Ocean Cities Network (OC-NET) – one of the programs of the Ocean Decade – is a network of coastal cities committed to sustainability, permeability, and the regeneration of natural marine environments, in collaboration with their populations. It is an interdisciplinary and bottom-up transformative program that aims to change how coastal cities and their inhabitants perceive, interact, and coexist with the ocean, from the surrounding waters to our global marine ecosystem.

OC-NET combines scientific knowledge, research synergies, and social awareness to effectively impact the city’s evolution and the ocean’s sustainability. The network covers five ocean basins and three enclosed seas. As such, it will be a global program covering most of the coastal countries.

© Unsplash – Benjamín Gremler


● To establish the ‘ocean dimension’.

● To cultivate a new relationship between coastal cities and the ocean and seamlessly integrate it into the daily lives of citizens.

● Citizens have an enhanced awareness of the essential role of the marine environment in their daily lives.

This initiative starts at local nodes, extends into regional networks, and culminates in a global assembly of cities.

UN Ocean Decade

On 5 December 2017, the United Nations declared that a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development would be held from 2021 to 2030. The Ocean Decade provides a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


The Steering Committee: The central coordination of OC-NET is done by the Institut de Ciències del Mar, located in Barcelona, in collaboration with the United Nations Coordination Units and a scientific committee. Its main objective is the overall management and monitoring of the program.


Advisory board: This board advises the Steering Committee to identify science-based strategies, analyse scientific and societal gaps, supervise progress, identify resources, and promote collaborations.

· Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Spain.

· Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain.

Secretariats: The programme entails 8 ocean secretariats to cover all the globe’s inhabited oceans. Each secretariat will be in charge of expanding the regional network for a geographical region and will also be responsible for setting the regional coordinating structure.

· North Atlantic Region

· Mediterranean Sea Region

· South Atlantic Region

· Caribbean Region

· Indian Region

· Southeast Asia Region

· North Pacific Region

· South Pacific Region

Civil Society actors: The societal actors are responsible to advise and provide guidance to the central coordination of the programme, including the scientific and societal assessment of deficiencies and potential solutions:

· BaU Design College of Barcelona, Spain

· European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), European Union

· Instituto de Gestión de la Innovación y del Conocimiento (INGENIO), Spain

· La Fura dels Baus, Spain

· Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy

· The European University of the Sea, European Union