The Ocean Decade – proposed priority areas for Norwegian efforts

As the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development starts this January, a proposal has been prepared for priority areas where Norwegian efforts can have the greatest possible significance.

An expert group appointed by the Research Council has proposed ten areas to be prioritised. The proposed priority areas are:

  1. Climate and environment interactions
  2. Holistic ocean governance
  3. Healthy and safe seafood for all
  4. Renewable energy from the ocean
  5. Environmentally friendly maritime transport
  6. An ocean of data
  7. Who owns the ocean?
  8. Keeping the Arctic as one
  9. Global ocean economy and development aid
  10. Everyone understands the ocean!


The expert group comprised:

  • Peter Haugan (chair), Institute of Marine Research and the University of Bergen
  • Arne Fredheim, SINTEF Ocean and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Stål Heggelund, Federation of Norwegian Industries
  • Fredrik Myhre, World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Linda Nøstbakken, NHH Norwegian School of Economics (now Statistics Norway)
  • Magnar Pedersen, Nofima
  • Marit Reigstad, UiT The Arctic University of Norway and principal investigator of the Nansen Legacy
  • Elana Wilson Rowe, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Nord University

The Research Council of Norway's Ocean Secretariat is responsible for coordinating and following up Norwegian efforts related to the Decade of Ocean Science. The Ocean Secretariat established the expert group in 2019 tasked with proposing priority areas in which Norwegian efforts could have the greatest possible impact for the Decade of Ocean Science.
Input from research institutions, the public administration, non-profit organisations and private individuals has been considered and incorporated during the process.

The Research Council of Norway will use the proposal for prioritising research efforts and expect that ministries and administrative authorities, research environments, business and industry, non-profit organisations and others who are interested in the ocean, will do the same.