National Decade Committees share experiences and challenges at the WESTPAC-XIV
‘What is the current development status of the National Decade Committees (NDCs) in the region?’
‘How could the NDCs better help promote and support the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development?’
These questions and others came up in mainstream discussions at a special side event during the 14th Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (4–7 April 2023, Jakarta).
The National Decade Committee (NDC) is an essential element of the UN Ocean Decade (2021–2023) coordinating framework, and it is supposed to play an instrumental role in engaging national stakeholders and facilitating national contributions to the UN Ocean Decade, as well as promote greater general awareness and interest.
To facilitate the Member States in the region to share their experiences and lessons learnt in the course of NDC development, the IOC Sub-Commission organized a side event during the 14th Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (4–7 April 2023, Jakarta, Indonesia), to share and facilitate dialogue among Member States about NDCs’ development and their activities, to identify their challenges and opportunities, and to make further suggestions to the Decade Coordination Unit and the Decade Coordination Office in the region on how to enhance Decade Decade coordination at regional and national levels.
Updated with the global NDC development, participants in the side event were also briefed on the development of NDCs in six countries in the region, namely China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the USA, including a review of their respective structures, functions, operations, challenges, and opportunities.
It is evident that the NDCs’ nature, structure and operation varies greatly from one country to another, due primarily to their possessing different ocean governance settings. Great challenges remaining for all NDCs were also identified, including how the endorsement value of the Decade Action could be recognized at national level and relevant NDC; what incentives could be given to Decade Actions; how to attract and engage diverse stakeholders into the Ocean Decade, among them industries, ECOPs, and NGOs, as well as diverse disciplines of academia, policy-makers, and government agencies. Meanwhile, how to secure financial and human resources for NDCs, and the limited awareness of financial authorities as well as the public, including ocean-science stakeholders, and the Ocean Decade as a whole, were also raised as common concerns by all event participants.
Despite a long way for NDCs to go, participants expressed that it useful to gather NDCs together on a regular basis to assist in their development and eventually to accelerate the development of UN Ocean Actions in the region.
For further information about the NDC, please refer to the National Decade Committees Operational Guideline (2021).
For more background on the NDCs Forum, please find its Concept Note here.
This is a slightly adapted version of a news item that first appeared at:
Photo credit: Nok Lek Travel Lifestyle/shutterstock