Marine Science Community Came Together at METU to Discuss Türkiye's Contributions to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science!
The international conference, where our country's contributions to the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences were discussed, was held on September 26, 2023, at METU Culture and Convention Center, under the coordination of METU Marine Sciences Institute and with the contributions of the Department of Navigational Hydrography and Oceanography.
At the conference, Turkey's leading marine scientists, experts and Ministry representatives shared the marine science, maritime and ocean literacy activities carried out in Türkiye towards the objectives of the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences with the participants. More than 150 stakeholders from academia to policy makers took part in this event organized within the scope of our university's "100 Events in the 100th Anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye" program.
The day kick-started with opening remarks from the President of the Middle East Technical University, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Verşan Kök, and the President of ONHO, Captain Hakan Kuşlaroğlu. The opening session continued with speeches of Dr. Lt. Cdr. Emre Tükenmez, Head of the Chart Production Department in ONHO, focusing on Türkiye's role and contribution to the Ocean Decade, M. Çağatay Cansız, Head of the Department of the DGMA, TR Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, focusing on the sustainable blue economy policies of our country and Nazan Özyürek, Head of the Department of Marine and Coastal Management of the DGMCM, TR Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change, highlighting efforts towards achieving clean seas and coasts through collaborative initiatives at the Ministry and national levels. Following the presentation of Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO on the Decade of Ocean Sciences, Its Significance and Future Steps, the session concluded with the presentation of Sigi Gruber, former Head of Unit, Health Seas and Oceans, European Commission, in which Ms Gruber explained the initiatives taken towards our common goal of healthy seas and oceans.
The conference continued with thematic sessions moderated by Prof. Dr. Barış SALİHOĞLU, Director of METU Institute of Marine Sciences, Prof. Dr. Cem GAZİOĞLU, Director of Istanbul University Institute of Marine Sciences and Management and Prof. Dr. Bayram OZTURK, President of Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV) where presentations of Türkiye's foremost marine and maritime experts, as well as local and national policymakers, took place.
Closing remarks were given by the host METU IMS and ONHO representatives and participants took the floor to share their comments on both the conference and the science we need for the ocean we want.