On World Ocean Day, the IMarEST has appointed Dr Stephen de Mora as its first Ambassador for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainability.
Dr Stephen de Mora BSc PhD FRSA FIMarEST CSci, was elected to the IMarEST Council this year and has led a varied career in marine science, with experience working in diverse environments, disciplines and cultures.
Recently retired as chief executive of both Plymouth Marine Laboratory and PML Applications Ltd, he is now an independent consultant and a PML Emeritus Fellow. He has served on numerous national and international committees. Presently, he is a Sargasso Sea Commissioner and a member of scientific advisory panels in Canada, Ireland and the British Geological Society. His academic career encompassed research and teaching at the University of Quebec in Rimouski, the University of Auckland, and the University of Lancaster.
As Stephen explains “The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainability will bring together multiple disciplines, including science, education and socio-economics, to gain a holistic understanding of the oceanic environment. With an expected outcome to ensure better stewardship of this common heritage resource, key components ensure inclusiveness of the global community through widespread engagement and comprehensive outreach. The IMarEST has a key role to play through supporting marine science and promoting best practices for working at sea, together with training, capacity building and outreach.”
The IMarEST has set four high-level priorities mapping out its strategy for supporting the aims of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, or Ocean Decade, which runs from next year through to 2030. Following through on these priorities will enable the IMarEST to make a sustained and meaningful contribution to the Ocean Decade’s overarching aspiration, namely, to ‘deliver the science we need for the ocean we want’.
As the first IMarEST ambassador, Stephen will be working to promote the goals of the Ocean Decade within the Institute to ensure these priorities are woven into both its activities and general mindset. He will work with the Executive and membership to shape a plan and support its delivery, and will act as a liaison with partners such as IGOs and other professional bodies and learned societies.
IMarEST Director of Policy, Dr Bev Mackenzie, says: “We are focused on rallying our members and the wider marine community to embrace the Ocean Decade and this truly unique opportunity to determine how ocean science can support all countries’ actions to sustainably manage the oceans and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We welcome input from individuals and organisations to help us shape our priorities and develop our plan.”
Announced by the United Nations in 2017, the Ocean Decade will provide a common framework for exploiting ocean science in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It promises a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to create a new foundation, across the science-policy interface, to strengthen the management of our oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity. It will foster international cooperation in scientific research and the development of innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.
The IMarEST’s priority areas entail: uniting and mobilising our membership behind the goals of the Ocean Decade; upholding competence and promoting professionalism and ethical behaviour at every opportunity; championing equity, inclusivity and transparency across the marine sector; and undertaking advocacy and growing partnerships. The thinking behind of each of these areas is described in more detail here.