Photo credit:Grant Thomas / Ocean Image Bank

One main goal of the ECOP Programme is to connect ECOPs around the world, establishing a network of networks. The concept of the Early Career Ocean Professional Day (ECOP Day) is aiming to engage ECOPs from all around the world and from a variety of professional disciplines to showcase their ocean-related work, activities, and contributions to the UN Ocean Decade.

We would like to better integrate ECOP led initiatives in the mainstream processes of the UN Ocean Decade. Additionally, the ECOP Day is allowing us to facilitate integration of many new individuals, organizations, and groups into the existing ecosystem of ECOPs. The ECOP Day offers visibility for less well-known groups and communities, fostering potential for improved innovation in the ocean community.

In 2021, the ECOP Day was organized virtually and thus named ‘Virtual Early Career Ocean Professional Day (V.ECOP Day). It started on June 1, 2021, as a 24-hour livestream event following the sun around the world.

The V.ECOP Day was organized by the German Marine Research Consortium in cooperation with the ECOP Programme and was supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the European Commission, IOC-UNESCO, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and ESRI Deutschland as an officially endorsed UN Ocean Decade Activity.

More than 200 unique ECOPs from around over 40 countries, including representatives of some indigenous communities (e.g., Hawaii, Fiji), showcased their activities, work, and projects contributing to the UN Ocean Decade’s vision, mission, and goals. In total over 2000 participants logged in to the event from over 80 countries. Presentations were organized in 6 time slots.

You can find more information on the V.ECOP Day here.

Main outcomes which arose from the V.ECOP Day are:

A Story Map highlighting the ideas of young scientists and activists around the world for how to better understand, interact and protect the ocean. 

Summary Videos showcasing some highlights of the V.ECOP Day

ECOP Asia survey

ECOP Asia conducted an online survey among ECOPs in the region during May 17-26, 2021, to explore the interests and awareness of ECOPs towards the UN Ocean Decade, the barriers they face, and the resources they need to support their various activities (research, outreach, science communication, networking, etc.).

Here are the results of the online survey, showing that most ECOPs in Asia are aware of the UN Ocean Decade and that out of the seven UN Ocean Decade outcomes, they are primarily interested in (i) “A predicted ocean”, (ii) “A healthy and resilient ocean”, and (iii) “A productive Ocean”.

The main barriers they face include a lack of funding and career opportunities, and also the relative absence of a community and network in the context of the UN Ocean Decade. The resources that ECOPs in Asia are in particular need of revolving around more funding as well as project, job, and training opportunities.

ECOP Asia plans to communicate and share upcoming opportunities for ECOPs under this portal website.

The UN Ocean Decade is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and the first global campaign to catalyze transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development. Thus, each ECOP Day will be linked to the official International Conferences of the UN Ocean Decade for Sustainable Development.

We are looking very much forward to future ECOP Days and connecting with you!

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