The newly formed EOOS Operations Committee held a very successful first meeting on 24-25 November 2020. EuroGOOS chaired the virtual meeting, which had over 45 participants, across 23 European countries. The EOOS Operations Committee is a vital element of the EOOS governance representing the diversity of the ocean observing implementers at national, regional, and pan-European levels. The committee’s role will be to help with the integration and long-term sustainability of the ocean observing efforts in Europe and implement EOOS progressively.
The GOOS National Focal Points from Europe, an integral part of this committee, provided a national perspective across a range of important topics relevant to European ocean observing and monitoring. This helped understand the diverse national requirements and level of coordination. The meeting benefited from the knowledge and experience of the European Research Infrastructures and EuroGOOS structures (Regional Operational Oceanographic Systems and Task Teams), as well as European earth observation agencies, research vessel operators and network of marine stations, as existing coordinating and collaborating structures in Europe. They are an excellent example of pan-European collaboration and provided valuable input on the successes and pitfalls in setting up these coordination groups.
The Operations Committee inaugural meeting was dynamic, informative and, insightful. It provided animated and engaging discussions that explored diverse solutions to make the benefits of ocean observing more visible, foster integration, coordination and collaboration, and advocate for sustained funding. The meeting also represents the first time GOOS has engaged with its National Focal Points as a collective team to work on advancing in national and cross-border ideas towards an integrated, fit-for-purpose Global Ocean Observing System.
Participants raised many ideas at the meeting, some of these include:
- Create national ocean observing coordination structures that are multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary;
- Propose a Pan-European programme of ocean observing for UN Decade of Ocean Science, with the support of EOOS and GOOS;
- Facilitate dialogue between neighbouring nations and between different communities (research, monitoring, industry) to improve information and knowledge exchange through dedicated interactive workshops at national, regional, and European level.
The next steps for the committee will be to map the ocean observing infrastructure networks and organisations, develop plans for dialogue within and between nations to foster coordination and collaboration, and other activities that will contribute to more a integrated ocean observing in Europe. You can find more information about this meeting in here, with a full report coming out soon.
We thank all the meeting participants for their valuable input and for making this a successful start of the committee. We also want to thank the EuroSea project, a major sponsor of the EOOS Operations Committee and GOOS for supporting the organization of this event. EuroGOOS and the European Marine Board underpin and support the work of EOOS and its committees.
Work of the EOOS Operations Committee is starting – and we will be working on implementing the EOOS strategy to make ocean observation a public utility in Europe, by strengthening coordination, strategy and sustainability in ocean observation. Watch this space for exciting new developments.