First WOA

Second WOAUN Regular Process logo


The UN Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment is a mechanism to review the environmental, economic and social aspect of the world’s oceans, both current and foreseeable. It is guided by international law, including the UN Conversion on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and is accountable to the UN General Assembly. The Regular Process is overseen by an Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole (currently no UK representation). The Secretariat is hosted by the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS).

Each cycle of the Regular Process takes five years:

  • The first cycle ran from 2010 to 2014, the outcome of which was the first World Ocean Assessment or First Global Integrated Marine Assessment – report here.
  • The second cycle ran from 2016 to 2020, with the second World Ocean Assessment a major output being launched early 2021.
  • The third cycle will run from 2021 to 2025 with the programme of work recently set out.

Each cycle requires interdisciplinary expertise from across the globe. Member States and individuals contribute to the reporting and assessment.

UK Contributions

The UK has a number of representatives on the Pool of Experts. 

Alan Simcock supported the WOAs as the joint coordinator of the UN Group of Experts for the Assessment of the State of the World's Oceans. 

UK Contact: Stuart Rogers (Cefas) as the National Focal Point for the UK