Professor Richard Haigh was an invited panel expert for The Royal Society’s ‘The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development – science we need for the ocean we want’ initiative, which published a report on how the UK can make a successful research contribution to the Ocean Decade. Further information and a copy of the report can be accessed at: https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/publications/2021/ocean-decade-workshop/
The initiative seeks to strengthen international collaboration to build a shared framework, across the science-policy interface, for the sustainable management of global oceans for the benefit of humanity.
In October 2020, the Royal Society’s Global Environmental Research Committee hosted a virtual workshop, which brought together representatives of the UK’s ocean research, policy and funding community to discuss how the UK can make a successful research contribution to the Ocean Decade. Professor Haigh contributed to presentations, panels and group discussions, which helped identify priority research areas to provide advice to funding organisations, Government, and research institutions. His contributions drew upon findings from the Newton Fund supported work on enhancing disaster preparedness, the role of human activity and land use changes alongside climate pressures on ecosystem services, and developing, assessing and implementing human and nature-based solutions to the impacts of sea level rise.
In June 2021, the Royal Society published a report that presents a detailed overview of the workshop discussions. It is accompanied by a short synthesis of the high-level findings of the workshop. The report identifies priority research areas that were designed through an iterative process. Research needed to support policy, and fundamental research questions were used to create four holistic and broad priority areas through which future UK research can begin to address the Ocean Decade. These are:
1. Connecting the deep sea to society to support sustainable development.
2. Accelerating participatory solutions to the rapid changes facing coral coast ecosystems and dependent communities.
3. Improving our capacity to understand and predict sea level rise and its extremes to enable sustainable adaptation.
4. Understanding, forewarning, and mitigating the impacts of multiple pressures on marine ecosystems and the services they provide.