Around 500 ocean observations and data management experts gathered virtually on 18-30 September 2020 to review the Ocean Best Practices System (OBPS) and formulate recommendations for its enhancement.
Overall, the experts identified some needs to be addressed by the OBPS in order to enhance its support to the global ocean observing community. These range from improved interoperability among different ocean observations and data management systems to the development of new training activities – in particular remote and virtual learning; from effectively engaging multiple cultures – including indigenuous languages – to increasing collaboration among existing initiatives and define the role of ocean best practices in support of the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030, the “Ocean Decade” for short).
Other key areas for improvement were identified, including:
- OBPS infrastructure: Improve user experience, including the interface; and implement a Best Pactices Convergence Process to make sharing of protocols, samples, data, and code more effective.
- Capacity development: Create dedicated training packages for specific groups, online training courses for indigenuous communities, activities aimed at developing capacities of professionals working in the blue economy and align these acitivities with the Ocean Decade actions.
- Potential for collaboration and partnerships: A diverse group of stakeholders should be further integrated into the OBPS, including Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs), the fisheries sector, and experts in the areas of ethics – for ethical issues related to research activities, marine litter, sargassum research and management, surface radiation, among others. Future developments of OPBS should also open to non-scientific stakeholders.
The whole set of recommendations from the Workshop will be submitted to the OBPS Steering Committee for resolution.