The Nations surrounding the North Pacific Ocean depend on its waters for food, economic benefit, transportation, and recreation. The coastal areas support human habitation. Human activities both influence and are influenced by the North Pacific Ocean’s living marine resources, and the abundance and productivity of these resources are also driven by natural processes and variability. Effective resource management by each Contracting Party requires comprehensive scientific understanding, including for example, the role of the ocean in climate variability and change. Furthermore, human populations residing in coastal regions are growing, and sustainable use of marine resources and the associated food security concern is a global priority. The potential for disrupting the marine ecosystems is increasing, but mitigation and effective use is possible with sufficient information on the effects of human activities. The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) has a role to advance scientific knowledge on the North Pacific Ocean, along with its marginal seas, and to make predictions that will improve human conditions and bring benefits to the Contracting Parties. Such a goal can only be achieved by multi-national scientific cooperation. PICES synthesizes and disseminates knowledge and designs multi-national research programs that respond to identified needs.
PICES scientific activities are dedicated to understanding and quantifying the physical, chemical and biological processes of North Pacific ecosystems, which underlie ecosystem resilience and vulnerability. These processes are also key to understanding how the oceans respond to and are affected by climate change.
Being a part of the ecosystem, humans are affected by natural processes, and in turn impact marine ecosystems. This goal addresses ecosystem effects of climate variability and change, catastrophic events, and anthropogenic stressors in coastal and offshore regions.
For the scientific knowledge to be applied, it first must be made available. PICES provides periodic products on the status, trends and future state of North Pacific ecosystems and develops reports addressing critical and emerging issues. PICES also considers and responds to specific requests for scientific advice from Contracting Parties and other organizations as appropriate. This information provides a basis for user communities to modify their actions.
PICES communicates the results of its scientific activities broadly, through high quality publications, the PICES web page and other electronic media, and production and dissemination of educational materials.
Collaboration and communication lies at the heart of creating scientific knowledge and using it effectively PICES develops close relationships with scientific organizations and programs that have shared goals, by carrying out joint activities and exchanging observers.
For scientific products to be useful, PICES engages user communities from the early stage of the product development through dissemination of the final product.
Investments in collecting, recording, managing and analyzing scientific data are enhanced if the observations made by scientists from the Contracting Parties are directly comparable. The quality of science benefits from harmonization of methods and techniques. PICES facilitates and provides opportunities for development of international standards, inter-calibration of methodology and sampling equipment, as well as collaborative opportunities to develop new, creative methodologies.
Capacity building will make it possible for scientists and institutions from all Contracting Parties to participate fully in, and benefit fully from, the cooperative programs that are developed by the Organization. PICES provides venues, organizes activities and develops procedures that facilitate the formation of new collaborations and maintenance of existing productive partnerships. PICES expedites the involvement of young scientists in PICES activities
A central element of capacity building is education and training. PICES develops training courses to meet the interests and needs of its members in scientific areas such as, methods and skills in data management, modeling, and environmental monitoring.
The activities in support of the primary mission of PICES require effective support and implementation, as well as broad participation from the scientific communities of the Contracting Parties. An efficient organizational structure and good internal communication ensure a vibrant science enterprise. An effective Secretariat that supports the mission and goals of the Organization is essential to its success.
The actions and activities required to meet each of these goals will change over time, and will be implemented through Action Plans. Three-year Action Plans will be prepared for the Executive Committees, Scientific and Technical Committees, and the Secretariat. These plans will describe specific actions and tasks needed to achieve the goals identified above. To monitor performance, the Action Plans will be reviewed at each annual meeting, and revised if necessary.
The PICES Strategic Plan will be reviewed and updated, as required, every five years.