Working with Developing Countries

The marine environment is critical to many developing countries, both as a source of livelihood, but also posing risks, such as from flooding, to vulnerable coastal communities.

As part of its charitable purpose, the NOC seeks to support developing countries (including Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries) to nuture their own scientific expertise, talent, and technical capabilities for the advancement of education and scientific knowledge and understanding of their own waters. This thereby enables them to support their own decision making with sound scientific expertise drawn from within their own countries, and to contribute effectivly to international efforts to understand and manage the marie environment.

The emergence of official development assistance (ODA) funding via UK government departments or the Global Challenges Research Fund, as managed by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), enables the NOC to provide its expertise globally.

Dr Angela Hibbert discusses possible tide gauge installation locationsThe NOC is already in partnership with Cefas and the UKHO in delivering the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme. The Programme hopes to help Commonwealth Small Island Developing States realise their aspirations for a Blue Economy as well as to enable them to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The NOC leads in providing sea-level radar technology and training in Saint Lucia, whereas in the Seychelles we are collaborating in understanding the impacts of harmful algal blooms, deployment of sensors to monitor the marine environment as well as delivering a robust environmental data management framework.

Access to the NERC's National Capability and National Public Good funding also allows specific targeting of ODA eligible States to develop partnerships and collaborations with all DAC listed countries.

UK overseas territories

Such programmes help States address obligations under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 14, or the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular Aichi Target 11. However where States fail the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Development Assistance Committee (DAC) criteria for ODA the NOC actively pursues other opportunities.

This is particularly prevalent in relation to the UK Overseas Territories (UK OTs). However the NOC is currently exploring ways to provide assistance to the UK OTs where the UK has an obligation to ensure compliance with international obligations, honouring the 2001 Environment Charters and deliver the Governments manifesto Blue Belt initiative. Such programmes with help identify data that are key to better understanding the marine environment, establish robust governance as well as using the latest high-tech marine autonomous vehicles for mapping and monitoring of the marine environment.