On February 8th, just ahead of the One Ocean Summit in Brest, OceanOPS, the Joint Centre of the World Meteorological Organization and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO launched the Odyssey Project. The launch event, attended by citizens, scientists, sailors, shipping industries and fishing companies, called for collaboration between the civil society, private sector and everyone interested in contributing to ocean observations in support of the GOOS.
Since 2000, OceanOPS has been the international hub and centre of excellence that provides vital services in monitoring and coordinating an expanding network of global oceanographic and marine meteorological observing communities, under GOOS. Conscious that the development of the GOOS needs more players involved in order to obtain more targeted and sustained observations, OceanOPS is launching the Odyssey Project, under the UN Ocean Decade. Through the new project, OceanOPS is aiming to enhance the GOOS in all its components by unlocking the potential of new ocean-going vessel types from ocean races, NGOs, citizens, and private sectors.
“The ocean is vast and ocean data are scarce. Odyssey will be supporting citizens and civil society plying remote ocean areas to collect important ocean data. This is a timely undertaking that will channel the energy and goodwill of ocean friends all over the world for a sustainable ocean environment” – said Toste Tanhua, co-chair of GOOS, expressing his support to Odyssey and thanking all ocean observing volunteers.
Odyssey embodies the level of response we need to face climate issues under the Ocean Decade and GOOS will help strengthen international collaborations within and outside the ocean observing community. These collaborations, based on the observations’ collection, data sharing and analyses, scientific and technological developments, will be essential to develop such a project.
Through all its partners and a vast range of communication channels, the project will also be a powerful platform to promote all contributions and the benefits of the GOOS to a larger public. Moreover, it will help develop educational programmes through the Ocean Observers international initiative, as well as capacity development programmes with the involvement of local and indigenous populations in ocean observations.
The Odyssey Project will contribute to GOOS projects and programmes, such as the Ocean Observing Co-Design programme endorsed by the UN Decade, which aims to create a system co-designed with observations, modeling and key user stakeholders that will evolve ocean observing and give us the ocean we need for the future we want.
The project launch event on February 8th, with more than 100 attendees from all around the world, not only introduced the Odyssey, but also showcased various initiatives in support of ocean observations from civil society, including scuba diving, sailing and surf communities, as well as shipping and fishing industries.
At the end of the event participants signed the Brest declaration to express their support for ocean observations contributing to the GOOS and ensuring that met-ocean data, acquired following international standards, are timely delivered and freely accessible to all users worldwide.