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Evolving and sustaining ocean best practices to enable interoperability in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development


Pearlman, J and Buttigieg, PL and Bushnell, M and Delgado, C and Hermes, J and Heslop, E and Hortsmann, C and Isensee, K and Karstensen, J and Lambert, A and Lara-Lopez, A and Muller-Karger, F and Maz, CM and Pearlman, F and Pissierssens, P and Przewlawski, R and Simpson, P and van Stavel, J and Venkatesan, R, Evolving and sustaining ocean best practices to enable interoperability in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, Frontiers in Marine Science, 8 Article 619685. ISSN 2296-7745 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2021 Pearlman, Buttigieg, Bushnell, Delgado, Hermes, Heslop, Hörstmann, Isensee, Karstensen, Lambert, Lara-Lopez, Muller-Karger, Munoz Mas, Pearlman, Pissierssens, Przeslawski, Simpson, van Stavel and Venkatesan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

DOI: doi:10.3389/fmars.2021.619685


The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) challenges marine science to better inform and stimulate social and economic development while conserving marine ecosystems. To achieve these objectives, we must make our diverse methodologies more comparable and interoperable, expanding global participation and foster capacity development in ocean science through a new and coherent approach to best practice development. We present perspectives on this issue gleaned from the ongoing development of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS). The OBPS is collaborating with individuals and programs around the world to transform the way ocean methodologies are managed, in strong alignment with the outcomes envisioned for the Ocean Decade. However, significant challenges remain, including: (1) the haphazard management of methodologies across their lifecycle, (2) the ambiguous endorsement of what is "best" and when and where one method may be applicable vs. another, and (3) the inconsistent access to methodological knowledge across disciplines and cultures. To help address these challenges, we recommend that sponsors and leaders in ocean science and education promote consistent documentation and convergence of methodologies to: create and improve context-dependent best practices; incorporate contextualized best practices into Ocean Decade Actions; clarify who endorses which method and why; create a global network of complementary ocean practices systems; and ensure broader consistency and flexibility in international capacity development.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean best practices, UN Ocean Decade, interoperability, best practices, capacity development, methods, standards
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Oceanography not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Measurement standards and calibration services
Objective Field:Agricultural and environmental standards and calibrations
UTAS Author:Lara-Lopez, A (Dr Ana Lara-Lopez)
ID Code:148360
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2022-01-04
Last Modified:2022-08-24
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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