Posted October 16, 2017
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On 5 and 6 October 2017, the European Union hosted the 4th edition of the international Our Ocean conference in Malta. Our Ocean 2017 brought together world leaders, generated commitments, and showcased ocean initiatives around the globe. The conference resulted in an unprecedented engagement across policymakers, NGOs, foundations, research organizations and businesses. In total, Our Ocean 2017 generated:
• 437 tangible and measurable commitments;
• EUR 7.2 billion in financial pledges;
• 2.5 million square kilometres of additional Marine Protected Areas.
EuroGOOS had a strong presence at the conference exhibition, with a dedicated ocean observing showcase displayed on an interactive white board and an Ocean Talk on the exhibition pitch stage. A picture gallery can be found at the bottom of this article. In the EuroGOOS Ocean Talk, Erik Buch, EuroGOOS Chair, explained what constitutes the ocean observing and why it is a critical research and technology area underpinning any decision making in the ocean domain. The EuroGOOS Ocean Talk featured the end-to-end marine observations and data value chain and explained the drivers for observations for maritime and policy users. In partnership with the global community and in particular the Global Ocean Observing System coordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, EuroGOOS continues to strive towards sustained European ocean observing capacity and services.
Moreover, EuroGOOS launched, as part of its Ocean Talk, its first ocean literacy publication. The EuroGOOS child book, The Ocean Is My Home, was presented by Dina Eparkhina, EuroGOOS Policy and Communications Officer. Subtitled, For Children, Parents and Our Ocean, this book, published on the occasion of the conference, explains the ocean’s ecosystem and economic role and the need to collect knowledge about it. Readers will have a glimpse of ocean observing technologies and find out what each of us can do for the ocean regardless whether we live close to it or far away. The book was very well received, disseminated during the EuroGOOS Ocean Talk, and also handed to several high-level conference presenters, among others Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, and Peter Thomson, the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean.
Next Our Ocean conferences will take place in Bali, Indonesia, in 2018, followed by Norway in 2019, and Palau in 2020.
Link to the Our Ocean plenary video recording
Link to the exhibition hall Ocean Talks video recording
Download the EuroGOOS press release for the launch of the ocean literacy child book
Download the EuroGOOS ocean literacy child book, The Ocean is my Home
Download the new EuroGOOS general brochure
Posted October 11, 2017
The 8th EuroGOOS international conference, titled Operational Oceanography in Service of Sustainable Marine Development, took place in Bergen, Norway, on 3-5 October 2017. The event was co-hosted by the Institute of Marine Research, IMR, and the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, NERSC, and co-organized with the EuroGOOS office.
Delegates from 24 countries and many international, European and regional networks attended. The programme included two plenary sessions running on the first and last days of the conference, a poster session, and a day-long splinters session featuring 54 talks across the marine observation and data value chain.
On the opening day of the conference, the 2017 Kostas Nittis Medal and grant to a young researcher were awarded to Robert King from Met Office, UK. Robert presented an impressive amount of work done for improving operational forecasting systems and in situ data assimilation in oceanographic models, in his plenary flash talk.
The conference resumed with a forward-looking address from Peter Haugan, chair of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, IOC, calling the EuroGOOS community to join the IOC efforts towards an impactful global Ocean Science Decade.
The EuroGOOS conference discussed major developments in operational oceanography in recent years. Cooperation among ocean observing and data aggregation initiatives have progressed strongly since the previous conference in 2014, noted Erik Buch, EuroGOOS chair. Furthermore, several marine research infrastructure networks have transitioned to full legal entities towards a robust and timely data delivery for a wide range of users. Biogeochemistry observations have also progressed considerably, as did the awareness of the critical importance of those measurements.
EuroGOOS has played an important role facilitating dialogue and synergy across actors and promoting the value of ocean observing services to science, policy and blue economy. The conference demonstrated the importance of an end-to-end and fit-for-purpose oceanographic system. In this respect, the EuroGOOS work facilitating an integrated European Ocean Observing System, undertaken with the European Marine Board, is very important to achieve reliable and sustained oceanographic services.
Europe remains well positioned to take a global lead in operational oceanography. Presentations at the EuroGOOS conference demonstrated a community delivering high-quality assessments of past, current and future ocean state for a wide range of users.
