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COP28 Dubai Ocean Declaration

The ocean is both the largest living space on Earth and a fundamental part of our planetary climate system. But human activity, particularly in the form of greenhouse gas emissions that adversely impact the heat content, sea level, and acidity of the oceans, interferes with the ocean’s ability to support marine and terrestrial life, and hinders sustainable development worldwide. Calls for drastic cuts of greenhouse gas emissions need to be heeded, and concrete steps taken to curb other anthropogenic disruptions that interfere with the ocean’s natural function, including overfishing, habitat destruction, and marine pollution. At the same time, humanity must seek ways based on sound scientific evidence of removing carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere and storing it safely and reliably away from the atmosphere for long periods of time.

As the largest, most dynamic reservoir of carbon in Earth’s climate system, the ocean can and must play a central role in efforts to achieve net-negative emissions and meet the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. As a critical part of other life-sustaining planetary processes, the ocean must also be protected from continued anthropogenic change, including any climate mitigation efforts and especially as the rapidly changing Earth system becomes less predictable.

To this end, partners of the Ocean Pavilion at COP28 and associated stakeholders call on world leaders to support and foster efforts to greatly expand and improve ocean observations worldwide to provide a basis for understanding ongoing natural and anthropogenic change and for planning mitigation and adaptation strategies, with a particular emphasis on building capacity in developing nations and on expanding coverage of under-observed regions. Specific efforts include:

  • Improve global stocktake estimates and measures of progress towards goals laid out in the Paris Agreement by providing better measures of carbon fluxes through the ocean and a more comprehensive view of Earth’s ocean-climate system.
  • Implement robust, cooperative monitoring, reporting, and verification of new and emerging ocean-based carbon dioxide removal strategies to ensure measurable progress towards net-negative emissions while also protecting critical ocean ecosystems.
  • Expand observing capabilities to measure the widest possible suite of essential climate and biological variables to better understand and address the impacts of climate change on the distribution of ocean life, marine ecosystem health, biomass, and biodiversity.
  • Develop capacity among island nations and developing countries and refine methodologies to account for contributions by the ocean’s natural functions and the blue economy to climate stabilization through nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans.

An accelerated scientific research and technology development program to achieve these goals and establish the global- and regional-scale ocean observing system as an essential global infrastructure is urgently needed, with new public- and private-sector investments to ensure its long-term success and viability. At the same time, the research community must strengthen efforts to incorporate traditional, indigenous, and place-based knowledge to create a more holistic view of the ocean-climate system and enhance the resilience of marine ecosystems and human society. It is important that all research and testing activities be conducted in ways that are transparent, ethical, and designed to ensure the continued health and vitality of the global ocean and the ecosystem services that benefit everyone.

We call on the Parties of COP28 to take these needs into consideration and adopt measures individually and collectively to enhance protection of the ocean, starting with an expansion of the observational capacity that is the foundation of the scientific evidence to guide progress.  With it, society may better understand and more fully mitigate the risks being posed by climate change to the ocean on which we all depend.


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Peter de Menocal, President and Director

Scripps Institution of Oceanography/University of California San Diego
Margaret Leinen, Vice Chancellor for Marine Science and Director



Bloomberg Philanthropies
Antha Williams, Environmental Program Lead



American Geophysical Union
Lisa J. Graumlich, President

Avatar Alliance Foundation
Maria Wilhelm, Executive Director

Ocean Policy Research Institute, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
Hide Sakaguchi, President

Mark Dalio, Founder & Co-CEO
Vincent Pieribone, Ph.D, Co-CEO & Chief Science Officer



Blue Marine Foundation
Daniel Crockett, Director Ocean and Climate

Carbon to Sea Initiative
Antonius Gagern, Executive Director

Claire Martin, CSR Vice President

Environmental Defense Fund
Eric Schwaab, Senior VP, People and Nature

Mark Heine, CEO

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes, Director

Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform (CORDAP)
Carlos M. Duarte, Executive Director

