GEO Blue Planet working group on stakeholders and societal awareness works  to promote communication between those who need better knowledge of the ocean and coasts with those who are capable of producing that knowledge using ocean and coastal observation technologies.

A core group of working group members identify and guide priority activities. Task Teams with additional members from the GEO Blue Planet Steering Committee and other interested parties are formed to implement short-term activities (6 - 18 months).

Standing Working Group Members
Name Affiliation
Louis Celliers (co-lead) Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Germany
Sophie Seeyave (co-lead) Partnership for the Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), UK
Emily Smail National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and University of Maryland, USA
Samy Djavidnia European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Portugal
René Garello  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), France
Linwood Pendleton  World Wildlife Fund (WWF), USA
Hans-Peter Plag Old Dominion University (ODU) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA
 

Stakeholder Engagement Activities in Support of Sustainable Development

Ensuring the sustainability of our oceans, coastal environments and coastal communities requires international collaboration. This is even more evident as we must consider the monitoring and reporting of ocean ecosystems which are beyond national (agreed or not) jurisdiction (i.e. EEZ waters). The GEO Blue Planet initiative intends to provide mechanisms and opportunities to make Earth Observation technologies and data more useful for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Support for SDG 14.1.1 (Index of Coastal Eutrophication and Floating Debris Density)

GEO Blue Planet currently has a task team working to support the United Nations Environment Programme on the methodology development of SDG 14.1.1 (Index of coastal eutrophication and floating plastic debris density). This task team provides UN Environment with information about existing data and methods for monitoring coastal eutrophication and marine debris and provides. The team also provides networking support to link Earth Observation experts with relevant stakeholders. Members from the team also organized a workshop on Technologies for Observing and monitoring Plastics in the Ocean, sponsored by IEEE. 

Global Manual on Ocean Statistics

 

SDG 14.1.1 Task Team Members
Name Affiliation
Emily Smail National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and University of Maryland, USA
Samy Djavidnia European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Portugal
René Garello  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), France
Linwood Pendleton World Wildlife Fund (WWF), France 
Hans-Peter Plag  Old Dominion University (ODU) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA 

Workshop on Technologies for Observing and Monitoring Plastics in the Oceans

 

Workshop Organizers

Workshop Program Committee

Name Affiliation
René Garello (chair) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), France
Jay Pearlman Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA
Hans-Peter Plag Old Dominion University (ODU) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA

Local Organizing Committee

Name Affiliation
René Garello (chair) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), France
Anouck Hubert Technopôle Brest Iroise, France

Identifying Knowledge Needs for Caribbean Small Island States

GEO Blue Planet contributed to the organizing of a workshop on identifying and articulating knowledge needs for the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable development goals in Caribbean Small Island States and matching those needs to knowledge, tools, and data. Members of the GEO Blue Planet stakeholder engagement and societal awareness working group are continuing to engage and support stakeholders in the Caribbean based on outcomes from the workshop. 

Implementing and Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals in the Caribbean: The Role of the Ocean

 

Workshop Organizers

Workshop Program Committee

Name Affiliation
Hans-Peter Plag (Co-chair) Old Dominion University (ODU) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA
Paul DiGiacomo (Co-chair) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA
Emily Smail (Co-chair) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Maryland (ODU), USA
Hon. Saboto Caesar & Jai Rampersad Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Lorna Inniss, Monica Borobia-Hill, Christopher Corbin,  Caribbean Environment Programme - UN Environment, Jamacia
Danielle Evanson, Lorenzo Harewood United Nations Development Programme, Barbados
Rose Alabaster Swiss Water Partnership, Switzerland
Douglas Cripe GEO Secretariat, Switzerland
Argyro Kavvada NASA, USA
Frank Muller-Karger University of South Florida (USF), USA
Gabrielle Canonico National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA
René Garello  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), France
Alan Evans International and Strategic Partnerships Office, National Oceanography Centre, UK
Martin LeTissier, Shona Paterson Future Earth Coasts, Ireland

Local Organizing Committee

Name Affiliation
Hon. Saboto Caesar Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Jai Rampersad  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Louise Mitchell Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Hans-Peter Plag Old Dominion University (ODU) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), USA

Activities to Increase the Awareness of the Value of Ocean and Coastal Observations

The ocean is generally not recognized by large portions of the world’s population as being a priority, despite being a major source of food, transport and recreation, a large contributor to the global economy, supporting a significant proportion of the global population. Many social and economic processes on land are impacting the ocean severely (for example, the flows of nutrients, plastics, and chemical pollutants into the ocean, and the increased absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide) while awareness of these impacts is generally very low. If people are not aware of the importance, as well as the vulnerabilities, of the ocean, they are even less likely to understand the impacts that ocean observations can have (and do have) on their everyday lives and how their actions impact the ocean. The GEO Blue Planet working group on stakeholder engagement and societal awareness works to explain, in simple and meaningful terms, to a lay audience, what ocean observations are, what types of products and services can be derived from them, and how they are essential for the health, wealth and well-being of humankind and the sustainability of our global civilization.

Ocean Observing Product Brochure

Recently, the working group formed a Task Team to compile some iconic examples of ocean observing products that have a direct and tangible positive impact on society, e.g. saving lives, supporting livelihoods, producing economy benefits, etc.

 

Task Team to develop a brochure on the products of ocean observations

The work was conducted by a small team of members of the Blue Planet Steering Committee: Sophie Seeyave (lead, POGO), Fiona Beckman (POGO), Christine Pequignet (Met Office), Pierre-Yves Le Traon (Mercator), Ralph Rayner, Paul DiGiacomo (NOAA) and Samy Djavidnia (EMSA).

The Ocean Observing Seascape 

The issue of the “crowded field” in ocean observing and the lack of clarity on who is doing what and how all the organisations fit together were highlighted and discussed at both the Kick-Off and 2nd Blue Planet Symposium. During the 3rd Blue Planet Symposium, there was very strong support for the idea that Blue Planet would work on producing a diagram that would provide some clarity on which organisations are doing what in relation to ocean observing (e.g. capacity building, data management, coordination of observations, user engagement etc). Because it is such a complex field, it was agreed that an interactive web-based system would be most appropriate. This would allow each organization to be tagged with various criteria (e.g. global/regional, intergovernmental/NGO, etc) for greater clarity in presentation. It was also noted that a simplified version would be needed to reach decision makers and other people outside the field.  

This Task Team is working to:

  • Develop and circulate a survey to as many organisations/programmes/projects as possible to gather (or improve existing) information on their priorities and areas of activity.
  • Compile the information into a table, and a list/repository of reports, strategies, road maps and other important documents produced by each organization/programme/project.
  • Develop a method for visualizing all the information in web form (working with Jonathan Hodge, Blue Planet Technical Coordinator/CSIRO).
  • Develop an infographic for a non-technical audience that will help to explain the “seascape” of ocean observing organisations (working with POGO Communications Officer with input from Ocean Communicators United).
Task Team on mapping the ocean observing “seascape”

It is envisioned that the work will be conducted by a small team including representatives from international, regional (intergovernmental or non-governmental) and national organisations, programmes and projects involved in ocean observations, particularly those who have already undergone efforts to map the ocean observing “seascape”, at local/regional scales (e.g. EMODNet, EuroGOOS). A call will be issued to the Steering Committee and targeted participants initially, then to the community at large, for volunteers willing to participate in the Task Team. The work will be conducted in consultation with the broader community (through surveys, requests for feedback etc).