Workshop on Coastal Climate and Earth Observation Services for Small Island States

As a part of the ERA4CS funded INNOVA Project, the workshop will be held on 13-15 November 2019 in Point-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, French West-Indies at the Memorial ACTe Museum. 


The primary objectives of this workshop are:

  • Have the climate and observation service developers focusing on the unique challenges faced by the small islands.
  • Co-identify the gaps and needs for coastal climate and observation services for small island states.
  • Co-develop strategies in response to the needs of coastal climate and observation services for adaptation of small island communities.
  • Co-establish a platform or networks for the development and sharing of coastal climate and observation services for small island states.

For more information about co-sponsors of the event and expected outcomes, see the attached flyer.

Interested in participating? Please Contact Dr. Louis Celliers (

Call for a host for the 5th GEO Blue Planet Symposium!

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Blue Planet Initiative invites government agencies, research institutions and NGOs to submit an expression of interest to host the 5th GEO Blue Planet Symposium.

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2019

About GEO Blue Planet

We live on a blue planet, and Earth’s waters benefit many sectors of society. The future of our Blue Planet is increasingly reliant on the services delivered by marine, coastal and inland waters and on the advancement of effective, evidence- based decisions on sustainable development. GEO Blue Planet is a network of ocean and coastal-observers, social scientists and end-user representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups, including international and regional organizations, NGOs, national institutes, universities and government agencies. GEO Blue Planet aims to ensure the sustained development and use of ocean and coastal observations for the benefit of society.

GEO Blue Planet’s mission is to:

  • advance and exploit synergies among the many observational programmes devoted to ocean and coastal waters;
  • improve engagement with a variety of stakeholders for enhancing the timeliness, quality and range of services delivered; and
  • raise awareness of the societal benefits of ocean observations at the public and policy levels.

About GEO Blue Planet Symposiums

GEO Blue Planet hosts symposia every one to two years in different regions for the purpose of increasing regional linkages, promoting linkages between stakeholders and the observing community and gathering community feedback on the focus of GEO Blue Planet activities.

4th GEO Blue Planet Symposium – Toulouse, France, 2018

The 4th GEO Blue Planet Symposium was held from July 4 – 6, 2018 in Toulouse, France. The symposium was hosted by Mercator Ocean, member of the GEO Blue Planet Initiative and entrusted by the European Commission to operate the EU Copernicus Marine Service. This was the largest symposium to date with attendance of 300 delegates from international organisations and networks, research scientists, government agencies, various industries, ocean science communicators and graduate students. For additional information, see the symposium report.

3rd GEO Blue Planet Symposium – College Park, MD, USA, 2017

The 3rd Blue Planet Symposium was held in College Park, Maryland, USA from 31 May to 2 June 2017. The symposium was co-hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Maryland and the University System of Maryland Foundation.

2nd GEO Blue Planet Symposium – Cairns, Australia, 2015

The second Blue Planet symposium for the GEO marine Task SB-01 “Oceans and Society: the Blue Planet” was held in Cairns, Australia from 27 to 29 May 2015. The symposium was co-organised by CSIRO and POGO.

Kick-off Symposium - Ilhabela, Brazil, 2012

A kick-off symposium for the new GEO marine Task SB-01 “Oceans and Society: the Blue Planet” was held in Ilhabela, São Paulo State, Brazil, from November 19 to 21, 2012. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), GEO, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and POGO and took place just prior to the GEO-IX Plenary, held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (November 22 and 23, 2012).

Symposium Host Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with the GEO Blue Planet Secretariat on development of the program
  • Provide local organizing support
  • Support linkages with local stakeholders

Selection Criteria

  • Geographic location (Africa or Asia preferred)
  • Capacity to provide local organizing staff support.
  • Ability to provide funds for the venue, logistics and speaker travel or to seek and manage funding from financial sponsors.

Expressions of interest should be sent to by November 1, 2019.

OceanObs’19 UN SDG Breakout Session Pre-Conference Survey

Please take a moment to fill out the survey here!

In 2015, the United Nations established the 2030 Agenda with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to ensure present development meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The 2030 Agenda is an Integrated Plan of Action structured in four main parts: a) Vision and principles for transforming our world as set out in the Declaration; b) Results framework of 17 SDGs and 169 targets; c) Means of implementation through governments, society and global partnership, and; d) Follow-up and review framework of global indicators.

SDG 14 is specific to the ocean and is to ‘conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’. There are 10 targets for SDG 14, each with indicators to help countries, regions and the United Nations General Assembly to measure progress made in meeting the targets. Ocean observation, including in-situ measurements and remote sensing are particularly important to monitor eutrophication and plastic pollution (target 14.1) and ocean acidification (target 14.3). 

