Ocean Decade Action: Exploring the dead zones of the ocean

On World Ocean Day in June 2021, a unique Norwegian-Pacific PhD Scholarship Programme was picked as one of the first 60 Ocean Decade Actions worldwide and one of three Norwegian actions.



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This announcement came as part of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030, which ties in with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on the ocean’s own SDG14 – Life below water.

The University of Bergen and the University of South Pacific partnered for the interdisciplinary Norway-Pacific Ocean Climate (N-POC) Scholarship Programme, which will see 24 PhDs from Pacific island states educated on the ocean-climate nexus. N-POC was financed directly by Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Norhed II programme administered by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

  • In the video above, PhD Candidate Miriam Ladstein at the University of Bergen and a member of the Bergen Pacific Studies group speaks about the N-POC programme.

When the announcement of the set of Ocean Decade Actions was made on World Ocean Day, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission at UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) wrote that there are currently close to 500 ocean dead zones covering more than 245,000 km² globally. The excess nitrogen can also stimulate the proliferation of seaweeds and microorganisms that cause algal blooms.

Based on this the chosen actions will lead transformational changes on climate change impacts and advance the fight against marine pollution.

There is an ocean out there to discover and explore!