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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

Full steam ahead for the Ocean Decade Regional Marine Science Conference

Towards achieving the goal of the 2nd UN Ocean Decade Regional Conference & 11th WESTPAC International Marine Science Conference (Hereinafter referred to “ the Conference”) which will take place in 22-25 April 2024, the IOC Sub-Commission convened a joint preparatory meeting of the Conference International Steering Committee (ISC) and National Organizing Committee (NOC) on 14-15 December at the venue of the Conference in Bangkok Thailand.

As the abstract submission closed on 12th December, more than 1400 participants have pre-registered, and 830 abstracts have been received for the 25 Scientific Sessions and the South China Sea Special Forum, marking a new record in the history of the International Marine Science Conference in the region.

The NOC of Thailand led by the national agency-Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR),  consisting of various universities and institutions in Thailand, introduced the overall preparatory status, including the conference registration status, abstract submissions for the 25 Scientific Sessions and SCS Special Forum, preparations of the 11 Ocean Decade Incubators and 13 Ocean Decade Workshops, publication opportunities with scientific journals, and other logistic arrangements.

The ISC composed of international ocean experts from member states in the region, conducted a site inspection for conference venue and facilities, and further shared their pertinent opinions and constructive suggestions on every aspect of the preparations, ranging from conference program development, meeting room arrangement, to all conveners’ immediate actions and important timelines. The ISC were also briefed on the need, and their respective roles in the process for the selection of travel grant recipients, WESTPAC Young Scientist Best Oral and Poster Presentation Award 2024, and the nomination of the WESTPAC Outstanding Scientist Award 2024.  

The in-depth operational and strategic discussions over the two days led to a series of immediate actions to be undertaken by all parties concerned, including the abstract review by conveners by 27 December 2023, confirmation of participation by authors of accepted abstracts no later than 25 Jan 2024, and closure of registration and finalization of the conference programme in early March 2024.  The two Committees finally deliberated on the conference outcomes, and expressed their support and satisfaction over the engagement of the Early Career and Mid-Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs and MCOPs).

Four months ahead of the Conference, the preparatory meeting really paved the way for a successful and impactful event in the region which is expected to accelerate ocean science solutions for sustainable development!

For more latest information on the Conference, please find it on the official website.