This session will focus on the role of ocean observations and research in the implementation, monitoring, and reporting in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDG 14 and how new science and technologies generated throughout the course of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development are expected to support these initiatives.

The planning committee for the OceanObs’19 Breakout Session on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Ocean Observing has put together a survey for the community to share their views on what role(s) ocean observations and the ocean observing community can play in the next decade in relation to the SDGs and to share what they would like covered during the side event.


Tracking Capacity Development Activities for Increased Collaboration

Capacity Development in Ocean Projects

As part of AANChOR (an EU-funded project promoting the implementation of an All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance), POGO, and the GEO Blue Planet Initiative, we’re looking for synergies to enhance cooperation and better utilize resources. As such, we are currently identifying existing ocean-related capacity development programs via this 5-minute capacity development survey

Responses to the survey will help identify existing ocean-related capacity development efforts as well as needs and gaps. This will enable us to more conscientiously consider future Atlantic ocean capacity development initiatives, including potential funding through AANChOR. 

We would appreciate your help in gathering this information and in spreading the word about the survey. Can you please take a few minutes to tell us about your capacity development initiatives and forward this message to your relevant colleagues? 

Eventually, project details will be housed on the All Atlantic Ocean Research Community website for everyone’s benefit. There you can also learn more about their work, community, goals, and resources.

AmeriGEO Week (August 19-23)

AmeriGEO Week 2019, August 19-23 in Lima, Peru,  aims to bring the AmeriGEO community together to reflect on progress, plan for the future to meet the priority needs in the focus areas identified by the region as highest priority (Water, Agriculture, Disaster, and Biodiversity/Ecosystems) and to provide training in the use of Earth Observations. The training is intended for staff of government institutions and other decision makers in the region. After an opening Plenary session, experts in the areas of remote sensing and data management will provide six parallel training sessions throughout the week (all at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima). The progress and planning meeting is open to the AmeriGEO community. The AmeriGEOSS Community Platform will be demonstrated to the community and feedback will be collected. We look forward to your participation!

The call for abstracts to be presented as posters during the Symposium is now open, with the deadline for submission on Tuesday, July 30th, 2018. Papers are being sought on diverse applications of EO for understanding and sustainably managing natural resources and the environment. Abstracts (max. 300 words) should be submitted by email to AmeriGEO Week Organizing Team: (;; ) with the subject: Abstract Submission. Submissions should address one [or more] of the following four GEO societal benefit areas, prioritized by the Americas Caucus country members:

1. Agriculture: associated with climate variability, climate change, and food security.

2. Disaster Risk Reduction: particularly for data exchange associated with early warnings and for the generation of regional products of early warnings.

3. Ecosystems: including biodiversity observation in coastal, marine, and continental habitats, in the context of capacity building for better monitoring, management, and maintenance of ecosystems and biodiversity they support; also, to predict future changes.

4. Water: associated with the management approach of water resources and data management.

5. Other thematic areas: capacity building, indigenous and land management, air quality, health, others.

AGU100 Oceanography from Space Session Abstract Submissions

Please consider your own possible submission or share this announcement with your Satellite Oceanography network colleagues.

Abstract submission deadline is July 31st!

Submit Abstracts Here

OS023 – Oceanography from Space:  Applications for Satellite-based Ocean Observations

The capability to remotely estimate various ocean properties from satellites is continuously increasing in maturity and scope.  Sea surface temperature, sea surface height, ocean vector winds and chlorophyll concentration are now available on a routine and sustainable basis.  These products are becoming integral to operational applications for routine and event-driven environmental assessments, predictions, forecasts and management, and represent a huge potential for contributing to societal needs and the Blue Economy. We invite presentations of studies that have used satellite-derived estimates of oceanic, coastal and inland water properties in an operational application, be it for public or commercial use. We specifically encourage presentations that highlight the methods employed, lessons learned in overcoming the challenges encountered, and socio-economic implications of the work.

Primary Convener
Veronica P LanceCooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites University of Maryland

Christopher Brown – NOAA
Paul M DiGiacomo – NOAA
Bojan R Bojkov – European Space Research Institute

Index Terms
4813 Ecological prediction
4815 Ecosystems, structure, dynamics, and modeling
4264 Ocean Optics
4556 Sea level: Variations and Mean

Swirl Topics
Science & Society

AGU100 Fall Meeting Information

Inventory of Existing Marine Litter Databases and Datasets for UN SDG Indicator 14.1.1

Submit Survey Responses Here

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals includes a goal (SDG 14 – Life Below Water) to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

SDG 14 Target 14.1 “by 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds (…)” provides a deadline for progress on reducing marine litter which is informed by SDG indicator 14.1.1b, “marine litter.”

