The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 is a critical opportunity to galvanize transformative actions for the ocean we need for the future we want. The Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) are an important focus of the Decade. ECOPs can make crucial contributions to the Decade by actively participating in Decade Actions and governance and coordination structures, acting as Decade advocates, and continuing the post-2030 legacy of the Decade. They will benefit from professional development and networking opportunities catalysed through the Decade, and opportunities to participate and lead scientific collaborations and partnerships. 

As the coordination unit for the Decade of Ocean Science in the Pacific region, PCCOS is developing the concept of Pacific Early Career Ocean Professionals (Pacific ECOPs) and a Pacific ECOP Network. It includes self-identified ECOPs working in the relevant physical, natural, social science, traditional knowledge or culture fields. Age and experience are not necessarily a factor in identifying who an ECOP is, as it varies depending on discipline, region, and university system. The general guideline is that an ECOP is someone who has been working in their field for less than 10 years and/or under the age of 35 years of age.  

Early Career Ocean Professionals are tomorrow’s leaders for healthy and sustainable oceans. Pacific ECOPs are an integral part of our collective resolve to manage the Pacific Ocean. They contribute to ocean science, ocean governance, marine conservation and many more, raising important (and often neglected) concerns. 

They bring energy, talent and diverse voices to leadership and advisory roles in ocean management. Pacific ECOPs come from many different disciplines and face different challenges in their career paths. Pacific ECOPs, senior professionals and the Decade experts will work together to provide guidance on the kind of environments that are most conducive for their career development. 

PCCOS is actively seeking, organising and sharing opportunities with Pacific ECOPs to promote their work, strengthen their capacities and open a safe space for them to exchange on their learnings and challenges. PCCOS regularly organises “Pacific ECOPs Talanoa” to share and promote experiences of ECOPs from the region. 


Learn more about the Pacific ECOP Network and Placement Programme