Will understanding the ocean lead to “the ocean we want”?

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030, henceforth the Ocean Decade) aims to galvanize the international community to acquire and apply scientific knowledge of the ocean. The Ocean Decade is specifically intended to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including its promise to “leave no one behind,” which includes coastal Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, and will undoubtedly influence research agendas and financing well beyond 2030. This focus is captured in the phrase “the science we need for the ocean we want” (1). This first-of-its-kind UN Decade will require ambition and commitment, especially during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
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