Sustained ocean observations are crucial to track and understand the complex and vast oceanic environment, providing data, products and services to underpin a knowledge-driven society. But are we doing enough to optimize exisiting efforts for future generations and what should Europe's contribution be to the Global Ocean Observing System?
Through its pan-European network, the European Marine Board provides expert advice from the European marine scientific community in the areas of ocean observation and Marine Research Infrastructures (MRIs) to inform marine research policy and strategic planning.
EMB activities to date include publication of foresight papers (e.g. EMODnet vision document, Navigating the Future IV, chapter 11), policy statements (e.g. EurOCEAN Declarations), responses to European consultations (e.g. Marine Knowledge 2020), and an active role in European ocean observation projects (e.g. H2020 AtlantOS). In 2016, EMB will launch a Working Group on Strengthening Europe's biological ocean observing capability.
There is a growing recognition of the need to build a comprehensive, end-to-end European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) to coordinate the currently fragmented and complex ocean observing capacity across Europe.
In 2015, EMB and EuroGOOS launched a joint activity on EOOS as a framework for advancing Europe's capability for ocean observation. On 12-13 May 2015, a joint workshop was held in Brussels bringing together experts from the marine scientific and operational oceanographic communities to develop a roadmap, time-line and governance structure for EOOS. This was convened with the long-term goal of implementing a flagship initiative building on exisiting resources and commitments and aligning with international developments such as the Framework for Ocean Observing.
In particular, in Europe, there is a growing recognition of the need to build a comprehensive, end-to-end European Ocean Observing Systel (EOOS). In 2015, EMB and EuroGOOS launched a joint activity on EOOS, bringing together the marine scientific and operational oceanographic communities to develop a roadmap, time-line and governance structure for EOOS with the long-term goal of implementing a flagship initiaive building on existing resources and commitments. Activities to date include an expert workshop in May 2015 (see image below).
The concept of a truly end-end European Ocean Observation system was first formally endorsed at the EurOCEAN 2010 conference where the resulting Ostend Declaration called for policy makers to "Support the development of a truly integrated and sustainably funded European Ocean Observing System to establish Europe's global leading role." And in June 2013, EMB published Navigating the Future IV, with chapter 11 dedicated to 'EOOS'. This set out four pillars for an end-to-end EOOS, namely stakeholders, infrastructure, data services and outputs (products and services).