The SEA-UNICORN COST action, where EMUNI is represented by Dr Jerneja Penca, recently received the IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary’s official endorsement in the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.

SEA-UNICORN (a short name for the full title of the COST action Unifying Approaches to Marine Connectivity for Improved Resource Management of the Seas) is an initiative that aims at bringing together experts of many different disciplines which complement each other in the field to ecology. The consortium gathers more than 150 scientists and stakeholders from 33 countries working on harmonising and consolidating research efforts on marine functional connectivity.

Connectivity describes how the movement of living organisms and the flow of nutrients and materials are facilitated by the landscape. Marine Functional Connectivity (MFC)  relates to all the movements of marine organisms that result in the exchange of individuals (i.e. species, functional traits, genes or biomass) at sea and at the sea-continent interface.

Traditionally, Marine Functional Connectivity enjoyed a variety of species-specific approaches. This is why SEA-UNICORN’s interdisciplinary approach is unique. It is hoped that such efforts will offer policy-relevant knowledge for use of policy-makers to take science-based decisions on resource management, thus ensuring sustainable development and conservation strategies for the Seas. In the future, predictive models might help anticipate the movements and responses of marine ecosystems.

EMUNI, with its commitment to knowledge sharing and to the quest for science-based solutions for sustainable development, cherishes the participation of Dr Penca in this initiative and is pleased by the IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary’s endorsement of the SEA-UNICORN. The goal of the Ocean Decade is to catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development. The endorsement of SEA UNICORN, Together with the other endorsed new Decade Actions, is a resounding recognition of SEA-UNICORN’s potential and its role in supporting the Ocean Decade mission.