Looking ahead, EuroGOOS will continue to advocate for sustained ocean observations in Europe and globally, in partnership with the Global Ocean Observing System, GOOS, and its regional alliances, as well as further building capacity worldwide. Promoting ocean literacy, to both policy and society, will also be a part of the EuroGOOS efforts. Furthermore, EuroGOOS will continue to promote open exchange of oceanographic data.
Further information about the 8th EuroGOOS Conference is available on the conference website. The proceedings will be released by the end of 2017.
Posted June 8, 2017
Today on World Oceans Day, EuroGOOS submitted its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 towards Sustained and Integrated Ocean Observing and Open Data Sharing (view on the UN Ocean Conference website).
In the statement, EuroGOOS commits to further its efforts to coordinate European ocean observing supporting networks of Regional Operational Oceanographic Systems (ROOSes) and ensuring their integration in the Global Ocean Observing System. EuroGOOS ROOSes and networks of observing platforms (Task Teams) play an important role in unlocking marine data collected by individual European nations and enhancing open data exchange as well as data standardization and harmonization. EuroGOOS commits to further the integration of the existing marine data towards interoperability, promoting open data and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders holding or collecting data. Furthermore, EuroGOOS will increase its communication and outreach efforts to inform policy and decision makers as well as wider stakeholders, towards ocean literacy and responsible long-term vision for sustainable ocean management.
Read the EuroGOOS commitment towards ‘Sustained and Integrated Ocean Observing and Open Data Sharing’ on the UN Ocean Conference website
Posted June 6, 2017
EuroGOOS General Assembly took place in Brussels from 31 May to 2 June 2017. 56 delegates attended the special open session dedicated to ocean observing and derived marine data and services. EuroGOOS and European Marine Board presented the progress in the development of an integrated and sustained European Ocean Observing System, EOOS. Coordinated by those two networks, EOOS is being built as an open and inclusive framework. The recent stakeholder consultation delivered valuable recommendations to the EOOS steering group co-chaired by EuroGOOS and EMB. Furthermore, global efforts of GOOS and the G7 ministers’ ocean observation initiative were presented.
Copernicus vision and ongoing integration and optimization efforts were showcased by speakers from three Copernicus services: Marine, Climate, and Security. Furthermore, the European Environment Agency shared their work in support of the in-situ component across the services. The European Space Agency updated the meeting on the Copernicus evolution and sentinel expansion.
European marine data aggregation initiatives, SeaDataNet and EMODnet, presented their work programmes. Both initiatives have entered a new phase, EMODnet having entered its third and last phase, and SeaDataNet having started a new Horizon 2020 project, SeaDataCloud.
Following the informative and fruitful special session, the meeting proceeded to discuss the EuroGOOS core activities, namely the developments in the EuroGOOS regional systems, ROOSes, infrastructure networks, Task Teams, and cross-cutting Working Groups. EuroGOOS chair and the office introduced an advancement of the EuroGOOS 2014-2020 strategy, with a set of five priorities to be implemented across all activities. The strategy will continue to be supported with a targeted communication. EuroGOOS also presented the communication efforts promoting EOOS, including a dedicated website, publications and presentations at stakeholder events.
On the last day of the Assembly, the formal session approved new EuroGOOS membership application from the Coastal Observing and Forecasting System, SOCIB, Spain, presented by director Dr. Joaquín Tintoré. The members also approved a new EuroGOOS working group on coastal oceanography aiming to integrate the in-situ observation needs, modelling and planning for the European coasts working closely with EuroGOOS regional systems, ROOSes. Finally, George Petihakis, HCMR, Greece, was nominated as chair-elect to be appointed as chair in the 2018 elections. Dr. Petihakis will start working with chair Dr. Erik Buch who will step down in 2018.
Photo below features EuroGOOS Members and Chairs of EuroGOOS Regional Operational Oceanographic Systems, ROOSes, Task Teams and Working Group, as well as members of the EuroGOOS Office, on Day 2 of the General Assembly, 1 June 2017
Posted May 18, 2017
EuroGOOS Tide Gauge Task Team has delivered a statement to policymakers and public authorities. In the statement, the task team calls on national ocean observing funders to address sustainability of tide gauge networks. This note, titled “Sea level observation networks in and around Europe: Challenges in monitoring increasing sea level hazards”, has been released at the European Maritime Day 2017 taking place in Poole, UK, on 18 and 19 May.
