Korea Maritime Institute opens
GEO Blue Planet Asian Office

18 Jan 2023

December 2022 saw the official launch of the GEO Blue Planet Asian Office. Hosted by the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), based in Busan, South Korea, the Asian Office will be coordinated by Dr. Sung-Jin Cho together with Dr. Jungho Nam and Dr. Sang-Hyeok Lee.

The Asian Office will work closely with the U.S and European Offices, which together make up the GEO Blue Planet Secretariat, working to provide scientific, coordination and logistical support to all GEO Blue Planet activities and events, and foster partnerships.

KMI is a government-funded research institute established under the auspices of the Republic of Korea’s Prime Minister’s Office to contribute to formulating national policies in maritime and fisheries affairs pursuant of boosting the national economy. As a problem-solving research institution and global opinion leader, KMI is committed to fostering policy research based on science and technology to provide useable information that aids in making informed decisions and policies in the pursuit of sustainable blue economy.

The launch of the Asian office demonstrates GEO Blue Planet’s fast-growing community and the need of regional nodes to respond to the specific ocean and coastal data needs of stakeholders and users in different regions. The first GEO Blue Planet Office opened in 2015 with the launch of the initiative, supported by NOAA and the University of Maryland and headed by Dr. Emily Smail. The European Office joined forces in November 2021, hosted by Mercator Ocean International in Toulouse, France with funding from the European Union and coordinated by Dr. Audrey Hasson.

This is an exciting step in the development of our global initiative!  The establishment of the European Office greatly increased our engagement with Europe and Africa, and we are looking forward to the Asian Office expanding our reach in the Asia and the Pacific. Aside from regional engagement, as a policy-focused institute KMI will help GEO Blue Planet expand the reach of monitoring the marine environment to influencing policy and decision making. – Dr. Emily Smail, Executive Director of GEO Blue Planet

The next few months will be dedicated to integrating Dr. Cho and his team in the GEO Blue Planet’s current activities and exploring how KMI can lend their expertise and experience in new activities.

Following the last GEO Blue Planet Symposium held in October 2022 in Accra, Ghana, we are excited to announce that KMI will host the next symposium in Jeju, Korea, towards the end of October 2023.

A big welcome to our new Korean colleagues!

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