25 Mar 2019

First International AtlantOS Symposium

During a four-day long symposium at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (France), the EU-Horizon 2020 funded Project on “Optimizing and Enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System“ (AtlantOS), launched to deliver on the Galway Statement commitments, will celebrate the success of four years of work involving 62 partners from 18 countries and the investment  of 20 million Euros. During the symposium a plan and ambition for the next decade of ocean observing in the Atlantic Ocean Basin to deliver on the needs of the Atlantic communities will be presented. The international meeting will be attended by scientists, policy makers, users, funders, the private sector and NGOs AtlantOS is coordinated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany.


“Today we celebrate the launch of the international All-Atlantic Ocean Observing System programme that connects countries from around the Atlantic Basin and observing efforts from south of the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic Sector of the Southern Ocean,” states Professor Dr. Martin Visbeck from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany.


As stated in the press-release, we still have too few ocean observations for our needs to document the impacts of climate change, to better predict weather an ocean induced hazards and to inform society on sustainable ocean economic opportunities. In particular the lack good, long timeseries, data from the deep sea and data on the biology and biochemistry of the ocean. Although the Atlantic is one of the ocean basins with a higher coverage compared to other regions, there are still many gaps where we have no or limited data. One goal of the EU-Horizon 2020 Project on “Optimising and Enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System“ (AtlantOS) was to enhance the observing system in the Atlantic Ocean by transitioning from a loosely-coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities producing fragmented, often monodisciplinary data, to a sustainable, efficient, and fit-for-purpose Integrated All-Atlantic Ocean Observing System as indicated in the Galway Statement.


CIIMAR was represented at the symposium by the researcher Isabel Sousa Pinto, who was chosen as co-chair of the new program, that aims to implement the new Atlantic Ocean Observation System (AtlantOS) program.


“Biological ocean observations are critical to assess the loss of biodiversity in the ocean” explains Prof. Isabel Sousa Pinto, University of Porto Portugal (CIIMAR-UP) and co-chair of GEO Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, “and AtlantOS will deliver critical data and information for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and to monitor the health of the ocean ecosystems”. 


AtlantOS the project has already contributed in a significant way to international programmes such as Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), a major component of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), its Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), and specifically its emerging “Oceans and Society: Blue Planet” initiative.


About 200 participants from 20 countries will attend the symposium, held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris France from 25-28 March.


To access the Paris Declaration on All-Atlantic Ocean Observing signed during the First International AtlantOS Symposium please click here. You can access the All-Atlantic Ocean Observing System Brochures here.


All about the AtlantOS Symposium on the website.