UNESCO’S IOCARIBE Group Issues Recommendations Following Meeting at University of Miami

IOCARIBE 2011 delegation

MIAMI — (June 17, 2011) — The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (IOCARIBE) met at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science this past month.  More than 20 delegates discussed ocean issues that are crucial to the Caribbean’s long-term economic and environmental progress, including coastal zone management, climate change, harmful algal blooms, ocean observing systems and coastal warning systems.  Discussions highlighted the interconnectedness of the oceans and how important it is to collaborate regionally as well as globally in maintaining their health.

As a result of their four days of deliberations, the IOCARIBE delegates achieved consensus upon a number of significant recommendations including:

  • To fully support Global Marine Assessment and establish the baseline condition of the marine environment in the region;
  • That data management, integration, analysis and synthesis for decision making are the priorities for capacity building in the IOCARIBE region;
  • To collaboratively compile an updated bathymetry for the region because the data are critical for coastal zone management and enhancing resiliency to coastal hazards like tsunamis and storm surge flooding;
  • To continue to support the development of an IOCARIBE Global Ocean Observing System by establishing national committees in all member states.

“We were honored to be given the opportunity to host and participate in so significant a meeting that focuses on an area that is a geographic focus for NOAA’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS),” said Dr. Peter Ortner, UM Professor and Director of CIMAS, which is based at UM’s Rosenstiel School. “The efforts of the IOC and the strong partnerships it fosters are essential to advancing the ocean science needed throughout the Caribbean to assure sustainable development, particularly in the context of global climate change.”

In 1982 The Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, was created in November 1982.  Its purpose is to carry out the IOC global programmes on a regional basis for the Greater Caribbean. For more information visit

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School and CIMAS
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit and

unesco •  management •  discussion •  environmental •  coastal •  iocaribe •