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The Ocean Biomolecular Observing Network (OBON) is an endorsed programme of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
OBON Newsletter: Issue 1 - 2022
Welcome to the first issue of the OBON Newsletter.

In this issue we will focus on some of the work OBON has undertaken for the UN Decade of Ocean Science, and collaborations with other programmes.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue, and we'd love to hear your feedback - please email Astrid with any comments or suggestions for topics you would like to see discussed in future newsletters.

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Update on UN Ocean Decade Proposals
The OBON interim Scientific Advisory Committee received 11 new proposals for endorsement as OBON projects as part of the UN Ocean Decade 2nd call for proposals. The projects ranged in scale from regional to global initiatives and covered a variety of topics, including data generation and sharing, capacity development, information sharing and using biomolecular data to track fisheries. The projects were assessed for their merit to OBON, in terms of their appropriateness for the scientific goals of OBON. They were also evaluated for several criteria specified for all UN Ocean Decade programmes and projects:
  • Digital strategy and implementation plan. How will the project concretely implement prevailing and emerging norms (e.g. the FAIR and CARE principles) such that their data, information and digital knowledge products will be (re)usable across all OBON partners? Note that OBON will provide coordination and assistance in federating partners around shared conventions, which all OBON partners are invited to co-develop.

  • Project development: e.g. has the project been co-designed/ co-delivered by knowledge generators and users?

  • Capacity building and retention mechanisms: e.g. does the project collaborate and engage with other groups locally and globally, does it benefit underrepresented groups such as Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, as well as indigenous and local people?

  • Equity and diversity: What concrete mechanisms will the Action deploy to promote equitable participation across capacity levels and how will this translate to greater inclusivity and diversity?

The projects encompassed a wide range of ideas that would enhance the capacity within OBON. We have made recommendations to the UN Ocean Decade and have been told that they will announce the projects that have been endorsed by the Ocean Decade soon.
OBON organized a thematic session of the POGO annual general meeting that focused on issues related to the programme. We invited several speakers associated with OBON and with scientific efforts related to OBON to speak. These included:
Examples of projects that could be proposed for endorsement: Capacity development needs and examples of success:
  • Benin (Zacharie Sohou, Centre de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin)
  • Malaysia (Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, Universiti Sains Malaysia)
  • EU project AltantECO (Daniele Iudicone, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn)
Issues that were being raised during discussion after the presentations included:
  • the need for affordable equipment that can be maintained easily
  • the need to structure data gathering so that it is manageable
  • the sensitivity of data, especially for indigenous populations.
Notes from the session can be found here.
OBON Community Resource
A community resource is a place where community members have a shared interest and commitment, where they join in activities, discussions and problem solving opportunities. A community resource promotes information sharing and relationship building, around a specific focus. We want to set up a community resource for OBON participants to promote best practice, generate protocols for data collection and sharing, generate ideas for technology and capacity development and address pressing scientific questions. To do this, we will be using the UN Ocean Decade Global Stakeholder Forum facilities and we request that you all sign up to be part of this. 
UN Ocean Decade 3rd call for proposals
A new call for proposals from the UN Ocean Decade went out on the 15th April 2022.  We encourage interested parties to submit project proposals that fit in with OBON's aims and objectives.
At the programmatic level the current Call for Decade Actions No. 03/2022 has a primary focus on programmes that contribute to Ocean Decade Challenge 3 – Sustainable Blue Food and Challenge 4 – Sustainable Ocean Economy, although Actions with other foci can be considered (please see different deadline/procedure below). This includes regional programmes with a focus on one or more of these Challenges. This call is particularly welcoming applications from Africa and Pacific Small Island Developing States.
 
Deadlines are: 
  • 30 May 2022 23.59h CET: Submission of Expression of Interest for programmes that do not primarily contribute to UN Ocean Decade Challenges 3 or 4.
  • 30 August 2022 23.59h CET: Submission of full applications for all Decade programmes and projects.
OBON will evaluate Ocean Decade Project proposals that focus on biomolecular observing, and seek partnership with those that align to the Programme’s objectives. Together, we hope to foster coordinated activity across OBON partners, and co-design approaches to biomolecular ocean observing that address the Challenges of the Decade. Through this co-design and coordination, we seek to help partners more effectively distribute and share capacities, including in-kind resources or funding.
We also welcome Project proposals that would improve links between OBON and other Ocean Decade Programmes that focus on society’s relationship with marine life. These include Marine Life 2030, Ocean Practices for the Decade, Programmes relevant to fisheries, Early Career Ocean Professionals, Ocean Acidification Research for Sustainability, SMARTNET, Global Ocean Oxygen Decade, OASIS, the deep ocean Programmes, ForeSea, DITTO, and others (see list here: Explore The Ocean Decade Actions).

The full OBON call for proposals can be found here.
Upcoming events of interest
Atlantic International Research Centre, Marine Biodiversity Networking Fridays, https://www.aircentre.org/events/

All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum 2022 Scientific Event, 31 May- 2 June 2022

The Global Ocean Observing System Ocean Decade Co-Design Workshop, 7- 9 June 2022

American Society for Microbiology Microbe 2022 conference, 9- 13 June 2022

2022 UN Ocean Conference, 27 June- 1 July 2022

EuroSea/OceanPredict workshop on Ocean Prediction and Observing System Design Workshop, 29 June- 1 July 2022

All-Atlantic Research Forum 2022 Ministerial Event, 12- 14 July 2022

6th Ocean Best Practices Workshop, 5, 6 and 19 October 2022

UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (UNFCCC COP 27), 7- 18 November 2022

The Sixth Xiamen Symposium on Marine Environmental Sciences Multidisciplinary and Solution Sciences for a Sustainable and Ocean, 9- 12 January 2023
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