Oceans and Society: Blue Planet

The first major initiative of Oceans United has been the creation of the Task “Oceans and Society: Blue Planet”. This Task is a component of the 2012-2015 GEO Work Plan, and assembles all the ocean-related work within GEO under a single umbrella.

“Oceans and Society: Blue Planet” is a Task which cross-cuts all of the nine Societal Benefit Areas defined by GEO, and this Task implements programmatic actions aimed at:

• Providing sustained ocean observations and information to underpin the development, and assess the efficacy, of global-change adaptation measures.
• Improving the global coverage and data accuracy of coastal and open-ocean observing systems.
• Coordinating and promoting the gathering, processing and analysis of ocean observations.
• Establishing a global ocean information system by making observations and information, generated on a routine basis.
• Developing a global operational ocean forecasting network.
• Providing advanced training in ocean observations, particularly for developing countries.
• Raising awareness of biodiversity issues in the ocean.

Blue Planet structure

Diagram showing the structure of the Blue Planet around six components.

To manage our oceans and maintain ocean health and productivity, decision makers need clear, relevant, and up-to-date information. Sound decision making requires that scientific knowledge be shared with society and, ultimately, with the various national and international political institutions. Citizens should be kept informed and be involved actively in supporting ocean policy and management. Scientists have the responsibility to provide the necessary building blocks for making intelligent choices and instituting good governance. We cannot do this important work without numerous national and international partnerships, collaborations and networks, and this is where the GEO “Oceans and Society: Blue Planet” task can play a vital role.

For more information on the Blue Planet Task, visit the website.