Because the ocean transcends national boundaries, and because it is so vast and challenging to access, oceanographic research requires international collaboration by its very nature. Capacity building for the use of ocean observation data and information provides a larger pool of trained personnel, more representation at the world scale and fulfils demand for such personnel. Capacity building in terms of data collection and analysis infrastructure and availability and access to integrated data sets is also critical to ensure adequate monitoring of the marine environment on local, regional and global scales. At present, there are large gaps in ocean observations in many parts of the world due to the imbalance in ocean observation capabilities (human resources and infrastructure/technology). Capacity building requires at the very least two-way interaction between developing and developed countries, for example through exchange of personnel, knowledge and expertise between countries. Such exchanges are facilitated by international organisations such as the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), IOC/IODE and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR). Capacity building can be most effective through the participation of scientists from developing countries in training programmes and research projects run in collaboration with developed countries. The success of ocean observations also requires advocacy, at the public and policy levels, on the importance of ocean observations and integrated and accessible data.
Blue Planet Developing Capacity Building and Societal Awareness Working Group
This working group links existing existing capacity building efforts and expands on advocacy efforts for integrated and open access to end-to-end information services and support for sustained ocean and coastal observations, products and services. The objectives of the working group are to:
- Work with stakeholders to expand capacity in the field of ocean observations by advocating for and linking existing programs and sharing best practices, within the ocean observing community but also with other Initiatives and Flagships across the GEO Work Programme
- Identify infrastructure needs and advocating for resources to meet these needs
- Communicate with decision makers industry groups and the general public on the societal benefits of end-to-end ocean information services
- Advocate for and promoting GEO Blue Planet at regional and international levels
- Support GEO Blue Planet projects
NF-POGO - The Nippon Foundation and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (NF-POGO) have worked together to create capacity building programs including a visiting professorship program, the Center of Excellence in Observational Oceanography and regional training programs for scholars.
OceanTeacher - OceanTeacher is an activity of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) Programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). The objective of OceanTeacher is to support IODE training activities by providing training tools for Oceanographic Data and Information management.
SCOR Capacity Building - The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) conducts a variety of capacity building activities. The focus has primarily been on helping individual scientists from developing countries to be involved in SCOR activities and to network with scientists from developed countries. SCOR provides travel grants to scientists from developing countries and countries with economies in transition and supports visiting scholars.