Since November 2020, Mercator Ocean International has been entrusted with the European Commission’s Foreign Policy Instrument Action (FPI): International ocean governance: EU component to global observations (EU4OceanObs).
What is EU4OceanObs?
EU4OceanObs is a 2-year project that will strengthen the European Union’s prominence and influence in international ocean governance and global ocean observations. Funded through the Partnership Instrument managed by the European Commission Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), the project will be implemented by Mercator Ocean International.
Mission & Objectives
EU4OceanObs will work to increase the EU’s visibility as a leading global actor, defend its interests and strengthen its influence in international decision-making bodies on the collection and use of ocean observations to address societal needs and environmental concerns. The action will spearhead and promote the EU’s increasing commitment and activities in the domain of ocean observation with a focus on two major international partnerships, the Global Ocean Observing System/ G7 coordination centre and the GEO Blue Planet component.
The project will enrich the Copernicus Marine Service by supporting the increased deployment and access to much needed in situ ocean observations, crucial for the quality of weather and ocean forecasts and climate models, as well satellite data. Unless such data is provided for all regions of the ocean, models cannot correctly replicate the behaviour of the Earth System.
EU4OceanObs will also showcase, create synergies and pool the numerous projects and services contributing to ocean observations across the ocean data value chain initiated, operated and funded by the EU. From upstream activity in international ocean governance to downstream in situ and space ocean observations, which are needed to drive the development of marine and maritime downstream services and applications contributing to a sustainable ocean. By doing so, EU4OceanObs aims to clarify and promote the roles and benefits of main European initiatives related to the development of global ocean observing systems such as:
- Ocean observation infrastructures (Euro-Argo, EuroFleet, EMBRC)
- Ocean observation from Space (EURO GEOSS & Copernicus Marine)
- Ocean observation activities & research projects under Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe (Blue-Cloud)
- Ocean data processing & sharing infrastructures (EMODnet, WEkEO DIAS)
Ocean observation and knowledge are more critical than ever. They directly contribute to keeping our oceans healthy and conserving biodiversity, monitoring climate change, and fostering a sustainable blue economy. By playing a catalytic role in support of the blue economy and the development of sustainable practices for marine and maritime applications, EU4OceanObs will contribute to the objectives under the European Green Deal, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targeted at the oceans (SDG 14: Life Below Water) and the common framework of the UN decade of ocean science for sustainable development -Towards the ocean we need for the future we want (2021 – 2030).
Mercator Ocean International & EU4OceanObs
The implementation of EU4OceanObs has been delegated to MOi, a provider of ocean science-based services of general interest focused on the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources since 2010. MOi has also been conceiving, implementing and operating the Copernicus Marine Service on behalf of the European Commission since 2014. MOi was also selected along with ECMWF, EUMETSAT, and the European Environment Agency (EEA) to implement the WEkEO DIAS cloud computing platform. And now, MOi will enter and bring its expertise in a new frontier of international ocean governance by coordinating the EU4OceanObs project.
A team has been set up, fully integrated at MOi, to pilot EU4OceanObs and who will work side by side with the European Commission’s Foreign Policy Instrument Service, the G7 Coordination Centre and the GEO Blue Planet Secretary. The project taskforce, headed by the MOi Scientific Director, Pierre Yves Le Traon, includes a GEO Blue Planet European Office and a G7/GOOS European Office. The GEO Blue Planet Office will contribute to international initiatives for sustained oceans and on behalf of the European Commission, further integrate and promote European activities in this domain. The G7/GOOS European Office will foster synergies between these two bodies and on behalf of the European Commission, support the G7/GOOS coordination centre and notably advance the EU’s actions related to the Future of the Seas and Oceans initiative and other international developments on global ocean governance.
A new dedicated website will be launched soon with information on the project, its activities and upcoming events.