Renewing ICES commitment to being a world leading marine science organization, ICES President Fritz Köster has launched the new ICES Strategic Plan.
Speaking at ICES Headquarters in Copenhagen to an audience that included members of fisheries and environmental commissions and representatives of ICES member countries, Köster explained that, “To achieve our vision, ICES must meet societal needs for impartial evidence on the state and sustainable use of our seas and oceans. We will do this through close cooperation between our science, advisory, and data programmes, strengthening collaboration with regional and global partners across various scientific disciplines, and and by developing our education and training programme to broaden and strengthen our
science base. Thus advancing the scientific understanding of marine ecosystems and generating state of the art advice for conservation, management, and sustainability goals".
At the heart of the Strategic Plan is a commitment to facilitate science for sustainable seas. This also means developing and implementing innovative technologies to collect, process, and manage essential data so that relevant knowledge can be generated and transferred to our advice process, ultimately providing evidence that informs responsible decision-making.
Cooperation is also central to this plan. ICES has long facilitated scientific collaborations through our international network and we continue to contribute to the global ocean agenda through our work methods, approaches, scientific standards and methods, data policy, and operational data products.
Highlighting the recent achievement of being granted observer status at the United Nations (UN), Anne Christine Brusendorff, ICES General Secretary, points out that, “We are a successful international science community because we are people from diverse disciplines working together to accomplish shared goals. And we will continue to strengthen our partnerships on the global and regional level".
Alongside the Strategic Plan, the new ICES Science Plan “Marine ecosystem and sustainability science for the 2020s and beyond" was also launched. This defines ICES scientific priorities and a pathway to achieve them. By implementing the science plan, ICES seeks to generate marine science with a high and beneficial impact on society, supporting the vision and mission of ICES and the commitments in the Strategic Plan.
Simon Jennings, ICES Science Committee Chair, described to the audience the science that ICES would be prioritising to advance understanding of marine ecosystems, improve assessments of the effects of human activities, improve observation and monitoring, and provide evidence and solutions to support conservation and management.
Jennings explained that the science plan was developed through a consultative process. "We drew on expertise throughout the ICES network and constituent bodies, a review of scientific priorities of member countries, and a review of national and international policy drivers and science opportunities for ICES. Guided by both plans, ICES community will work to increase the visibility of, and access to, our science, data, and advice, and to strengthen links between science and advice. Collectively, these actions will further the organization's capacity to provide authoritative and impartial insight and advice into the status and sustainable use of our seas and oceans."
ICES launches a new Strategic Plan and supporting Science Plan to guide the organization into the 2020s.