Capacity Development for Marine Science, Observations and Services

Project Overview


Rocky shore and sandy beach assessment for marine alien species

The ocean, our common heritage, is key to sustaining all humankind on the planet. It shapes Earth’s climate and influences the distribution of ecosystems, biodiversity, and thus food availability. Humans, however, have put the ocean at risk of irreversible damage by unregulated exploration and development, increasing pollution, climate change and ocean acidification.

Many international fora (World Summit on Sustainable Develop­ment, Rio+20, UN Regular Process) have identified the need to strengthen marine science capacities of developing nations in order to advance sustainable ocean management at all levels.

Responding to the requirements of international instruments and Member States, the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC), rooted in the most densely populated area with significant social and economic reliance on ocean and coasts, is committed to developing and enhancing the capacities of young scientists, institutions and countries in the Western Pacific and adjacent regions for marine scientific research, observations, and services.

In considerations of regional characteristics and common interests of Member States, WESTPAC employs adaptive and self-driven approaches to capacity development with guiding principles to focus on user needs at the regional and national level, to foster North-South and South-South collaboration and to link trainings to the attainment of research goals addressing critical challenges to sustainable development in the region.

The Vision for WESTPAC’s capacity development is to envision a future wherein Member States in the Western Pacific and adjacent regions are empowered with effective governance for a healthy ocean, building on strong scientific understanding and systematic observations of the changing climate and ocean ecosystems, which embodies:

Development of “IOC Regional Network of Training and Research Centers on Marine Science” through the establishment of IOC Regional Training and Research Centers (RTRCs) in national marine research institutes and/or universities, and provision of regular trainings on the specialization focus of these Centers to young scientists mainly from developing nations within and outside the region;
Conduct of a series of topic-specific trainings in Member States on a rotation basis;
“Training Through Research” through the engagement of early career scientists into WESTPAC research programs;
Establishment of “WESTPAC Best Young Scientist Award” and “WESTPAC Young Scientist Travel Grant” to nurture young science leaders and facilitate international exposure of young scientists.

Through this site you will find information and regular updates on capacity development activities of WESTPAC. Detailed information on our capacity development is in the menu items on the left side of this page.