The G&A Programme contributes to the Copernicus "Blue Book"

The Book will be launched on Tuesday, November 19th at the occasion of an event at the European Parliament, proposed and hosted by MEPs Catherine Chabaud (Renew Europe) and Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP), called "Fostering knowledge on sustainable ocean: What benefits for the EU? Introducing the Blue Book ‘Copernicus for a Sustainable Ocean".  The GMES and Africa Support Programme contributed to the "Living Ocean" Chapter / Grand Témoin section.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JbIRwtMJgQh8B0RDKazOYikyuGOhBosR/view?usp=sharing, a link to a "brochure" on the Blue Book, that was presented to the Copernicus Committee and User Forum on June 20

ABOUT THE EVENT

Interested people are invited to join by the Organizers and can register by clicking on the dedicated link in here enclosed program. Any question about the event will have to be addressed to mercator-ocean@eurosagency.eu 

The Book will be published by Tuesday, November 19th in a digital version accessible from the Copernicus Marine Service website (ISBN 978-2-9570294-1-9). It is 140 pages long and has been co-authored by nearly 70 contributors, among them the G&A Coordinator.

The Book will be also presented on Friday, November 22nd during a plenary session of the next "Sustainable Ocean Summit" (PARIS, 20/22 Nov) organised by the World Ocean Council.

Any questions, remarks or advice about The Blue Book,Copernicus for a Sustainable Ocean are warmly welcome, please e-mail: info.bluebook@mercator-ocean.fr


ABOUT COPERNICUS MARINE ENVIRONMENT MONITORING SERVICE (CMEMS) AND THE BLUE BOOK.

With a dedicated fleet of satellites for the ocean - Sentinel 3 and Sentinel 6 - Copernicus delivers ocean-related observations daily. 

From a vision initially outlined in 2001 with more than 50 partners and 20 countries, the Copernicus Marine Service, entrusted to Mercator Ocean International, is now the public European Ocean Forecasting Centre that freely and openly delivers relevant ocean forecasts and climate records to assess ocean health and climate, manage living and non-living resources, and contribute to safer routes. 

The Copernicus Marine Service received recognition at the First United Nations Conference for SDG14 in 2017 for its Ocean State Report: the annual review of global warming consequences, polar ice caps melting, ocean acidification or sea-level rise.

The Commission intends to work to reinforce Copernicus as a major world-class reference for ocean protection and management, with the continuous improvement of its services, including addressing emerging needs such as CO2 monitoring or monitoring the Arctic.

The Blue Book [will] tell the story of this adventure, Copernicus for a Sustainable Ocean: with citizen testimonies from around the globe, business success stories, societal commitments, and visionary statements of major European and International stakeholders.

(Thanks to Mrs. ELŻBIETA BIENKOWSKA, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs)



ABOUT THE GMES AND AFRICA MARINE AND COASTAL SERVICES

The first phase of GMES and Africa focuses on two services: Water and Natural Resources, and Marine and Coastal Resources. A competitive Call process awarded grants to 13 Consortia of institutions in the various regions of Africa, operating projects in either of the two services. Among them, the 4 Marine and Coastal Consortia are presented below.  


The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

  • The problems they are solving
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), leads the GMES and Africa Southern and Eastern Africa consortium covering the Benguela Current Large Marine and Agulhas Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems. In concert with its partners, it is active in Monitoring and Forecasting of Oceanography, Fisheries Resource Management, Coastal Ecosystem Mapping and Monitoring, Ship Traffic Monitoring, and Marine Weather Forecast. The CSIR consortium comprises Benguela Current Commission of Namibia, Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association based in Tanzania, the Institute for Marine Sciences of Tanzania, Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean, Eduardo Mondlane University of Mozambique, National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa, and the Abalobi Research Group of South Africa.

  • The solutions they are working on/developing
CSIR is deploying as solutions a combination of multiple satellite sensors, ocean models and available in situ data, plus a wide range of mature data products to address the issues common to its geographical area of coverage. Under CSIR’s auspices, the National Oceans and Coastal Information Management System is a locally relevant and globally cognizant technological solution that supports the ecological conservation and economic potential of South Africa's oceans and coasts through information and decision support for effective governance. 

  • The milestones and achievements so far
CSIR is mobilizing regional industry and resource management stakeholders, and through dedicated training for its staff, it contributed to the implementation of new marine environmental monitoring services. The consortium has conducted a regional fisheries service workshop with the JRC and regional industry and resource management stakeholders, and is providing support for delivering EUMETCAST Terrestrial data feeds into the MarCoSouth Project.

  • The end result of the project including timeline
CSIR’s operations are intended to transform regional user capabilities in support of various entities including fisheries and marine authorities. Its training activities will enhance user capability and uptake of products.

  • And most importantly, how the project affects the common citizens
CSIR will contribute to the blue economy by enabling evidence-based decision and policy-making, and promote sustainable development as well as the maintenance of ecological infrastructure and services. Improved marine governance, and stimulated growth of the blue economy in the South and East African regions is a vision of the consortium.


The Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI)

  • The problems they are solving
The Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI), is active in marine and coastal management, fisheries management, enhancement of existing coastal vulnerability Index maps, elaboration of Coastal vulnerability index maps for new selected areas, and monitoring of vulnerable earmarked sites by combining EO data and field information. MOI also promotes a better understanding of marine and coastal ecosystems, monitoring and control of illegal fishing, as well as climate change impact monitoring and forecasting of extreme weather events.

MOI’s is the lead institution for the GMES and Africa consortium covering the Western Indian Ocean and is partnering with the Tanzania Fisheries and Research Institute, Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kenya, Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines of Madagascar, Seychelles Meteorological Authority, Seychelles, and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association of Tanzania.

  • The solutions they are working on/developing
By way of resolving the issues underpinning its mandate, MOI will consolidate and develop applications for the Marine and Coastal Areas Services, build on what has already been developed during the erstwhile MESA programme to produce enhanced bulletins using additional earth observation and in-situ data, and develop additional algorithms and scripts for interpreting and processing earth observation data. 

  • The end result of the project including timeline
The consortium’s eventual objectives include providing fishers with early warning information on the state of the ocean to protect lives at sea, as well as making data available to the scientific community and relevant stakeholders for decision making such as in cases of coral bleaching, Harmful Algal Bloom and storm surges, amongst others. It seeks to avail periodic potential fishing zone maps and proposed areas for surveillance patrols and warning bulletins for Harmful Algal Blooms and provide vulnerability assessment of the coastlines of selected regions with the production of shoreline change maps.

  • And most importantly, how the project affects the common citizens
The provision of a variety of technical information on the state of the sea is of prime importance for fisher communities, tour operators and the public in general. The MOI consortium is therefore positioned to catalyze the improvement of security at sea, as well as access to basic marine weather forecasting data for vulnerable populations and local communities.


The National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS)

  • The problems they are solving
Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS) is the leader of the GMES and Africa consortium covering 6,000 kilometers of the North African coastline. It is focused on the monitoring and forecasting of physical and biological oceanography variables coastal vulnerability and Coastal Ecosystems Mapping, Monitoring and Assessment.

  • The solutions they are working on/developing
NARSS delivers its mandate by estimating some parameters from satellite images on a routine basis, mapping of sources of pollution to marine water, and by establishing a classification index, conducting vulnerability, and risk assessment.

  • The milestones and achievements so far
From the onset, NARSS organized a kick-off meeting bringing all partners together. It has mapped harbors and conducted studies on their interaction with the marine environment. It also mapped the Northern African marine water from satellite images.

  • The end result of the project including timeline
The results of the NARSS project will produce maps of the vulnerability of ecosystems to both natural and environmental hazards, including climate change. It will provide APIs and tools to generate services to the stakeholder, beneficiaries, and end-users, as well as regular and updated maps of the physical coastal ecosystems.

  • And most importantly, how the project affects the common citizens
The NARSS project will aid local authorities and planners in maximizing the benefits they derive from coastal resources and the community of ecosystems. This will also help in preserving these ecosystems for future generations.

Partners in the NARSS consortium include the Centre for the Environment for Arab Region and Europe, Intergovernmental Organization for Arab region and North Africa, based in Egypt, the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche des Télécommunications of Tunisia, Chouaib Doukkali University in Morocco, and the Resource Development and Studies at the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy of Mauritania.


The University of Ghana

The University of Ghana’s Regional Marine Center is the lead institution for the GMES and Africa consortium in West Africa comprising the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Centre Universitaire De Recherche d'Application en Télédétection of Cote d’Ivoire, Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin, Centre for Oceanographic Research of Dakar-Thiaroye in Senegal, Ghana Meteorological Agency, National Institute for Fisheries Development of Cape Verde, and Wetlands International Africa, based in Senegal.

  • The problems they are solving
The University of Ghana consortium deals with forecasting of physical and biological oceanographic variables, information on ocean processes that impact fishing and safety of fishers. 

  • The solutions they are working on/developing
It has been working on solutions to provide effective analyses, daily and seasonal forecasts, as well as raise public awareness on the critical role of earth observation in sustainable development. It is also utilizing a GMES and Africa marine and coastal areas web-portal for Western Africa.

  • The milestones and achievements so far
So far, the University of Ghana consortium has succeeded in developing monthly biological and physical bulletins disseminated via the internet to beneficiaries, updated maps of potential fishing zones with fishing hotspots and provided information on ocean states via SMS and location flags to fishers. It has also completed a survey on the operational status of the MESA stations.

  • The end result of the project including timeline
The University of Ghana consortium is working towards consolidating within the West Africa region EO marine services developed under the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) initiative. It is committed to enhancing the capacities of regional and national institutions to utilize EO services. The consortium also hopes to establish a collaborative network among national, regional, and relevant continental institutions to more easily access data for the coastal and marine environment.

  • And most importantly, how the project affects the common citizens
The daily SMS alerts dispatched by the University of Ghana daily to the fishers before they embark on their voyage are an essential source of safety information for many coastal communities and artisanal fishermen who hitherto depended on traditional knowledge of forecasting. The use of flags to complement SMS alerts is widely embraced in many fish landing sites. This is an innovative way of using technology to disseminate EO-derived information for public safety, and maximize the potential for fisher folk to exploit the natural resources and economic opportunities offered by the sea.


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