The Southern Ocean Process

How is the Plan being developed ?

Based on the recommendations in the global Ocean Decade implementation plan, the Southern Ocean Community engaged in a stakeholder-oriented process to develop the Southern Ocean Action Plan. 

Coordinated by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Southern Ocean Task Force launched a series of workshops & meetings to identify key research priorities for the Southern Ocean – the first of which was held in February 2020 in San Diego (USA). The full report of this first workshop can be found here

During the first semester of 2021, stakeholders will engage in an open survey to provide input on the activities and contributions that should be developed in the context of the Decade. Working Groups will then be set-up for each of the Decade’s Societal Outcomes. Here, Antarctic challenges will be identified to develop concrete strategies to achieve the Decade’s mission. The input from each Working Group will be synthesised into a Draft Southern Ocean Action Plan, which will then be jointly consulted by all stakeholders. 

The process will culminate at the Second Southern Ocean Regional Workshop, held from 20-22 September 2021 in The Hague (NL)*, which will bring forward a community consensus on how the Southern Ocean Community will engage within the Ocean Decade Framework. Following the 2nd Workshop, the Task Force will review and finalize the Southern Ocean Action Plan, which will be made available on this website in due course.

The development process of the Southern Ocean Action Plan aims to engage a broad community spanning from the scientific research community, to the business and industry sector, and governance and management bodies.

* Note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the format of the Second Southern Ocean Regional Workshop might be adjusted and transformed into a (semi-)online set-up.