United Nations
Partnership Dialogue 6 - Increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology


Marine science plays an important role in the fisheries management process, including for the adoption of conservation and management measures. Science also has an important role to play in managing other human pressures on the marine environment, including cumulative impacts from local pressures such as pollution, coastal development and resources extraction that act together with global impacts of climate change. Technology can help improve outcomes for many of the targets of SDG 14, for example, to help deliver more efficient and sustainable fishing methods, enhance monitoring and surveillance of fishing activities, facilitate pollution prevention and clean-up, and enhance marine spatial planning. It can also allow for better research and protection of the natural and cultural heritage of the oceans. Therefore, these issues in relations to SDG 14 can be approached from multiple perspectives.

Scientific understanding of the ocean is fundamental to carry out effective management of human activities that affect the marine environment and the biota that it contains. Scientific understanding is also essential to predict or forecast, mitigate and guide the adaptation of societies to cope with many ways the ocean affects human lives and infrastructures at different spatial and temporal scales.

Ocean research and observation activities cover a wide range of interests, sectors, users and uses, and disciplines. All of these activities are of great importance in reaching the goal embedded in UNCLOS to promote the equitable and efficient utilization of ocean resources, the conservation of their living resources, and the study, protection and preservation of the marine environment.

The basis for various maritime industries is a strong marine science and technology capability, and the development of human resources is essential to ensure a better understanding of marine science and technology and their potential. States need to have not only full-time researchers but also technical support staff who services the equipment, computers and ships. Enhancing the skills and the knowledge base of academics, scientists, managers, field practitioners and local communities is critical.

The General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) has consistently called upon States and international financial institutions to continue to strengthen capacity-building activities in the field of marine scientific research by, inter alia, training personnel to develop and enhance relevant expertise, providing the necessary equipment, facilities and vessels and transferring environmentally sound technologies.

UNCLOS, in its Part XIII, provides the legal framework for the conduct of marine scientific research. It requires States and competent international organizations to promote and facilitate the development and conduct of marine scientific research, as well as to promote international cooperation in marine scientific research. UNCLOS also provides for the obligation to make available by publication and dissemination information on proposed major programmes and their objectives as well as knowledge resulting from marine scientific research.

Transfer of marine technology (TMT) is often considered as a tool to support capacity development. Under UNCLOS, Part XIV calls for inter alia all States to cooperate in accordance with their capabilities to promote actively the development and transfer of marine science and marine technology on fair and reasonable terms and conditions in order to help developing countries to access the benefits of oceans and seas. In addition to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the need to facilitate TMT for countries to achieve sustainable use of the oceans and seas and their resources is also recognized by a number of international instruments related to sustainable development.


  • H.E. Ms. Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Iceland
  • H.E. Mr. Héctor Soldi Soldi, Vice Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Peru


  • Mr. Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden


  • Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
  • Mr. Mark Abbott, Director and President, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Ms. Patricia Andrea Miloslavich de Klein, Professor of Simon Bolivar University and University of Tasmania, Venezuela
  • Mr. Amos Barkai, Co-Owner and CEO of OLSPS, South Africa

Registered List of Participants


First preference (speaking slot guaranteed)

  • Finland (M)
  • Portugal (M)
  • United States (CD)
  • Bangladesh (TBD)

Second preference (possible speaking slot)

  • Fiji (M)
  • Somalia (M)
  • Brazil (VM)
  • Canada (CD)
  • China (CD)
  • Monaco (CD)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (CD)
  • United Kingdom (CD)

Other participants and observers

  • Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
  • Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
  • United Nations University
  • World Meteorological Organization
  • China Energy Fund Committee
  • Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative
  • Living Islands Non-Profit
  • World Ocean Council
  • Business and Industry Major Group
Biographies (alphabetical order)
H.E. Mr. Héctor Soldi Soldi
Vice Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Peru
H.E. Mr. Héctor Soldi Soldi

Vice Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Peru

- Vice Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Responsible for designing and implementing National Policies in order to assure the sustainability of our marine and continental resources in matters of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
- Former Secretary-General of Permanent Commission of the South Pacific (CPPS, in Spanish).
- Former President of the Board of the Fisheries Institute of Peru (IMARPE).
- Former Director of Hydrography and Navigation.
- Retired Rear Admiral of Peru’s Navy.
- Former Naval Attaché at the Permanent Mission of Peru to the Organization of American States.

