World Ocean Network
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Paul Van Den Sande -


The Réseau Océan Mondial (World Ocean Network or WON) is an international non-profit association first mobilised during the International Year of the Ocean in 1998 on the initial request by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. It was officially set up in 2006 as a result of the 2nd and 3rd International Meetings "Acting Together for the Future of the Blue Planet" in Boulogne sur Mer, France and of the DG Research funded project OCEANICS.

The World Ocean Network assembles 150 organisations: aquaria, zoos, educational organisations, science centres, natural history museums, media, NGOs in Europe, and 300 more on other continents. These organisations are multipliers that can be mobilised to disseminate the Sea for Society project resources and tools. The aim of the WON is to inform and educate the public at large on marine and maritime issues, to raise awareness of the paramount role that the world's oceans play in the Earth's balance, and to empower stakeholders and the general public to adopt appropriate individual and community attitudes to safeguard marine ecosystems.

The World Ocean Network serves as the public education outreach arm of the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands which promotes the implementation of international agreements related to oceans, coasts, and Small Island Developing States emanating from the 2002 WSSD; fosters cross-sectorial dialogue on ocean issues among governments, NGOs, international organisations, and the private and scientific sectors and promotes international consensus-building.

WON has been accredited with the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to attend the Conferences of the Parties as an observer organisation and regularly participates in United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS).

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©Sea for Society, 2013
This Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML) project is supported by the European Commission under the Science in Society Theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This Website only reflects the views of the authors(s), and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.