About NCMS

Historical Background

The urgency of undertaking a scientific investigation of the seas and oceans, its biota and physical boundaries including their relationship between climate and water cycles as these affect and sustain life on Earth, caught global attention in the early sixties. The UNESCO being a Specialized Agency of the United Nations Organization which promotes science and technology as one of its major concerns, took up during its General Conference at the 10th Session in November 1958 the feasibility of forming an international group of states on the study of marine sciences. The decision was arrived at to convene an intergovernmental conference on oceanographic research.

Upon invitation of the government of Denmark through UNESCO, a conference was held in Copenhagen in July 1960 under the leadership of Dr. Anton Bruun, Professor of Zoology of the University of Copenhagen and leader of the Galathea Deep Sea Expedition around the world in 1950-1951. The Conference recommended the establishment of an Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) within the framework of UNESCO, with the task of promoting concerted actions of Member States in the field of oceanographic research.

The UNESCO General Conference in December 1960 adopted the recommendation and approved the status of IOC. An Office of Oceanography was set up within UNESCO which provided the Secretariat for the IOC between 1960 and 1972.

The IOC was consequently formed in 1960 in an organizational meeting called by UNESCO.

The Copenhagen meeting paved the way for the oceanographic dimension of development. Significantly, the Philippine representative to the said conference, Dr. Deogracias Villadolid, set the ground for the formation of the National Committee on Marine Sciences (NCMS) upon his return to this country. Its creation was envisioned as a corresponding body to the just set up Office on Marine Sciences in UNESCO, Paris.

Creation

The National Committee on Marine Sciences was created on 18 June 1962 pursuant to the recommendation of the Regional Meeting of Marine Sciences Institutes in East and Southeast Asia held in Manila on 5-8 March 1962 under the joint sponsorship of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNCOP) and the National Science Development Board (NSDB) now Department of Science and Technology (DOST). 

The creation of this inter-agency Committee ushered the integration and coordination of marine scientific research activities in this country. 

The Committee was under the NSDB Programme for seventeen (17) years from the time of its inception. But it was transferred to the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines by the NSDB in 1979. It was then reactivated, expanded in function, and enlarged in composition. 

Upon invitation of the government of Denmark through UNESCO, a conference was held in Copenhagen in July 1960 under the leadership of Dr. Anton Bruun, Professor of Zoology of the University of Copenhagen and leader of the Galathea Deep Sea Expedition around the world in 1950-1951. The Conference recommended the establishment of an Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) within the framework of UNESCO, with the task of promoting concerted actions of Member States in the field of oceanographic research.

The UNESCO General Conference in December 1960 adopted the recommendation and approved the status of IOC. An Office of Oceanography was set up within UNESCO which provided the Secretariat for the IOC between 1960 and 1972.

The IOC was consequently formed in 1960 in an organizational meeting called by UNESCO.

The Copenhagen meeting paved the way for the oceanographic dimension of development. Significantly, the Philippine representative to the said conference, Dr. Deogracias Villadolid, set the ground for the formation of the National Committee on Marine Sciences (NCMS) upon his return to this country. Its creation was envisioned as a corresponding body to the just set up Office on Marine Sciences in UNESCO, Paris.

Functions

The original mandate of the National Committee on Marine Sciences (NCMS) are:

  1. to serve as the focal point and coordinating body on marine researches undertaken by various national agencies, institutions and laboratories of the government;
  2. to act as the clearinghouse of the National Government for all matters concerning the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO;
  3. to act as the adhering body to the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) under the International Council of Scientific Unions (!CSU); and
  4. to serve as advisory body in the formulation and implementation of a long­range national program for the development of marine sciences in the country.

As a coordinating entity for marine science-related matters, the NCMS was designated as the adhering body to the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) on 28 September 1962.

The Philippine Government officially became a Member State of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO on 14 November 1962, through the joint efforts of the UNCOP, NSDB, and NCMS. The membership to IOC has provided vast opportunities for exchange and enrichment of marine science knowledge and skills through meetings, seminars and training courses conducted on the international and regional levels, and for scientific exploration of Philippine waters with the participation of Filipino scientists which enhances economic development and strengthens international relations .

The activities of the NCMS focused mainly on the scientific and applied aspects of oceanography, specifically on meteorological, geological, physical, chemical and biological concerns.

As time has changed and the structures and functions of other offices/agencies have expanded, the NCMS is now mandated: 

1. to act as the clearinghouse of the National Government for all matters concerning the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO; and

2. to serve as advisory body in the formulation and implementation of a long­range national program for the development of marine sciences in the country.

Members