18 – 22 February 2019, Tokyo: UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) gathered ocean scientists, data managers, and government representatives to discuss ocean data and information sharing in the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Held for the first time ever in Japan, the Committee Meeting of IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) focused on how to support the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science in providing ocean science, data and information to inform policies that can deliver a healthy, well-functioning ocean. The Tokyo meeting was co-hosted by the Japan Oceanographic Data Center (JODC) and the Japan Agency for Marine-earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
Given the centrality of its mandate to the data and information sharing objectives of the Decade of Ocean Science, IODE is expected to play a key role in this 10-year global initiative. A two-day scientific conference themed around IODE’s contributions to the Decade preceded the Tokyo Committee Meeting, counting 150 participants and a variety of keynote speeches and interventions.
Following the scientific conference, the main IODE Committee Meeting recorded 100 delegates in attendance from 39 IOC Member States and seven external organizations. The Committee adopted a number of decisions and recommendations, including two Draft Decisions that will be submitted to the IOC Assembly – IOC’s major governing body, featuring representatives from all 149 Member States – for approval.
Mr Taco de Bruin (The Netherlands) and Dr Sergey Belov (Russian Federation) were elected IODE Co-Chairs, with a mandate focused on successfully steering the entity into the UN Decade of Ocean Science. Both Co-Chairs have a strong record of engagement in IODE. Member of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Mr de Bruin has been National Coordinator for Oceanographic Data Management. Mr Belov is Head of Laboratory at the Russian Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information, and heads coordination of IODE’s Ocean Data Portal Project.
The IODE Committee also acknowledged the contributions of key individuals: Mr Mark Van Crombrugge, former colleague at the IODE Project Office, who passed away in February 2018, for his dedication to IODE. Dr Charles Sun (GTSPP Project), Mr Tim Boyer (WOD and GODAR Projects), and Mr Loïc Petit de la Villéon (GOSUD Project) received awards for their contribution to IODE Projects. The outgoing Chairs Ms Cynthia Chandler and Prof Dr Yutaka Michida also received an IODE achievement award for their leadership as IODE Co-Chairs between 2015- 2019.
All presentations, including videos, from the 25th IODE Committee Meeting are available on (http://www.iode.org/iode25_sciconf). For the first time, both the scientific conference and the IODE Committee Meeting were streamed (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPiIbLM1qZWEW5YEsaNT7TA ), allowing anyone interested to follow the discussions.
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