GEO Blue Planet is the ocean and coastal arm of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). GEO Blue Planet works to ensure the sustained development and use of ocean and coastal observations for the benefit of society by promoting collection of continuous ocean observations, processing of data into information and linking this information with societal needs. GEO Blue Planet tackles the end of the value chain from observations to applications based on a network of ocean and coastal-observers, social scientists and end-user representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups.
As part of its 2020 – 2022 work programme period, GEO Blue Planet will work to identify and share best practices on stakeholder engagement and societal awareness; communications; data discovery, access and utilisation; and capacity development. The initiative will collaborate with various GEO activities and partners to support GEO’s engagement priorities and strengthen linkages with stakeholders. GEO Blue Planet will also work to develop the below knowledge hubs and decision-support tools:
- Knowledge hubs for fisheries, coral reefs and ocean-related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) monitoring
- Multi-hazard information and alert system for the wider caribbean (sargassum and oil spills)
- Early warning system for marine flooding of reef-lined islands
- Systems for observing, quantifying, and classifying marine debris
The GEO Blue Planet Secretariat provides scientific and logistical support for GEO Blue Planet activities. The Secretariat also provides coordination support for activities and developing partnerships. The Executive Director of GEO Blue Planet, Dr. Emily Smail, heads the Secretariat and its U.S. Office, which is hosted by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The European Office, hosted by Mercator Ocean International, is headed by Dr. Audrey Hasson, the EU4OceanObs Action Coordinator of the GEO Blue Planet component. A new Asian Office was opened at the end of 2022, hosted by the Korea Maritime Institute and headed by Dr. Sung-Jin Cho.