Thank you 2019! At our General Assembly in May we had the honour of welcoming three new members to our organisation, SHOM, France, PLOCAN, Spain, and NIVA, Norway. This brings our overall membership to 44 organizations spanning oceanographic institutes, met offices and hydrographic agencies in 18 European countries.
In 2019 we have contributed to a great many ocean community events on behalf of our member organizations and the EuroGOOS Regional Oceanographic Systems (ROOS) which unite almost 100 ocean observing organizations across five European maritime regions. Of particular note is OceanObs’19 in Honolulu where we had an exhibition stand for the broad EuroGOOS community and participated in many conference sessions. We have also been active in the planning for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development through the planning workshops. We held the chairmanship of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Regional Alliances Forum for the past two years. This mandate has now ended and we are happy to hand it to our counterpart the Indian Ocean GOOS Region.
EuroGOOS has established an Ocean Literacy working group that already involves 16 member organisations and is growing and building partnerships in Europe and globally. The working group has launched a survey on the Ocean Literacy efforts in European oceanography. The survey shows an incredible wealth of active work on engaging with society on the importance of ocean observations, predictions, services, and technologies. We will release a state of play summary in 2020. We are contributing to the Ocean Literacy strategy for the UN Ocean Decade.
2019 also saw the development of new projects involving both the EuroGOOS office and our member organizations across the five EuroGOOS regions. The EuroSea project will strengthen Europe’s overall ocean observing value chain in the coming four years and contribute to the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative. We were fortunate to receive new support for the JERICO coastal observation research infrastructure through the JERICO S3 project. The FORCOAST project will advance the market uptake of oceanographic services and support the activities of the EuroGOOS Coastal working group. Our work with the European Environment Agency on in situ coordination for the Copernicus services continues. We also continue to co-chair the EOOS framework steering group hand in hand with the European Marine Board.
Since November, the EuroGOOS office has been hosted by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) located close to the European Parliament in the heart of the Brussels EU quarters. The generous hosting of the EuroGOOS office by BELSPO on avenue Louise expired earlier this year. We are grateful to the Belgian Federal Government and RBINS for their continuous support to EuroGOOS.
We look forward to a fruitful and exciting 2020. This will be the first year of the new European Commission and Parliament, and the EU Green Deal which we hope will strengthen even further Europe’s global role in ocean and climate science and sustainable blue economy. And this will be the last year of the preparations for the UN Ocean Decade, which will be a unique opportunity for the global ocean community to generate societal awareness of the ocean’s role strengthening science for sustainable development. In 2020, EuroGOOS will launch its 2030 strategy with a set of ambitious goals for our broad community, building on the 25 years of the EuroGOOS rich history.
We wish you all a happy new year 2020!