GEO Blue Planet plans to host a number of thematic workshops aimed at establishing and strengthening linkages between practitioners, ocean experts and local/regional stakeholders in Asia. Five thematic workshops centered on the engagement priorities of Marine Litter, Satellite Derived Bathymetry, Fisheries, Marine Spatial Planning and Data Needs for National Adaptation Planning will be held.
Dr. Audrey Hasson- Mercator Ocean International
Dr. Sunny Soonwook Hong- Our Sea of East Asia Network (OSEAN)
The ocean is of significant importance to the Asian region. It is largely regarded as one of the most biologically diverse and productive marine ecosystems on Earth. The ocean also provides a source of employment, nutrition, economic growth and a host of other ecosystem services to millions of inhabitants in the region. There are however many issues affecting the health and well-being of the ocean in the region. Researchers and pertinent governing bodies in the region have identified the prevalence of marine litter as a major cause for concern.
Marine litter has become a multi-dimensional problem with economic, environmental, cultural, and human health costs across the world. To address concerns related to marine litter pollution, the United Nations created Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, “Life Below Water” and Target 14.1: “By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution”. Achieving this target requires the identification and assessment of marine litter via a host of observation and detection methods to inform policy. This workshop is designed to explore the role of Earth Observations in supporting marine litter monitoring efforts in the Asian region. With support and guidance from subject matter experts, workshop attendees will also have the opportunity to propose the implementation of region-specific Earth Observation based marine litter projects and outcomes that are in line with the GEO Blue Planet Core Action Areas of Stakeholder Engagement, Cooperation and Co-design and Capacity Development.
Satellite Derived Bathymetry
Dr. Erica Wales- Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA
Dr. Nashwan Matheen- Maldives Space Research Organization
The wider Asian region is home to approximately 4.3 billion people. Of the region’s collective population, over 60% of these inhabitants live in coastal regions. Rising sea levels, changes in precipitation and increased rates of storm surges and erosion have increased the vulnerability of coastal ecosystems and communities to coastal flooding in the region. In an attempt to improve the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to coastal hazards, effective measures based on reliable and consistent scientific data are required.
One technique which can be used to inform the management of coastal resources and communities in light of coastal hazards is Satellite Derived Bathymetry (SDB). This technique utilizes ocean optics and other technologies to estimate near shore bathymetry elevation values using satellite derived imagery. With the ability to detect the topography of the sea floor, researchers can effectively combine satellite data, hydrodynamic models and reef profiles to provide a host of information that can be used to reduce the impact of coastal flooding and inundation events in the region such as early warning systems and monitoring tools. Identified as a priority among small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, this workshop is designed to explore the role of using Satellite Derived Bathymetry in addressing issues pertinent to coastal zones in the region. With support and guidance from subject matter experts, workshop attendees will also have the opportunity to propose the implementation of region-specific Earth Observation based Satellite Derived Bathymetry projects and outcomes that are in line with the GEO Blue Planet Core Action Areas of Stakeholder Engagement, Cooperation and Co-design and Capacity Development.
Dr. Nikelene Mclean- ESSIC University of Maryland
Sukguen Jung- Jeju National University
The fisheries sector is important to many countries in the Asian region. It plays a significant role in supporting food production, nutritional security and supports the livelihoods of approximately 31 million people according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). This sector also plays a notable role in strengthening the regional economy as it contributes directly to the GDP of each country in the region. There are however many issues affecting the growth and success of the fisheries sector in the region including IUU (Illegal, Undocumented and Unregulated) fishing, overfishing and marine pollution.
This workshop is designed to provide regional fisheries stakeholders with insight into the suite of Earth Observations products and services that can be used to meet fisheries related needs. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge from subject matter experts who have successfully developed and implemented fisheries related products and services. With support and guidance from these experts, workshop attendees will also have the opportunity to propose the implementation of region-specific Earth Observation based fisheries projects and outcomes that are in line with the GEO Blue Planet Core Action Areas of Stakeholder Engagement, Cooperation and Co-design and Capacity Development.
Marine Spatial Planning
Zu Wenxi- IOC UNESCO WESTPAC (Invited)
Hee Jung Choi- Korea Maritime Institute (Invite pending)
In recent years, marine and coastal resources have become increasingly vulnerable to negative impacts as a result of climate change, anthropogenic activities and environmental degradation in the Asian region. To combat these negative effects, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) has been used as a measure to support the sustainable use of the ocean and its resources. It has been utilized by many countries to analyze and allocate the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives. One country in which this measure was established was the Republic of Korea.
In 2018, Korea established the “Marine Spatial Planning Act” and designated its entire EEZ into nine designated use zones, including fishing activity protection zones, energy development zones, and marine environment and ecosystem management zones, based on the analysis results of marine spatial big data and consultations with stakeholders. By introducing the marine spatial suitability consultation system to review various usage and development plans in advance, a marine spatial management system was established. This integrated system of marine spatial management in Korea is considered a successful case of a local MSP, unlike the national-level MSP cases in European countries that are advanced in MSP. Currently, other countries in Asia, such as Bangladesh and Indonesia, are requesting cooperation on related regulations and technologies. This workshop will explore the development and implementation of Marine and Spatial Planning techniques and their potential for transfer to other countries in the Asian region. With support and guidance from subject matter experts, workshop attendees will also have the opportunity to propose the implementation of region-specific Earth Observation based Marine Spatial Planning projects and outcomes that are in line with the GEO Blue Planet Core Action Areas of Stakeholder Engagement, Cooperation and Co-design and Capacity Development.
Data Needs for National Adaptation Planning
Dr. David Cabana – Climate Services Center Germany (GERICS)
Joy Chakrabarrty – Center for Satellite Applications and Research, NOAA
Climate change, which refers to the long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns, has become one of the most topical issues in today’s global community. Although climatic shifts may be natural, human activity has been the main driver of climate change in recent decades. The burning of fossil fuels and the resulting emission of carbon into the atmosphere has significantly contributed to the greenhouse effect and subsequent warming of the Earth. This phenomenon can lead to a host of negative effects in the coastal and marine environments. Climate change impacts the marine environment largely through ocean warming and ocean acidification. These phenomena can also have localized negative impacts on the world’s coastal environments and communities.
Global organizations such as the United Nations have proposed guidelines for undertaking national responses to climate change by way of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). According to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), the main objective of the NAP process is to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change by building adaptive capacity and resilience; and to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into existing policies, programs and activities within all relevant sectors.
This workshop is designed to explore the data needs for the formulation of National Adaptation Plans that would lead to improving the resilience and adaptive capacity of coastal resources by integrating coastal adaptation into NAPs. This is needed to ensure that the coastal and ocean economies can achieve their potential, whilst ensuring the functioning of ecosystem services upon which such economies are built. The need for transformation of coastal communities is a key element of sustainability as part of strategies to adapt to climate change. With support and guidance from subject matter experts, workshop attendees will have the opportunity to propose the implementation of region-specific Earth Observation based National Adaptation Planning projects and outcomes that are in line with the GEO Blue Planet Core Action Areas of Stakeholder Engagement, Cooperation and Co-design and Capacity Development.
Attendees will have the opportunity to openly engage with Earth Observation experts to discuss the role of EO in addressing issues pertinent to each theme. Workshop participants will also be able to identify gaps in data and information that need to be addressed in order to support the sustainable management of ocean and coastal resources in the region. These workshops will also serve as a basis for identifying potential GEO Blue Planet working group activities which will cultivate collaboration among members of the broader GEO Blue Planet network and stakeholders in Asia based on specified themes.
- To provide insight into the needs of stakeholders in response to marine and coastal issues.
- To communicate information pertinent to the role of Earth Observations in addressing challenges related to marine and coastal resource management in the region.
- To gain feedback and identify potential activities through which regional stakeholders can collaborate with the GEO Blue Planet network
These workshops should appeal to a wide range of participants who are interested in the use of ocean and coastal data to support decision-making in the region. The workshops are open to regional subject matter experts, ministers of government, representatives from regional ocean/coastal related organizations, elected local officials, private industry representatives, researchers and students.