H.E. Ms. Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir
Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture
H.E. Ms. Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture

Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture

Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Iceland Parliamentarian in Vidreisn (e. Reform Party)

Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, on 4 Oct. 1965.

Þorgerður has extensive experience in politics and public administration and has been a key figure in Icelandic politics for nearly two decades.

1993: Degree in law from the University of Iceland 1985: Graduation from the secondary grammar school Menntaskólinn við Sund

Career History

2017- Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture

2016- Parliamentarian in Vidreisn (e. Reform Party)

2013-2016 Director of Education and Innovation, SA (Confederation of Icelandic Employers)

2009-2013: Parliamentarian in the Independence Party; served on the Foreign Affairs Committee 2009-2010, the Health Committee 2010, the Education Committee 2010, the Budget Committee 2010-2011, the EU-Iceland joint Parliamentary Committee 2010- 2013, and the Judicial Affairs and Education Committee 2011-2013.

2004-2009: Minister of Education, Science and Culture

1999-2003: Parliamentarian in the Independence Party for the constituency of Reykjanes; served on the General Committee

1999-2003 as chairman, Education Committee

1999-2003, Transport and Communications Committee 1999-2004, Special Committee on Constitutional Affairs 2000-2003, Industry Committee 2003-, Credentials Committee 2003-, and the Icelandic delegation to the Committee of Members of Parliament of the EFTA countries 1999-2003 (chairman 2003)

1997-1999: Director of the Social and Current Affairs Department at the National Broadcasting Service

1993-1994: Lawyer at Hofdabakki Attorneys

Þorgerður has served as board member and chairman for various public, private, and charity organizations and is passionate about supporting local business and sport. In her downtime she enjoys watching soccer and is an avid supporter of Liverpool F.C. and FH, a local sports team in her hometown of Hafnafjörður. At last but not least horse riding is one of Þorgerður´s life-long interests and she is a proud owner of a number of Icelandic horses.

Mr. Amos Barkai
‎Co-Owner and CEO of OLSPS, South Africa
Mr. Amos Barkai

‎Co-Owner and CEO of OLSPS, South Africa

Dr Amos Barkai is the co-founder and CEO of OLSPS, a company focussed on fisheries research and the development of software solutions for fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance which are currently used on-board hundreds of vessels around the world. Dr Amos Barkai graduated with a B.Sc. from Tel Aviv University and went on to obtained his PhD in Marine Biology at the University Of Cape Town. His PhD work was published in Science Magazine, has been aired by the BBC, and is a regular feature in Marine Ecology textbooks. Dr Barkai received the Oceania group prize for the best scientific publication based on PhD research and in 1989, Dr Barkai received the South African Foundation for Research and Development Award for distinguished postdoctoral scientists.

He participated in the first scientific diving expedition to Marion Island and holds an open sea skipper license and is a qualified scientific diving supervisor.

Dr Barkai has consulted extensively to major fishing groups around the world, focusing in particular on analytical work with complex data sets and the development of specialised commercial databases, software and analytical solutions specifically for the marine sector. In addition Amos has written numerous scientific papers and technical reports on data analysis and management in the context of the commercial fishing sector.

Mr. Johan Kuylenstierna
Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden
Mr. Johan Kuylenstierna

Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden

Johan Kuylenstierna is Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). SEI is an international research organization focusing on environment/development research for sustainable development and bridging science-policy-action. It has about 220 employees in 9 offices in 6 countries. Johan has previously held positions with the UN system (UNDESA at the UN HQ in NY, WMO in Geneva and FAO in Rome) and has also worked many years at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). He has also a background as a consultant focusing on sustainability and corporate core value processes within both the private and public sector. His academic background is Earth Sciences and his research focused on paleoclimatology in the Polar Regions. He currently holds an adjunct professorship in international water resources at the Stockholm University.

Mr. Mark Abbott
Director and President, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Mr. Mark Abbott

Director and President, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Mark Abbott took office as the tenth President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in October 2015. A biological oceanographer whose research focuses on the interaction of biological and physical processes in the upper ocean, Abbott joined WHOI from Oregon State University where he served as dean and professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Abbott has served on numerous professional committees for federal science funding agencies, scientific societies and laboratories, and has advised the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation (NSF) on ocean information infrastructure. Abbott served a six-year term on the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and provides scientific advice to the White House and to Congress.

In 2011, Abbott was the recipient of the Jim Gray eScience Award, presented by Microsoft Research and awarded to a nationally recognized researcher who has made outstanding contributions to data-intensive computing. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and served as president of The Oceanography Society from 2013-2014. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
Abbott holds a B.S. in conservation of natural resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis.

Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin
Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin

Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Dr. Ryabinin is the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO. He is an oceanographer, climatologist, and marine engineer, and is the holder of a Senior Doctorate in Physical and Mathematical Sciences (Oceanography and Geophysics) from the Supreme Attestation Committee of the Russian Federation in Moscow, and has professional certifications as an Engineer-Oceanographer from the Leningrad Hydrometeorological Institute and as a Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences with the Supreme Attestation Committee (USSR).

He began his professional career in July 1978 first as a Postgraduate with the Hydrometcentre of Russia (Moscow) and later, as a Senior and Principal Researcher, he was involved in studies of the role of the ocean in climate under the USSR ocean research programme “Sections”. Dr. Ryabinin was one of the creators of the first Soviet technology for numerical weather prediction for medium ranges implemented in the mid-1980s. From July 1996 to September 1998, Dr. Ryabinin was the Head of the Laboratory for Marine Forecasting Research and Coordinator of national research on marine forecasting. In October 1998, Dr. Ryabinin was appointed Principal Scientist with the Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Insular Coastal Dynamics (ICoD) and held the position until December 2000. Dr. Ryabinin joined, in January 2001, the International Ocean Institute (IOI) in Malta, initially as a Consultant, and later became its Executive Director.
From November 2001 until 2015, Dr. Ryabinin was a Senior Scientific Officer in the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and a staff member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), where he was responsible for the international coordination of climate research with a focus on the polar regions and cryosphere, the ocean, sea level, stratosphere, atmospheric chemistry and climate, and contribution of research into the creation of climate services.
Dr. Ryabinin has authored and/or co-authored roughly 100 articles and publications, including a monograph, mostly in the domains of oceanography, meteorology and climate. He was a lecturer at the Moscow State University and has participated in several research and offshore engineering projects including the International Polar Year 2007-2008. He has been a lead author of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO5, 2012), and an expert/member/chair in a number of international working groups, committees and research councils.

Ms. Patricia Andrea Miloslavich de Klein
Professor of Simon Bolivar University and University of Tasmania, Venezuela
Ms. Patricia Andrea Miloslavich de Klein

Professor of Simon Bolivar University and University of Tasmania, Venezuela

Patricia Miloslavich is the Project Officer of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Biology and Ecosystems Panel based at the University of Tasmania and co-supported by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the US Marine Mammal Commission. She is also a senior professor at the Department of Environmental Studies of Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela, a member of the Executive Committee of the Science Council for Oceanic Research (SCOR) on behalf of the International Association of Biological Oceanography (IABO), a member of the Planning Committee for the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network of the Group of Earth Observations (GEO/MBON), a Coordinating Leading Author for the IPBES 2017 assessment, and a member of the Science Advisory Task Team for the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). Patricia is a marine biologist with a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Quebec at Rimouski. She has 25 years of academic experience in course and curricula development, teaching, and research activities related to marine biology and ecology.

She has been the PI or Co-PI in more than 20 research projects, focused on national (Venezuelan), regional (Caribbean and South America) and global topics, also acting as project manager and team leader. Patricia was one of the two senior scientists of the Census of Marine Life program. She led the global synthesis of the state of knowledge of marine biodiversity worldwide, carried out by a network of researchers from all over the world, and established and co-led the South American Research Group in Coastal Ecosystems. Patricia also co-chaired the Science Planning Committee for the Life in a Changing Ocean (LICO) program, and has contributed with her expertise to the IOC/UNESCO through different activities of the Ocean Sciences Section of the IOC. Patricia has authored more than 70 peer reviewed publications related to oceanography and marine biology, biodiversity, and ecology. She has also authored and edited an open-access book with a comprehensive review of the state of knowledge of Caribbean marine biodiversity, and produced several peer-reviewed book chapters, including two chapters of the World Ocean Assessment for the UN for which she was appointed as a member of the “Pool of Experts” by the United States.

Her work in marine biology, especially within the framework of the Census of Marine Life and the Global Ocean Observing System, as well as her exploration activities within the E/V Nautilus and the Darwin Adventure Initiative in South America led by the British Council have been released by several media including National Geographic. The impact and scientific relevance of her scientific publications and her communication efforts to broader audiences, led to her receiving the Eugenio Mendoza Award in 2015, the highest achievement a scientist in any discipline can receive in Venezuela.

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