The AtlantOS program arose from the EU H2020 project AtlantOS, is supported by and contributes to different international and European initiatives and activities described below.
Global Ocean Observing System
Coordinated ocean observations have been in practice since 1991 after the creation of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), which is a program executed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO with the vision of a truly global ocean observing system that delivers the essential information needed for our sustainable development, safety, wellbeing and prosperity. This cannot be the sole responsibility of the scientific community and thus, requires the commitment of many other actors in the private and public sectors, working at global and local scales, in the ocean and from space, coordinating and evolving together. GOOS initially focused on physics and climate issues. As a result of the OceanObs series of conferences (1999, 2009), GOOS was expanded to include ocean chemistry and biology and a focus on coastal observing. Indeed, these two meetings laid the foundations for the ocean observing systems that have developed since. Documents such as the Framework for Ocean Observing, which arose from the OceanObs’09 meeting, guide much of the ocean observing community. New demands and expectations offer opportunities to review how we are conducting ocean observing and provide fresh approaches. This cannot be the sole responsibility of the scientific community and thus, requires the commitment of many other actors in the private and public sectors, working at global and local scales, in the ocean and from space, coordinating and evolving together. Thus, AtlantOS will
Group on Earth Observations Blue Planet Initiative
GEO Blue Planet was established as an initiative under the frame of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which is an intergovernmental partnership that improves the availability, access and use of earth observations for a sustainable planet.
The GEO Work Program (2020-2022) includes five categories of activities, collectively known as GEO Implementation Mechanisms: Flagships, initiatives, community activities, regional GEOs, and foundational tasks. “GEO Initiatives, together with GEO Flagships, form the core of the GEO Work Programs. Within their defined domains, GEO Initiatives help to transition innovative results and prototypes from the research community into Earth observation-based products and services to support a wide range of users. GEO Initiatives also build communities of stakeholders that work together to identify needs and gaps and develop capacity with these communities to maximize the value of the products and services being developed. GEO Flagships and Initiatives are expected to interact closely with the GEO Secretariat and the GEO community and, in return, receive a greater degree of visibility, support and guidance from GEO.” GEO Blue Planet is e.g. closely working together with GEO BON (Biodiversity Observation Network) one of the GEO Flagships.
Since AtlantOS connects observing networks and supports the evolution and implementation of the basin-scale system and use cases providing societal benefits, AtlantOS will
All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance
Two international Atlantic cooperative agreements for marine science provide an incentive and context for a focus on ocean observing with a particular emphasis on the Atlantic. These are: the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation, signed by the European Union, Canada and the United States of America in 2013; and the Belém Statement on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation, signed by the European Union, South Africa and Brazil in 2017 with additional EU-Argentina and EU-Cabo Verde agreements and the ambition to include other countries around the Atlantic Basin.
AtlantOS is actively involved in observing related topics and was present at the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum in Brussels (Belgium) in February 2020. It is seen as a component of the content related work in these alliances. In addition, AtlantOS was/is in close contact with the Coordination Support Actions (CSAs) for these agreements – Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA, ended in April 2020) and All-Atlantic Cooperation for Research and Innovation (AANCHOR).
OceanObs Conference Series
New demands and expectations in ocean observing and processes shaped the OceanObs’19 meeting and offered opportunities to assess how ocean observing is conducted currently and how to consider fresh approaches. AtlantOS was represented at the Ocean Obs’19 conference in Honolulu (HI, USA) and organized a Special Session and Side Event in cooperation with the European Commission, AORA, and AANCHOR. In addition, the AtlantOS High-Level Strategy was published as a Community White Paper through Frontiers in Marine Science. For the next OceanObs’29 it is planned to present AtlantOS as the basin-scale component supporting GOOS.
UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)
In 2015, the United Nations agreed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals (SDGs), and 195 countries agreed on the Paris Accord. In 2017, a call for action was adopted by member states at the high-level UN Ocean Conference supporting the implementation of SDG 14 to ‘conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’.
In 2021 the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030) starts. During the preparatory phase AtlantOS is actively involved in the Regional Workshop. In addition, it is planned to develop contributions for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development for achievement of Ocean Decade objectives.
G7 leaders have also shown an interest in the importance of ocean science since 2016, most recently with the 2018 publication, Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Communities and at their meeting in Biarritz in 2019. At the Ocean Obs’19 meeting in Honolulu (USA) the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Working Group presented their statement to the conference, its participants, and in general the whole ocean observing community. AtlantOS can contribute to the achievement of objectives of this group and is already in contact with national scientific representatives.