There is a need to understand what data is available on marine litter and how this data can be brought together. The GEO Blue Planet Initiative is working to support the global community in identifying and integrating existing data.

We invite all stakeholders (including observation experts, citizen science initiatives, and database curators) to provide their expert input for this inventory of existing marine litter databases and datasets. All feedback is welcome and deemed relevant, as information from this survey will be used for the official UN SDG monitoring of SDG indicator 14.1.1.

Please direct questions to

June 3rd GEO Blue Planet Brown Bag Lunch Presentation

Monday, June 3 | 12:30-2:00 pm 

Join Using WebEx  Dial in number
Meeting password: pKKGecZ7

Meeting number: 735 707 209

Toll: 1-650-479-3207

Access code: 735 707 209


There are a range of new technologies that are helping revolutionize the way our natural resources are managed.  We live on a blue planet, and Earth’s waters benefit many sectors of society. The future of our blue planet is increasingly reliant on the services delivered by marine, coastal and inland waters and on the advancement of effective, evidence-based decisions on sustainable development. “Oceans and Society: Blue Planet” is an initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that aims to ensure the sustained development and use of ocean and coastal observations for the benefit of society. The initiative works to advance and exploit synergies among the many observational programmes devoted to ocean and coastal waters; to improve engagement with a variety of stakeholders for enhancing the timeliness, quality and range of information delivered; and to raise awareness of the societal benefits of ocean observations at the public and policy levels. This presentation will provide an overview of the GEO Blue Planet Initiative including current and planned activities including the development of information services for small island states and data discovery, access and utilization in support of SDG target 14.1.1 – index of coastal eutrophication and floating plastic debris.

Come and learn more from an expert about how modern satellite remote sensing is providing new perspectives and decision support to manage our Blue Planet.  Explore how we can collaborate with this initiative in our growing cross-sectoral work on the Blue Economy!  See disruptive tech in action!


Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep, Global Lead (Disruptive Technology)

Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice



Eileen Burke, Global Lead (Water Resources Management)

Water Global Practice


Delphine Arri, Senior Environmental Engineer, The World Bank

Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice



Emily Smail, Executive Director, GEO Blue Planet

NOAA-University of Maryland Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites 

Our Ocean Wealth Summit

Our Ocean Wealth Summit, in association with PwC, will take place on 10 June at Cork’s City Hall. OOW Summit is Ireland’s flagship event for the marine sector. Across a wide ranging of relevant fields including engineering, shipping, aquaculture, energy, technology, and bio-sciences, the Summit brings together Ireland and other international organizations to create innovative and sustainable solutions with global impacts that drive our blue economy. 

The theme of this years summit is “Shared Voices from Small Island Nations.” The Summit will hear from former US Secretary of State John Kerry, along with a number of other world leaders of island nations, researchers, entrepreneurs, and academics to engage, network and shape discussions about the maritime economy, and the related opportunities and challenges.

Ocean Best Practices System

The complexity of ocean observation is rapidly increasing as requirements for simultaneous biological, physical, and chemical ocean observations emerge to inform new societal and economic requirements. Yet, our ability to exchange the methods we use has become more challenging as traditional oral mentoring proves less sustainable at scale.

The Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS) supports the ocean observation community by providing a repository where best practices are reliably archived, accessible, searchable, and comparable across disciplines. The system consists of a sustained IODE global repository, a peer-reviewed Frontiers in Marine Science Research Topic
“Best Practices in Ocean Observing” and a training capability built upon the IOC OceanTeacher Global Academy. There are many benefits that are provided through this system. There are more than 600 best practices in the repository including standard operating procedures, manuals and other method description. This makes it easier to find and compare methods. The practices are assigned DOIs so they are permanently identified. OBPS is looking at a forum for community discussions about practices. For more information and to access best practices, go to In addition, look at the recent publications in the Best Practice research topic at: OBPS also provides a monthly newsletter about the latest news and community trends. If you would like to receive it, send an email to

Best practices are essential part of the Blue Planet Mission of advancing and exploiting synergies among the many observing programs devoted to ocean and coastal waters coupled with improving engagement with a variety of users for enhancing the timeliness, quality and range of services delivered. We are excited to support this Mission.