About Blue Planet

“Oceans and Society: Blue Planet” is an Initiative within the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that aims to ensure the sustained development and use of ocean and coastal observations for the benefit of society. GEO is an intergovernmental body dedicated to the effective use of Earth observation (in situ or via remote sensing) for societal benefit. Together, the GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas – Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sustainability, Disaster Resilience, Energy and Mineral Resources Management, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Infrastructure & Transportation Management, Public Health Surveillance, Sustainable Urban Development, Water Resources Management – and make those resources available for better informed decision-making.

Blue Planet Vision

Blue Planet envisions an informed society that recognizes the oceans’ crucial role in Earth’s life-support system and is committed to stewardship of the oceans for a healthy, safe and prosperous future for all.

Blue Planet Mission

Blue Planet’s mission is to advance and exploit synergies among the many observational programmes devoted to ocean and coastal waters; to improve engagement with a variety of users for enhancing the timeliness, quality and range of services delivered; and to raise awareness of the societal benefits of ocean observations at the public and policy levels.

Blue Planet Objectives

The Blue Planet Initiative has four major objectives:

Objective 1: Increase integration of and access to in situ and remote sensing ocean observation data

Objective 2: Conceptualize, promote and facilitate the development of end-to-end ocean information services

Objective 3: Improve connections between producers and providers of ocean observation data, products and information and end users

Objective 4: Increase societal support and build capacity for ocean observations

Blue Planet Working Groups and Themes 

To achieve these objectives, Blue Planet activities are organized into four working groups.

Working Group 1: Data Integration and Informatics

Working Group 2: Information Services

Working Group 3: Users and Networks

Working Group 4: Developing Capacity and Societal Awareness


All activities ultimately link to GEO’s societal benefit areas and work to support informed decision making and address policy mandates.

updated conceptual diagram

Benefits of Blue Planet

Blue Planet allows for direct linkages between the ocean observing community and users within an agreed, yet flexible framework. This benefits society by enabling informed decisions and increasing public support for sustained ocean observations and information. Specific outcomes include support for integrated and accessible data and the demonstration of prototype and pilot services such as:

  • Improved forecasts of local sea-level rise and associated increase in coastal inundation
  • Monitoring of marine debris
  • Environmental monitoring of large and offshore aquaculture industries
  • Monitoring of illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries operations

Activities of the Blue Planet Initiative seek to support and address a variety of policy and sustainable development goals including: