AXA and UNESCO Announce the Laureates of the Ocean Decade Joint Call for Fellows on Coastal Livelihood


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Eight innovative postdoctoral research projects will strengthen science-based intervention in the area of coastal livelihood preservation and resilience, following a joint call for fellows launched by AXA & UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission launched in the context of the Ocean Decade.

Accelerating Science to Answer Coastal Livelihood Challenges

Over 40% of the world’s population live in coastal areas which are increasingly exposed to climate risks, and three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.  Urgent innovative adaptation solutions are needed to face the many and diverse challenges to people and the ecosystems in these areas. Research is critical to better understand, anticipate and mitigate the risks related to our coasts and to help preserve the livelihoods and ecosystems that depend on them. Today, barely 2% of scientific research funding is allocated by national states to ocean-related research,[1] which is instrumental in the design of adequate preservation actions.

In response to the Ocean Decade Call for Actions N° 02/2021 AXA, through the AXA Research Fund, has committed 1M€ to fund 8 postdoctoral fellowships in the area of coastal livelihood preservation and resilience through a Joint Call for Projects.

Ahead of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference that will take place in Lisbon from June 27 to July 1, 2022, we are delighted to announce the transformative postdoctoral projects whose research will address flooding, tsunami risk, sustainable fisheries and the involvement of local communities in the development of adaptation strategies.  

"The outstanding scientists selected from the Joint AXA- IOC-UNESCO Call for projects will carry out transformational research that will help better inform decision-making for true impact on the futures of coastal populations and ecosystems.” said Marie Bogataj, Head of the AXA Research Fund and Group Foresight.

"This co-branded Call for Decade Actions with the AXA Research Fund is a perfect illustration of how the UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030 is bringing together diverse stakeholders, from the private sector, science and governments, into a collective effort to co-design and co-deliver knowledge for the ocean we want," said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Discover the 8 Research Projects

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About the IOC of UNESCO

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. 

About the Ocean Decade

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.

About the AXA Research Fund

The AXA Research Fund was launched in 2008 to address the most important issues facing our planet. Its 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 funding and supported nearly 700 research projects in the areas of health, climate & environment, and socio-economics.

June 8, 2022

[1] IOC-UNESCO, Global Ocean Science Report 2020

Photo: Peter Fazekas/ Pexels