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 | 17-04-2024

A fresh breeze in the sails of the Ocean Decade

New and old members of the German Committee of the UN Ocean Decade, from left to right: Marja Ritterfeld, Matthias Wunsch (IOC Germany), Dr. Ute Wilhelmsen, Cora Hörstmann, Kim Nierobisch, Prof. Dr. Holger Watter, Gesine Meißner, Nuri Max Steinfeld, Anne-Marie Melster, Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck, Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte, Dr. Alexis Katechakis, Dr. Ulrike Heine (Consultant, ODK), Werner Ekau

Photo: (c) Jan Hansen, ODK


New members and ambassadors of the German Committee of the UN Ocean Decade take office


In 2021, the United Nations has proclaimed the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The German Committee of the Ocean Decade (ODK) is working in Germany to implement the tasks set internationally. The 7 goals that need to be achieved are ambitious: the transformation towards a clean, healthy and resilient, productive, predictable, safe, accessible and inspiring ocean is to be initiated by 2030.


The up to 15 members of the ODK are appointed for a period of three years and work on a voluntary basis. They come from science, business, non-governmental organizations, administration and politics as well as foundations. In mid-January 2024, the first team will be rotated out and new members will take up their work. We are delighted that our Managing Director and marine biologist Dr. Alexis Katechakis has been appointed to the committee and will be able to contribute his knowledge and expertise to the joint work over the next three years:

"Our oceans are suffering - from overheating, acidification, overfishing, overfertilization, pollution - in short, from our negligent treatment of them. We must finally recognize the valuable ecosystem services they provide for us and that we are dependent on intact oceans. Together with my colleagues, I would like to sensitize and activate business, politics and civil society for a new, healthy and sustainable approach to our oceans, with a special focus on the goals of a clean, productive and inspiring ocean."

(Dr. Alexis Katechakis)


The German Committee of the UN Ocean Decade 2024-2027 is made up of Antje Boetius, Stefan Bülow, Cornelius Eich, Karin Kammann-Klippstein, Alexis Katechakis, Steffen Knodt, Anne-Marie Melster, Kim Nierobisch, Marja Ritterfeld, Susanne Stampf-Sedlitzky, Nuri Max Steinmann, Martin Visbeck, Holger Watter, Ute Wilhelmsen and Nadja Ziebarth.

In future, the new crew will be supported by eight public figures. As ambassadors, they will use targeted communication to help raise public awareness of issues relating to marine conservation and research. The ODK was able to recruit professional sailor Boris Herrmann, future shaper and founder Monika Griefahn, marine biologist and author Julia Schnetzer, journalist Lars Abromeit, polar explorer and author Arved Fuchs, lawyer Anna von Rebay, extreme sportsman André Wiersig and Björn Both, frontman of the band "Santiano" and sailor, as testimonials.  

Over the past three years, the German Committee of the Ocean Decade has supported projects in the field of education and promoting young talent, encouraged better links between business and science within the framework of the Ocean Decade, provided political advice and developed concrete initiatives with 80 network partner institutions.

Further information on the UN Ocean Decade website and on LinkedIn.