Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC)

Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC)

The IAEA Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) promotes international collaboration on ocean acidification.  The OA-ICC organizes training courses in Member States and provides access to ocean acidification data and resources to advance ocean acidification research. It promotes the development of data portals, standardized methodology and best practices to study ocean acidification. The OA-ICC works to raise awareness of the issue among various stakeholders and inform about the role that nuclear and isotopic techniques can play in assessing its impacts. To achieve these objectives, the OA-ICC works with many international partners and supports regional ocean acidification networks, including the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network.

Ocean Acidification - Helping to Tackle this Global Threat with Nuclear Techniques

Background

The OA-ICC is an IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative project launched at the UN Rio+20 conference in 2012 following increasing concern from IAEA Member States about ocean acidification. It responds to the need to coordinate, promote and facilitate global ocean acidification activities as expressed by scientists of the Ocean Acidification Working Group of the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) project and the International Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS). The OA-ICC has received direct and in-kind contributions from seven IAEA Member States (Australia, France, Italy (ENEA; the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), Japan, New Zealand, UK and USA) and key international organizations and projects (including SOLAS, IMBER, the UK Ocean Acidification Programme, and the European Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (MedSeA) project of the European Commission).

The goal of the OA-ICC is to act as a hub to communicate, promote and facilitate international activities on ocean acidification that benefit the wider community. The activities can be divided into three categories: science, capacity building and communication. The target audience is not only scientists but any group or individual interested in ocean acidification, such as policy-makers, the media, schools and the general public. The OA-ICC brings together experts to discuss issues of relevance to the global ocean acidification community, organizes training courses, compiles and centralizes information, as well as provides a number of online resources. It benefits from input by prominent ocean acidification researchers and organisations from all corners of the world that are focal points for the various activities.

Major environmental issue of the 21st century

Ocean acidification has emerged as one of the 21st century’s major global threats to marine organisms, ecosystems, and resources and is the specific focus of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14.3. This “other CO2 problem”, still poorly known by the general public, can have potentially dramatic socio-economic consequences for countries depending on marine resources, especially countries with limited possibilities for alternative livelihoods.  As world-wide research activities on ocean acidification and related stressors continue to develop, there is a clear need for effective global scientific cooperation. The OA-ICC is working to build a strong ocean acidification research community across the globe, providing access to training, tools, resources and opportunities for regional and international networking and collaboration, directly supporting Member States in their initiatives to address SDG14.3.

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