Scientific progress requires building of peer communities. Within the IOC context we can identify subject-specific communities (e.g. IODE, HAB, GOOS, Marine Policy and Regional Coordination,…) that are generally of global geographic focus, but also regional communities such as Regional Committees (IOCINDIO, BSRC) and IOC Sub-Commissions (IOCAFRICA, IOCARIBE, WESTPAC).
IOC has a long tradition of capacity development coordination and implementation through its Sub-Commissions and Regional Committees. More information is provided in addendum, section III. Targeted actions under this expected output will therefore focus mainly on the strengthening of these regional bodies and their secretariats as well as their linkages with the global programmes (enabling collaboration between different levels of communities of practice). In addition the current Global Ocean Science Report project should make a major contribution to understanding capacity needs at regional and national levels.
In addition to the strengthening of regional (country to country) collaboration there is a need for closer national (within the country) collaboration, especially within the context of IOC programmes. While some Member States have established national oceanographic committees or coordinating bodies for this purpose, many still have not done so. It is furthermore recommended to establish these bodies at the highest possible government level in order to ensure governmental commitment and associated resources.
In addition to intra-regional cooperation IOC could establish inter-regional cooperation between the Sub-Commissions and Regional Committees, in order to promote sharing of expertise, experience and knowledge.
The IOC Sub-Commission mechanism is an effective bottom-to-top governance mechanism that enables Member States to closely work together at the regional level. The mechanism is highly dependent on an efficient secretariat that ensures effective communication streams between the Member States and coordination, implementation and monitoring of activities. IOC should strengthen the secretariats of the Sub-Commissions to ensure they are adequately staffed (both in terms of staff number and competencies). It is recommended that staffing provided by IOC should be supplemented through secondments by Member States or by organizations cooperating with IOC.
Taking into account the important role of the IOC sub-commissions and the fact that the majority of IOC Member States belong to one of the three sub-commissions, it is essential that the IOC operational budget adequately reinforces the sub-commissions to provide this core function to Member States. In addition sufficient extra-budgetary funding should be mobilized to enable full implementation of work plans.
The “One Ocean" principle challenges the IOC and its Member States to promote an integrated approach to ocean science and management at national, regional and global levels. The IOC should enhance close interaction and communication among global and regional programmes as a requirement for successful programme implementation and capacity building, facilitated, as appropriate, through mechanisms established by the Executive Secretary.