committed to making significant progress on ocean's grand challenges
Ocean-based Solutions to the Climate Crisis
(e.g. ocean carbon dioxide removal, alkalinity enhancement, decarbonizing shipping, oceanic renewable energy, nature-based solutions based in ecosystem protection, management, and restoration)
Resilience and Adaptation of Coastal Systems and Communities
(e.g., mitigation and adaptation to sea-level rise and extreme events, coastal habitat protection and restoration, green-grey infrastructure)
Ocean-based Food Security
(e.g. sustainable aquatic food production through fisheries and aquaculture, ensuring availability and access to aquatic foods to combat malnutrition)
Countering Marine Biodiversity Loss
(e.g., reversing the loss of biodiversity through protected areas, including in the high seas, protection, and restoration of critical ecosystems, reducing threats and cumulative impacts from climate change, resource exploitation, invasive species, and pollution)
Greening the Direct Human Footprint on the Ocean
(e.g. sustainable tourism, ocean-based businesses)

THE GEOS STEERING COMMITTEE

Emanuele Di Lorenzo

Professor & Director

Ocean Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Makino Mitsutaku

Professor

The University of Tokyo

Salvatore Aricò

Head, Ocean Science Section

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Shally Shanker

Founder & Managing Partner

AiiM Partners

Karen Evans

Team Leader

CSIRO

Alexis Grosskopf

Co-Founder

OceanHub Afirca

Erin V. Satterthwaite

PEGASuS Postdoctoral Researcher

NCEAS & Future Earth

Gretta Pecl

Professor & Director

Centre for Marine Socioecology, I 
University of Tasmania

Janice Lachance

Executive Vice President, Strategic Leaders & Global Outreach

American Geophysical Union

John Dutton

Head of UpLink & Member of the Executive Committee

World Economic Forum

Ted Jannulis

CEO & Founder

Investable Oceans

Martin Visbeck

Head of the Research Unit 'Physical Oceanography'

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research

Anna Zivian

Senior Research Fellow

Ocean Conservancy

Fiorenza Micheli

David and Lucile Packard Professor

Co-director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University

Raghu Murtugudde

Professor

India’s National Ocean Research Institutions

Namrata Kolla

Data Analyst & User Engagement Lead

Vulcan Inc

Nadia Pinardi

Professor

University of Bologna

Mark Shimamoto

Program Manager GeoHealth

American Geophysical Union

Millicent Pitts

Chief Executive Officer & Director

The Ocean Exchange

Website hosted by The Ocean Visions Research Consortium 
Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions (GEOS)
A proposal to establish a United Nation Programme for the Decade for Ocean Sustainable Development