Alliances for Integrated Ocean Observing and Information Services Supporting the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 at the UN Ocean Conference in New York City (5-9 June 2017)

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AtlantOS (EU Horizon 2020 project) initiated together with its partners: the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), GODAE OceanView, the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), the TPOS 2020 project, the Group on Earth Observations Blue Planet and Marine Biodiveristy Observation Network Initiatives, the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON), the 2nd International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2), Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) a side event on Alliances for Integrated Ocean Observing and Information Services Supporting the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 at the UN Ocean Conference in New York City (5-9 June 2017). The objectives of the side event was to (i) strengthen alliances for global ocean observation, (ii) respond to the ocean information needs, (iii) to reflect how the different indicatives addressed major SDG 14 targets so far and what is planned for the short- and long-term future, and (iv) identify linkages and partners to support implementation of ocean-related SDGs and promote ocean observing activities in the “Call for Action”.

The side event was moderated by Craig McLean from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA) and the format of the side event provided for introduction talks on (i) Ocean Governance – information needs and challenges (Kristina Gjerdes, IUCN), (ii) the value of ocean observation for sustainable development (Claire Jolly, OECD), and (iii) Integrated fit-for-purpose Global Ocean Observing Systems: capabilities, challenges and opportunities (Martin Visbeck, GEOMAR, Albert Fischer, IOC/UNESCO, Ed Urban, SCOR) to stimulate the discussion which was opened with the following two guiding questions: (i) What steps have to be taken next to strengthen and promote existing alliances for ocean observation to advance the implementation of SDG 14?  What are the most relevant activities in the Call for Action to support and promote the implementation of ocean-related SDG’s?

The side event highlighted the need for more integration between the various activity possibly under the GOOS umbrella using the framework for ocean observing as a guide. Once the global ambition is defined by GOOS, which is the observing partner of the GEO Blue Planet initiative, regional implementation seems like a promising avenue to pursue. In addition the need to connect the observing capabilities more closely and visibly to the ocean information requirements was called out. Finally the discussion articulated the need for a more comprehensive ocean assessment framework with better links to ocean observing capabilities.

Credit for the photos: M. Visbeck, GEOMAR

Part of the panel members  of the side event: moderator Craig McLean from NOAA, Martin Visbeck from GEOMAR and coordinator of AtlantOS, Claire Jolly from OECD

Part of the panel members of the side event: moderator Craig McLean from NOAA, Martin Visbeck from GEOMAR and coordinator of AtlantOS, Claire Jolly from OECD

The audience of the side event and the panel members in the back

The audience of the side event and the panel members in the back