March 21, 2024

Driving action for corals at the UN Ocean Decade Conference

As part of our mission to deliver the science we need, to support the coral ecosystems we want, CORDAP will participate in the Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona, April 10-12 2024.

As the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030 moves into its fourth year, the Barcelona conference offers an opportunity to assess global progress towards improving the health of our oceans, and a chance to set joint priorities for the future.

It will be the culmination of a week of events, drawing attention to the Ocean Decade and the coalition of scientists and stakeholders it has built. Together, this community is working to generate the data and knowledge that will drive science-based solutions for our oceans and help deliver the  SDGs’ marine targets.

CORDAP’s role at the conference

Having recently been endorsed by the UN Ocean Decade, CORDAP will be attending to highlight the important role corals play in supporting a healthy marine ecosystem. 

We will be hosting two events. One will focus on the need to ramp up ocean exploration to better understand the underwater world, and to build knowledge around deep- and cold-water corals. The other will unpick the science needed to protect reefs and boost marine biodiversity in line with KMGBF targets. We will also participate in an event organized by ICRI on the Coral Breakthrough, and an event on the need to eliminate nutrient pollution, which will feature Amelia Wenger, who will be highlighting her CORDAP funded project on marine pollution.

CORDAP at the UN Ocean Decade Conference 2024

Widening Opportunities for Ocean Exploration in the Decade

April 9th, 17.00 – 19.00, Auditorium of  PRBB – Barcelona Biomedical Research Park

CORDAP, Institut de Ciències del Mar CSIC and The Pink Flamingo Society

Despite oceans covering 71% of our planet, we know less about them than we do about space. One of the key reasons for this is the high costs associated with the technologies required to explore the deep ocean, from submersible and deep-sea ROVs, to the vessels required to support them. The Pink Flamingo Society (PFS) is a group of philanthropic research vessel operators, who want to help unblock these barriers and came together with the mission of collaborating on data sharing, education and outreach.

The Ocean Decade Conference provides an opportunity to raise awareness of their work and this event will highlight the need for partnerships with philanthropic groups and outline how ocean exploration will play a key role in understanding how we can protect marine ecosystems. This will be the first time that the PFS has held an open-door meeting to inform the wider community about the activities and opportunities offered by the fleet and their state-of-the art assets.

(Note: No need for registration or accreditation to the Ocean Decade Conference to participate in this event.)

Science requirements to meet the Global Biodiversity Framework for Coral Reefs

April 12th, 8.30 – 9.45, Indian Ocean Room (127+128), Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB)


Coral reefs are considered the first ecosystem at risk from functional extinction due to the increasing pressures from climate change and human impacts. There is an urgent need to reverse this decline and to accelerate solutions that will help protect the worlds corals, not least because so much of our marine biodiversity is dependent on reef systems for its survival. 

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) will be a key mechanism in helping the world halt biodiversity losses by 2050 and restore 30% of degraded habitats, including oceans, by 2030. To implement the GBF for coral reefs, there is a clear need for strong science and technological development, to aid countries in redefining the boundaries of successful coral reef conservation. This event will discuss how the UN Ocean Decade of Science can support the GBF for corals. 

We will seek to generate consensus on how best to work together to deliver what is needed, with the aim of creating a roadmap of priorities for science and technology that will support coral conservation and restoration within the GBF.

CORDAP will also participate in the following events

Nutrient Pollution -Global Action Network

April 9th, 17.00 – 18.30, Institut de Ciències del Mar & online

Cefas, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Commonwealth Secretariat, Wildlife Conservation Society, Cartagena Convention, CORDAP

This event will bring together multiple projects that all have aligned priorities to eliminate nutrient pollution under our endorsed Decade Action – Nutrient Pollution – Global Action Network (NP-GAN) with partners from across the world. The first ambition is to identify steps to standardise approaches and exploring the interactions between science and policy to improve, mitigate, reduce, marine pollution to deliver on the ambitions of the UN Decade. We will hear about best practices and celebrate achievements where positive outcomes have been achieved for the reduction of nutrient pollution, while also discussing options on the acceleration of holistic approaches to managing our land to seascape for restoration and protection of our ocean systems.

More info here:


The Coral Reef Breakthrough

April 11th, 08.30 – 09.45, Indian Ocean Room (127+128), Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB)


An urgent call to action for 25% of life in the ocean. The Coral Reef Breakthrough aims to secure the future of at least 125,000 km2 of shallow-water tropical coral reefs with investments of at least USD 12 billion to support the resilience of more than half a billion people globally by 2030. The panel will discuss why it is instrumental in achieving: Ocean Decade vision of “the science we need for the ocean we want”, SDGs particularly SDG14 “Life Below Water”, and how the coral reef community can use the Breakthrough as a tool to deliver on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.


More info here: 

Find out more about the program and events of the Ocean Decade Conference. 

Read our latest progress report to find out more about our work is supporting global goals.

Join us and support a better future #ForCoral