Sea-level is an indicator of climate change and strongly affects coastal populations. It has been recognised as an Essential Ocean Variable by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Tide gauge measurements have been taken for centuries and today remain a key method to observe trends in mean sea level. Tide gauge data help assess extreme events, make tidal predictions and geodetic applications, support harbour operations and navigation. Furthermore, tide gauge measurements play an increasingly important role in warning systems for tsunamis and storm surges.
In 2016, the EuroGOOS Tide Gauge Task Team conducted a study of tide gauge operations in Europe and neighbouring coastal countries. As a result, the study revealed that more than half of the institutions and nearly 25% of the tide gauge stations surveyed may be facing funding problems. Should a national tide gauge network be shut down for financial reasons, a blind spot would appear on the map affecting policymakers and public authorities’ decision making in assessing storm surges, tsunamis, and sea-level elevation. The study concluded there is an urgent need to ensure the sustainability of tide gauge stations in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
Download the EuroGOOS Tide Gauge Task Team note to policymakers
More about the EuroGOOS Tide Gauge Task Team
Posted May 5, 2017
In 2015, EuroGOOS established the Kostas Nittis Medal in the memory of EuroGOOS Secretary General and strategic leader Dr. Kostas Nittis (1964-2014). The Kostas Nittis Medal is accompanied by a grant and awarded to a young marine professional within the operational oceanography and broader ocean observing community.
The Kostas Nittis Medal and the grant amounting to € 3,000 aim to support the participation of young researchers and marine professionals in relevant conferences and events. The awardee is given a chance to present their research or technology at relevant events, building a professional network, gaining real life experience and reaching out to potential partners and/or employers.
The call is open to marine researchers or professionals according to the following criteria:
- Candidate must be younger than 35 years old;
- Candidate will have made a significant contribution to operational oceanography (technology, research, software, product/service) which is described and documented;
- Candidate nominations must come from the current EuroGOOS members.
Deadline for nominations: 20 August 2017
Download the full nominations call EuroGOOS KNMedal Call (92.1 KiB)
Download the Kostas Nittis Medal flyer EuroGOOS Kostas Nittis Medal Flyer (305.4 KiB)
The award ceremony for the 2017 medal will take place at the 8th EuroGOOS International Conference in Bergen on 3-5 October 2017.
The first Kostas Nittis Medal 2015 was awarded to Pablo Lorente Jimenez by European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella at the European Maritime Day 2015 in Athens, see our news item here. The second medal 2016 was received by Angelique Melet at a dedicated event of the EuroGOOS Annual Assembly Stakeholders Day, see our news item here.
Posted April 24, 2017EuroGOOS 2017 Conference Flyer (124.6 KiB)
Abstract submission is now open for the 8th EuroGOOS International Conference, Operational Oceanography Serving Sustainable Marine Development, to take place in Bergen, Norway, from 3 to 5 October 2017.
Key priorities of the 2017 EuroGOOS conference are:
- Highlight the progress in linking and aligning European ocean observing stakeholders and initiatives towards building an integrated and sustained European Ocean Observing System (AtlantOS, INTAROS, and others);
- Highlight the progress made in integrating and aggregating European marine data to enhance its societal and economic potential (Copernicus Marine Service, EMODnet, SeaDataNet, and others);
- Identify community priorities regarding the evolution of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service;
- Evaluate the role of marine research infrastructures in the operational oceanographic system;
- Emphasise new initiatives under way for polar seas (observation and predictive capabilities);
- Explore some of the new technologies for coastal operational oceanography;
- Elaborate the role of acoustic technologies in the ocean observing system;
- Evaluate the ongoing efforts to integrate ocean observing and data initiatives at a global level, meeting the societal, policy and economic needs.
Abstract submission, registration and further information on the conference websiteEuroGOOS 2017 Conference Flyer (124.6 KiB)
Posted April 4, 2017
The capacity of marine data and information to deliver sustainable economic benefits has been recognized. However, coastal and ocean observatories and public data-sharing initiatives face common challenges in demonstrating uptake and application of open marine data and information for economic development and innovation. This is critical for those initiatives aiming to deliver growth in the blue economy, particularly in terms of justifying the continued investment of public funds. The COLUMBUS project has released a guide to help public ocean observing and data initiatives engage with Blue Growth industries.
Currently, the European Union provides a considerable investment in marine monitoring and observation, data sharing and assembly, as well as downstream services. As a result, significant progress has been made to collect, aggregate and make publicly available the data and information derived from monitoring and observing our European seas and oceans. So, what is hindering effective engagement of industry with marine observatories and related data-sharing initiatives?
