As part of a joint marine sustainability initiative, the EU-funded ODYSSEA project helped formulate its September 2021 policy document, “Nourishing Blue Economy and Sharing Ocean Knowledge: Ocean information for Sustainable Development”. ODYSSEA coordinator Prof. Georgios Sylaios is one of the document’s six primary authors, representing a collaborative effort, bringing together ten Horizon 2020-supported Blue Projects to focus on sustainable management of the marine environment.
The policy brief presented “Policy Challenges in Addressing Ocean Observation” and laid out a series of recommendations:
- Create a European Policy Framework for Scientific Ocean Observations Long-term Funding
- Support the Professionalisation of the Next Generation of ‘Blue Staff’
- Transform Data into Knowledge by Investing in IT Observations
- Define Global Standards and Interoperability Practices
- Strengthening Citizen Science for Policy, Equitable Access, Democratization, and Critical Data Contributions“
The ocean unites our planet, sustaining life and regulating climate. It calls for our shared responsibility. Quality ocean information is crucial to support evidence-based decision making, providing key insights for the sustainable development of the Blue Economy,” the producers of the document said in a video presentation on it. “By harmonizing and integrating new and historic marine data, we can understand how to reduce the impact of human activities on our ocean. Ten Blue projects have joined forces to do just that, and contribute to European excellence in marine research, enhanced ocean observation technologies and analysis capabilities, evidence-based support for ocean management and governance, digital networking and training platforms for global ocean research communities, impacting the Blue Economy and how we share knowledge of our oceans – valuable ocean knowledge ready to be shared and multiplied.”
The group seeks to provide new services nurturing a sustainable Blue Economy and contributing to European efforts on supporting excellence in marine research, policies and partnerships with industry and the public sector, to better address key global challenges, and contribute to achieving the goals outlined in the EU Green Deal, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations 2021-2030 Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the group said in its online flyer. “This project group aims to support excellence in marine coastal research to better answer societal and policy needs.”
Members of the Blue Economy initiative seek to support excellence in marine research to better answer societal and policy needs; increase capacities for strategic partnerships, business uptake, economic and technological development; support coordination of ocean observing at global and regional levels; deliver ocean climate and ocean health monitoring tools; contribute to the policy development at national, European and international levels; work with industry and government stakeholders to use know-how to support sustainable Blue Economy, and educate ocean resource managers and researchers in the application of an approach to ecosystem management.
The initiative is in the form of an EU Horizon Results Booster (HRB) Blue Economy project cluster, designed to serve as a follow-up to Horizon2020 support, bringing together the EU projects EuroSea, Blue Cloud, Atlas, Eurofleets, AtlantECO, iAtlantic, JERICOs3, MissionAtlantic and Nautilos, alongside ODYSSEA.