GEO Blue Planet is a global initiative that supports the use of ocean and coastal observations for the benefit of societies worldwide. GEO Blue Planet currently runs seven thematic working groups developing tools, indicators and reviews (white papers) to bridge the gap between ocean and coastal observations, scientific knowledge and society – the ultimate end users. These working groups work address challenges related to fisheries, marine debris, pollution, coastal flooding, sargassum, oil spills, amongst others, and cover impacted regions all over the world. Through these working groups, the GEO Blue Planet EU coordination works to increase the use of European generated global ocean and coastal data and derived applications from EU infrastructures (such as Copernicus Marine Service and EMODnet) and with a specific focus on Africa, and the Atlantic and Arctic regions.
In the Atlantic Ocean, GEO Blue Planet’s working group on Sargassum co-led by the EU coordinator has provided a single-entry point for information on Sargassum inundations for the Caribbean Region – the Sargassum Information Hub. This digital information hub is in the process of being extended to the West African coast, which has also been significantly impacted by these inundations. This working group is a great example of developing a pilot tool at the regional level and then extending it to other regions.