We use our own cookies and third parties ones to offer our services and collect statistical data. If you continue browsing the internet you accept them. More information


Scientific challenges for a healthy ocean from the university students’ perspective

The United Nations has established ocean health as a strategic global goal, and has declared this decade as the Ocean Decade. It has also identified specific challenges to be met on a global scale. At the University of Barcelona, a team of young students has opened a dialogue to address some of the main challenges challenging ocean sciences, with the aim of stimulating the exchange of inter-university visions and acquiring new knowledge with scientific references in the world of underwater sustainability.

This was the focus of the meeting held in the Aula Magna of the UB’s Historic Building on 9 April, as one of the UN-recognised “satellite events” taking place parallelly and complementing the official programme of the 2024 UN Ocean Decade Conference, the international meeting that will make Barcelona the world capital of the oceans from 10 to 12 April, and which will be attended by some 1,500 participants.

This session has been a successful initiative to bring the scientific spirit of the international conference to the UB, which will be officially held at the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB). The event is promoted by Professor Isabel Cacho, coordinator of the Consolidated Research Group Marine Geosciences, from the Faculty of Earth Sciences, and Professor Raül Ramos, from the Seabird Ecology Group of the Faculty of Biology and the UB’s Biodiversity Research Institute (IRBio). Professor Conxita Àvila, from the Marine Biodiversity and Evolution (MBE) research group and member of the Faculty of Biology and IRBio, is also collaborating.

Dialogue and debate among future ocean science experts

Under the title “Reptes del Decenni de l’Oceà: una perspectiva de la pròxima generació d’experts en ciències oceàniques”, the conference brought together nearly fifty students from different universities who are at different stages of their academic training —graduate, master’s, doctoral, postdoctoral, etc.—, eleven of whom were students of the degree in Marine Sciences, the master’s degree in Oceanography and Marine Environmental Management, and the UB’s doctoral programme in Marine Sciences. Students from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, the Catholic University of Valencia, the University of Cadiz, the University of Vigo, the University of Alicante, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the University of Gdansk (Poland) and the University of Algarve (Portugal) also took part in the initiative.

The students were actively involved in the scientific debate through a series of dynamic and participatory discussions, focusing on the ten challenges of the Ocean Decade, which addresses several challenges: marine pollution, protection of biodiversity, sustainable food for the entire population, the role of the blue economy, observations, risks and mitigation of the effects of climate change, among others.

“One of the most interesting aspects of the activity we have organised at the UB is that it offers young students the possibility of having their own space to present their opinions and concerns about ocean challenges, and in an international inter-university context in which they are not familiar, with the guidance of a leading professional, Oihane Cabeza Basurko, winner of the Banco Sabadell Foundation Award for Marine Sustainability 2022, who is a specialist in the development of sustainable technologies in the marine environment at the AZTI technology centre in Bilbao”, said Isabel Cacho and Raül Ramos.

This initiative is supported by the UB, the UB’s Faculty of Earth Sciences, the Sabadell Bank Foundation, the company Seastainable Ventures and the organisation Heirs to Our Ocean (H200).

Barcelona, city of oceans

Under the theme “The science we need for the ocean we want”, from 10-12 April, the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference will welcome some 1,500 attendees from around the world. This global forum will address a programme structured in four thematic sessions around the ten Decade of the Ocean Challenges, and will include more than 130 side events in different locations in Barcelona.

This international conference will bring together representatives from governments, scientists, the private and business sectors, NGOs and civil society to engage in an international multidisciplinary dialogue on the major challenges facing ocean science in the context of a climate emergency.

The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference will help establish the roadmap for the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development Intergovernmental by UNESCO, the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council, through the Barcelona Nautical Capital Foundation, the Barcelona Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM) and the Spanish National Committee for the Decade of the Ocean, led by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

Source: UB Press
Picture: The University of Barcelona, with the collaboration of the Banc de Sabadell Foundation, is organizing a dialogue meeting between students from different universities as part of Oceans Week, organized by the UN, in Barcelona.