EU4OceanObs facilitates the engagement of European initiatives in ocean observing and forecasting to support actions outlined in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade), consistent with European Union (EU) policy directives and research priorities for restoring our ocean. Priority is given to strengthening alignment in ocean observations, modelling and forecasting, data sharing, application development, and user uptake and feedback. Within this context, EU4OceanObs fosters EU-to-international partnerships across the ocean observing and forecasting value chain towards the development of sustainable practices related to climate change resilience, the blue economy, and marine ecosystem restoration and protection. 

Increasing EU-to-International collaborations in the Ocean Decade

The EU Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters” and the Ocean Decade share a common ocean science approach to increase societal benefits while responding to the current challenges facing our ocean and seas.

The European Commission initiated the Mission “Restore our Ocean and Waters” (Mission Ocean) in September 2021 under the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation (2021-2027). Its primary goal is to protect and restore our ocean and waters by enhancing ocean knowledge and advancing innovative solutions that are essential for decision-making. With a 2030 target to achieve these significant challenges, efforts will be encouraged to design and test effective solutions though a Digital Ocean and Water Knowledge System, known as the European Digital Twin of the Ocean. A better understanding of the ocean processes will benefit to:

The Ocean Decade is guided by the vision of “the science we need for the ocean we want”, aiming to deliver transformative Ocean science solutions for sustainable development and societal benefits. The Ocean Decade’s efforts contribute to achieving a Clean, Healthy and Resilient Ocean, supporting a Productive Ocean with sustainable food supplies and Ocean economy, predicting Ocean behavior, ensuring a Safe and Accessible Ocean, and creating an Inspiring and Engaging Ocean.

EU4OceanObs works to create a bridge between the Ocean Decade priorities and EU actions in aiming to deliver societal benefits by strengthening ocean observing, ocean modelling and forecasting, data sharing and use of ocean data. EU4OceanObs particularly addresses challenges 6 through 9 of the Ocean Decade:

  • Challenge 6: “Increase community resilience to ocean hazards
  • Challenge 7 “Expand the Global Ocean Observing System
  • Challenge 8 “Create a digital representation of the Ocean
  • Challenge 9 “Skills, knowledge and technology for all

EU4OceanObs provides mapping and a framework for collaborations of EU initiatives with relevant international counterparts for the above Ocean Decade challenges. The structure of the Ocean Decade, coordinated via Decade Coordination Centres (DCCs) and Decade Coordination Offices (DCOs), provides long-term support for Decade Actions at the regional and thematic levels. EU4OceanObs actively encourages EU involvement in OceanPrediction DCC and the DCOs for Ocean Observing and Data Sharing addressing the Ocean Decade challenges 6, 7, 8 and 9.

The OceanPrediction DCC (implemented by ), the Decade Coordination Offices -Data Sharing (led by the IOC International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) and -Ocean Observing (led by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)) are working closely together to establish a framework for the development of ocean monitoring and forecasting services to meet the challenges of the Decade. These DCC and DCOs facilitate collaboration, promote the co-design of science with multiple stakeholders, and assist the Ocean Decade Communities of Practices by facilitating their organization, membership, and active engagement via the Ocean Decade Network.

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