100 days, 100% for the ocean
SDG Bergen kickstarted the UN Ocean Decade through a 100 day communications experiment. Giving it 100% for the ocean, showing various examples of ocean science and ocean science diplomacy.
The High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy presented its final report in December 2020 with the slogan giving it 100 per cent for the ocean. This was a perfect way to create attention for SDG14, Life Below Water, and the ocean, with 14 of the world’s leading ocean nations committing to a range of measures to save our ocean. Just in time for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Creating ocean science awareness
“Using this as the start and end point of a 100 day series, we thought this might be a humble contribution to create and build awareness of the challenges the ocean faces and how science can contribute to inform policy-makers in the Ocean Decade,” says Sverre Ole Drønen, who is the science-policy communications adviser for SDG Bergen at the University of Bergen.
The University of Bergen has long traditions in ocean science and education. In 2018, the university was named as the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) SDG14 Hub. Also, the university took on a leadership role for the International Association of Universities (IAU) SDG14 Cluster, bringing together a consortium of ten world-leading marine universities.
“We wanted to build on our previous experience, starting at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference and followed by numerous side events at high-level meetings as well as giving direct advice to governments and the UN system,” says Drønen.
Combining science with communications
A regular feature of all SDG Bergen activity has been the combination of scientific advice and communication, with the aim of communicating research to a broader audience, including policy-makers.
“Taking this science-policy communication further, we conducted this as a communications experiment consisting of 100 tweets presenting a broad range of ocean science, ocean science diplomacy, ocean reports and generally building global impact for local knowledge,” Drønen says.
As well as using the standard #OceanDecade hashtag, the series was also fitted with the hashtag #sdg14bsa (short for SDG14 Bergen Science Advice) to make it easily available as a historical reference to the Ocean Decade. In total the tweets, comments and other activities contributed to more than 400,000 viewings during the 100 day period.