François Houllier, President & CEO

Minderoo Foundation
Andrew Forrest, Chairman

National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Egypt
Prof. Amr Hamouda, President
Dr. Suzan El-Gharabawy, Vice President

National Oceanography Centre, UK
Prof. Anthony Edward Hill CBE, Chief Executive

Ocean Frontier Institute, led by Dalhousie University
Dr. Anya Waite, CEO and Scientific Director

Ocean Visions
Brad Ack, CEO

Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
Olivier Wenden, Vice President and CEO

Propeller Ventures
Dr. Julie Pullen, Partner and Chief Scientist

Running Tide
Brad Rochlin, Director of Strategic Partnerships

UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary

Universidade de São Paulo (USP) / São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)
Fernando Menezes, Administrative Director (FAPESP)
Dr. Paulo Sumida, Director, Oceanographic Institute (USP)

Additional Signatories

Alfred Wegener Institut Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar und Meeresforschung
Antje Boetius, Director

Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S.
Brit Myers, Engagement Director

Dupont Samuel, CEO

Blue Cradle Foundation
James Nikitine, Founder

Braid Theory
Ann Carpenter, CEO

Center for Coastal Studies
Richard F. Delaney, President

Center for Ocean Leadership at UCAR
Sonya Legg, Director

Centre for Marine & Coastal Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, Director

Centre Universitaire de Recherche et d’Application en Télédétection (CURAT), Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory
Dr. Abaka Brice Herve Mobio, Lab Manager

Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Baja California (CICESE)
Carmen Paniagua, Director, Oceanology Division

Chilean Consortium (COPAS, IMO, DOCE)
Carina Lange, Prof. Emeritus, COPAS

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oceanology
Fan Wang, Director

City to Sea
Natalie Fee, Founder

Coastal and Marine Research Institute (INVEMAR)
Francisco Arias-Isaza, General Director

Colectivo Internacional Pelagos Okeanos
Sergio Cambronero Solano, Co-founder & Chief Development Officer

Dalhousie University, Department of Oceanography
Dr. Katja Fennel, Department Head

Sean Wolpert, President, Americas

Dona Bertarelli Philanthropy
Dona Bertarelli, Founder

Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute)
Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist

EuroGOOS (European Global Ocean Observing System)
Inga Lips, Secretary General

Europe Jacques Delores
Geneviève Pons, CEO and Vice Chair

European Marine Board
Sheila JJ Heymans, Executive Director

European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)
Kate Larkin, Head of Secretariat

Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
Prof. Dr. Jan Mees, General Director

Future Planet Capital
Ed Phillips, Investment Director

German Marine Research Alliance (DAM)
Dr. Joachim Harms, Chairman of the Board

Global Choices
Inge Relph, Executive Director

Global Ocean Forum
Indumathie Hewawasam, Director
Richard F. Delaney, President of Board of Directors

Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)
Dr. Toste Tanhua, Co-Chair

Global Ocean Trust
Torsten Thiele, Founder

Hakai Institute / Tula Foundation
Eric Peterson, Director

Hen Mpoano
Stephen Kankam, Deputy Director

Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative
Mas Achmad Santosa, CEO

Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin (IRHOB)
Zacharie Sohou Ph.D., Professor & Director

Institut des sciences de la mer (ISMER) de l'Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)
Guillaume St-Onge, Director

Institute for Climate & Peace
Dr. Kealoha Fox, President

Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California at Santa Cruz
Daniel Costa, Director

Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO-CSIC)
Javier Tomas Ruiz Segura, Director

International Centre for Environmental Education and Community Development (ICENECDEV)
Fongoh Eric, General Coordinator

INVEMAR Colombia
Francisco A. Arias-Isaza, General Director

IRD (French Research Institution for Sustainable Development)
Valerie Verdier, CEO

Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
Dr. Kawano Takeshi, Executive Director

The Jock Clough Marine Foundation
Jock Clough, Trustee

Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST)
Do-Hyung Kang, President

La Zone Bleue
Martin Beaulieu, CEO

Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Bremen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Raimund Bleischwitz, Scientific Director