This guide explores these issues and makes concrete recommendations on how to stimulate a dialogue between public data collectors, providers and portals, and data users or providers from the private sector.
The primary target audience for this document are the European marine observatories and public data-sharing initiatives that cite industry as a target user group for their resources. However, this information could also be valuable to companies and other stakeholders operating in the blue economy who are collecting, processing and/or using marine data as part of their activities.
Download the guide on use and sharing of marine observations and data by industry (April 2017)
The guide is presented for the first time at the Ocean Business brokerage event organized within the Jerico-Next project, on 4 April 2017.
Posted March 23, 2017
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The 2nd International Conference on Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) took place at UNESCO, Paris, on 15-17 March. The conference brought together 300 MSP practitioners, consultants, environmental managers, policymakers, and social-economists. The participants discussed the lessons learnt in the MSP process, and looked ahead, re-confirming the critical role of MSP for a broad range of ocean-related issues, from environment to economy (international ocean governance, Agenda 2030, blue economy, climate).
EuroGOOS showcased the importance of ocean knowledge and information for informed decision-making in the MSP process. At our exhibition stand, the conference participants were learning about the ongoing European efforts across the whole marine data value chain, from data collection, to data aggregation and processing, to data services and products for various types of users. Copernicus Marine Service, CMEMS, activities were showcased, delivering a comprehensive set of marine data products based on the information from both satellite and in-water observations. Other initiatives profiled included the European Marine Observation and Data Network, EMODnet, the European Atlantic Ocean Observing project, AtlantOS, and an integrated European ocean observing framework, EOOS, facilitated by EuroGOOS jointly with the European Marine Board.
‘MSP is a data-hungry process’, shared Laura Whitford during her conference talk about the Coral Triangle Initiative. The initiative has developed an atlas providing a database of spatial and non-spatial information relevant to MSP, including, marine data and environmental and policy documents.
Complexity and integration were the key words of the conference, as regards the diversity of data requirements and the governance bottlenecks in the MSP process. This applies to both sub-national governance (involving a better coherence among various national bodies with the authority over the coastal ocean), as well as regional and international governance. Charles Ehler, UNESCO’s MSP consultant and a renowned world expert, explained that even with an optimistic projection that 80 countries will have MSP in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) by 2030, 60% of the ocean space is beyond national jurisdiction.
UNESCO pioneered international discussions on the requirements for MSP with the 1st International Workshop on MSP in 2006, contributing to an integrated approach to MSP both in Europe and worldwide. In 2009, UNESCO published a set of MSP guidelines which has served as a reference document ever since. With its 2008 Integrated Maritime Strategy, the European Union identified MSP as a cross-cutting policy tool enabling public authorities and stakeholders to apply a coordinated, integrated and trans-boundary approach. In 2014, the EU adopted an MSP Directive, and further emphasised the need for MSP in its Ocean Governance Communication 2016.
MSP is critical for an effective management of marine activities and sustainable use of ocean resources, creating a framework for consistent, transparent, sustainable and evidence-based decision-making. Therefore, MSP requires a wide range of baseline marine information and data which should be up-to-date, objective, reliable, relevant and comparable. ‘This is a unique moment in oceanography’ concluded Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in his conference speech.
Visit the conference website
Posted March 22, 2017
UNIS, the University Centre in Svalbard, Norway, has opened applications for a student course on Shipping in the Arctic. The course will take place in Svalbard from 31 July to 11 August 2017.
The course is interdisciplinary, providing lectures on climate, sea ice, weather, environment, navigation, technology, infrastructure, economy, regulations, and geopolitics related to shipping in the Arctic. The lectures will address how the human factors combined with the natural environment have impact on shipping activities. The lectures will give an historic summary, a present state-of-the-art and future perspectives of Arctic shipping.
The reduction of the Arctic sea ice gives new opportunities for exploitation of energy and other resources and opens new sea transport routes between Europe, Asia and North America. Simultaneously, the presence of sea ice, darkness, limitations of bathymetric charts, infrastructure and communication services put severe constraints on how ships can operate. Furthermore, shipping is bound by environmental risks, regulations, as well as economic risks and geopolitics.
Application deadline is 15 April 2017. For further information and application procedure please visit the UNIS website.