Program

Program Description 

Session 0: Welcome and Introduction

The welcome and will introduce participants to GEO Blue Planet and the desired outcomes of the symposium.

Session 1: Understanding and Managing Environmental and Economic Pressures on our Ocean and Coasts

Understanding and managing the economic contributions of the ocean and coasts is crucial for human welfare. Marine or blue economies include industries, such as fishing, shipping, mineral resource extraction and tourism, as wells as ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, coastal protection and oxygen production. The blue economy is currently valued at USD 1.5 trillion and is projected to double by 2030.

Through development of a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal explicitly targeted at the ocean (SDG 14), the global community has prioritized the need for concerted action to ensure sustainable growth and management of blue economies across the planet. Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 15 (climate action and life on land), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and regional policies such as the EU Integrated Maritime Policy further recognize that 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.

In this session, speakers will address the environmental and economic drivers and pressures on our ocean and coasts and policies that address these challenges.

Session 2: Producing and Deriving Coastal and Ocean Information

Ocean and coastal observation is the gathering of physical, chemical and biological information about coastal and open-ocean areas through direct (or “in situ”) measurements and remote-sensing technologies. These data play a vital role for informed decision-making by governments, civil society and the private sector about sustainable development, ecosystem management, food security, ocean-resource utilization and natural disasters. Furthermore, products are now being generated in terms of analyses and forecasts that are essential information for disaster risk reduction and all management issues.

In this session, speakers will an overview of the status of the ocean and coastal observing system, the forecasting and its evolution and the development of information and services.

Session 3: Ocean and Coastal Information in Support of Blue Growth

In order to support the further sustainable growth of the blue economy and ensure the proper management of the ecosystem services the ocean and coasts provide, monitoring and information services are needed.

This session will connect current and potential users to ocean and coastal information that is currently available to support sustainable economic growth. The sessions will also identify information gaps that can be addressed by GEO Blue Planet.

Session 4: Ocean and Coastal Information in Support of Sustainable Development

The global ocean and coastal communities recognize the need for a step change in the way in which they coordinate and “hardwire” the links between technological innovation and sustained observations of the ocean and coasts, the analyses and forecasts, the information and services they jointly provide, and the approach to ocean and coastal policies for sustainability.
This session will connect current and potential users to ocean and coastal information that is currently available to support sustainable development in general, and the SDG monitoring and implementation in particular. The sessions will also identify information gaps that can be addressed by GEO Blue Planet.

Session 5: Societal Awareness of the value of Ocean and Coastal Information

The ocean and coasts are generally not recognized by the vast majority of the world’s population as being an important part of their lives, even though it is a source of food, transport and recreation, a large contributor to the global economy, and sustains livelihoods for millions of people in the poorest parts of the world. If people are not aware of the importance of the ocean and coasts, they are even less likely to understand the impacts that ocean and coastal information can have (and do have) on their everyday lives. We therefore need to work together to explain, in simple and meaningful terms, to a lay audience, what ocean and coastal observations and forecasts 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.

In this session, speakers will provide examples of successful efforts to engage the public. Session discussions will address how GEO Blue Planet can support societal awareness in relation to ocean and coastal observations, services and information.

Program Committee

  • Francisco Chavez, Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, USA
  • Douglas Cripe, Group on Earth Observations Secretariat, Switzerland 
  • Samy Djavidnia, Maritime Safety Agency, Portugal
  • Elva Escobar-Briones, Marine Sciences and Limnology Institute of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
  • Rene Garello, IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society and Télécom Bretagne, France
  • Paul DiGiacomo, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
  • Samy Djavidnia, European Maritime Safety Agency, Portugal
  • Pierre-Yves La Traon, Mercator Océan, France
  • Christine Pequignet, Met Office, UK
  • Nadia Pinardi, University of Bologna, Department of Environmental Sciences and Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy
  • Ralph Rayner, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and London School of Economics, United Kingdom
  • Shubha Sathyendranath, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK
  • Sophie Seeyave, Executive Director, Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans, UK
  • Emily Smail, University of Maryland Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
  • Cecile Thomas-Courcoux, Mercator Océan, France 
  • Li Zhang, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hainan Key Laboratory of Earth Observations, China

Organizing Committee 

  • Pierre-Yves Le Traon, Mercator Ocean, France
  • Emily Smail, University of Maryland Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA
  • Cecile Thomas-Courcoux, Mercator Ocean, France