Live Ocean Foundation
Sally Paterson, Chief Executive

Mar y Comercio
Marilyn S. Valverde Salas, Founder and General Manager

Marine Biological Association
Prof. Willie Wilson, Chief Executive

Marine Conservation Society
Jean-Luc Solandt, Principal Specialist, Marine Protected Areas

Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute
Tony MacDonald, Director

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Chris Scholin, President and CEO

Nigerian Institute for Oceanography And Marine Research
Nubi Olubunmi Ayoola, Assistant Director

Amélie Desrochers, CEO

Ocean Born Foundation
Carolina Manhusen Schwab, Co-Founder and President

Ocean Community Associação
Susanne Wedin-Schildt, President

Ocean Conservation Trust, Ltd.
Roger Maslin, CEO

Ocean Data Network
Cooper Van Vranken, Founder & CEO

The Ocean Foundation
Mark J. Spalding, President

The Ocean Institute, Sorbonne University
Christophe Prazuck, Director

Ocean Ledger
Paige Roepers, CEO

Ocean Networks Canada
Kate Moran, President & CEO

The Ocean Race
Richard Brisius, Race Chairman

Ocean Solutions Indonesia (OSI)
M. Zulficar Mochtar, Founder and CEO

Ocean Warrior
Jim McNeill, Explorer and Founder

Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation
Robert Calcagno, CEO

James Simon, President

James Horton, Co-founder & CTO

Oceans Alive Conservation Trust
Colin Levin, CEO

One Ocean Foundation
Jan Hans Georg Pachner, Secretary General

The Pacific Community (SPC)
Dr. Jerome Aucan, Head, Pacific Community Center for Ocean Science

Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO)
Sophie Seeyave, CEO

Planet Tracker
François Mosnier, Head of Oceans Programme

Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Icarus Allen, Chief Executive

Pontifical Academy of Sciences, The Vatican
Prof. Joachim von Braun, President
Cardinal Peter Turkson, Chancellor

Project Seagrass
Leanne Cullen-Unsworth, CEO

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Han Dolman, Director

Rumah Foundation
Kathlyn Tan, Director

Rutgers University, Department of Marine and Coastal Science
Oscar Schofield, Chair

Scottish Association for Marine Science
Prof. Nicholas J. P. Owens, Executive Director

Sea-Bird Scientific
Robert Ellison, Director, Research & Development

Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Department of Oceanography
Dr. Subrata Sarker, Assistant Professor and Department Head

Simply Blue Group
Val Cummins, Chief Impact Officer

Surfers Against Sewage
Giles Bristow, CEO

TechWorks Marine
Charlotte O’Kelly, Managing Director

Tridel Technologies
Balakrishnan Manoharan, Regional Director

Universidade do Algarve
Maria Alexandra Anica Teodósio, Vice-Rector

Universidade Santa Cecília (UNISANTA)
Profa. Dra. Silvia Teixeira Penteado, Rector
Prof. Dr. Fabio Giordano

Universisty of Calabar, Nigeria
Prof. Francis Emile Asuquo, Director, Marine Atmosphere and Coastal Ocean Research Network (MACORN-UNICAL)

University of Ghana, Department of Marine and Fisheries Science
Dr. Benjamin Osei Botwe, Department Head
Dr. Edem Mahu, Senior Lecturer

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Michael E. Sieracki, Professor and Director

University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography
Paula Bontempi, Dean

UWA Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia
Christophe Gaudin, Director

Virginia Institute of Marine Science
D, Derek Aday, Dean and Director

Washington Ocean Acidification Center
Jan Newton, Senior Principal Oceanographer & Professor

Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Chris Butler-Stroud, CEO

World Economic Forum, Friends of Ocean Action and Ocean Action Agenda
Alfredo Giron, Head

World Ocean Council
Paul Holthaus, Founding President and CEO

Xiamen University, Marine Science
Dr. Fei Chai, Chair Professor

XPRIZE Foundation
Peter Houlihan, Executive Vice President, Biodiversity & Conservation

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