Over 40% of the world’s population lives in coastal areas and three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. By 2050, an estimated 800 million people will be at risk of storm surge and over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face a sea level rise of at least 0.5 meters.
As ocean health declines, the profile of hazards, exposure and vulnerability will change, likely creating more uncertainty and further risks for the stability of many countries. That is why it is critical to build resilience and protect oceans with the global financial community, governments and civil society having an important role to play to drive systemic change in a system that places a value on nature.
AXA as a global insurer and a leader in the field of corporate action for climate change is joining UNESCO, via its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, to align actions with and support the vision and goals of the UN Decade for Ocean Science and Sustainable Development (2021-2030), known as the Ocean Decade.
AXA XL, a division of AXA Group, has already been engaged with UNESCO’s IOC since 2020 through the “Ocean Risk Initiative”, developing a toolkit for governments to help increase ocean literacy across the world.
Today AXA is extending its engagement with the IOC and coming onboard the Ocean Decade through a joint project with the AXA Research Fund, its global scientific philanthropy initiative on key societal challenges. The AXA Research Fund has earmarked 1M € to support 8 transformative postdoctoral research projects in the area of coastal livelihood preservation as part of the Ocean Decade. This call for research projects, which has been co-developed with the Ocean Decade Coordination Unit, forms a central part of the Ocean Decade Call for Actions No. 02/2021 which is soliciting research and solutions initiatives from around the world to meet challenges related to climate adaptation and mitigation, marine pollution and ecosystem management.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26 and the launch year of the UN Ocean Decade offer a unique opportunity for the world to take a stand and make a step change both in how we treat the ocean and its resources and how we invest to protect its biodiversity and the lives and livelihoods of those who depend upon it.
« Research is critical to understanding evolution of the ocean and taking the right actions to preserve the livelihoods and ecosystems that depend on it – both of humans and nature. Our partnership with IOC-UNESCO aims to support transformational research in the area of coastal livelihoods and disseminate findings to better inform decision-making for true impact.” said Marie Bogataj, Head of the AXA Research Fund and Group Foresight.
“We are thrilled to announce this collaboration with the AXA Research Fund as part of the Ocean Decade Call for Actions. With its focus on coastal resilience and early career researchers this initiative is contributing to two major priorities of the Ocean Decade and we look forward to receiving a wide range of transformative solutions-oriented research projects from around the world.” said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), entity responsible for the global coordination of the Ocean Decade.
Expression of interestOctober 15th, 2021 – November 8th, 2021, 4 PM CEST
Full applicationNovember 17th, 2021 – December 14th, 2021, 4 PM CEST
RebuttalMarch 1st, 2022 – March 6th, 2022, Noon CEST
Results announcementEnd of May 2022
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.
Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the Ocean Decade seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’, providing a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
The AXA Research Fund was launched in 2008 to address the most important issues facing our planet. Its philanthropic mission is to support scientific research in key areas related to risk and to help inform science-based decision-making in both the public and private sectors.
Since its launch, the AXA research Fund has committed a total of €250M to scientific philanthropy and supported 665 research projects in the areas of Health, Climate & Environment, and Socioeconomics. This makes the AXA Research Fund a unique initiative in the financial sector in terms of mission and level of support to scientific research.
October 15, 2021