INTERGOVERNMENTAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COMMISSION

(of UNESCO)

 

Nineteenth Session of the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE-XIX)

Trieste, Italy, 12-16 March 2007

 

PROJECT DOCUMENT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OCEAN DATA AND INFORMATION NETWORK FOR THE BLACK SEA REGION

(ODINBLACKSEA)

 (submitted by Atanas Palazov, Bulgaria and Nick Mikhailov, Russia)

  

1. INTRODUCTION

The IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) is established to enhance marine research, exploitation and development by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products. The main objectives of the IODE Programme are: (i) to facilitate and promote the exchange of oceanographic data and information; (ii) to develop standards, formats, and methods for the global exchange of oceanographic data and information; (iii) to assist Member States to acquire the necessary capacity to manage oceanographic data and information and become partners in the IODE network; (iv) to support international scientific and operational oceanographic programmes of IOC and WMO and their sponsor organizations with advice and data management services.

Recognising that the lives of at least 160 Million people are profoundly influenced by the Black Sea and considering that all riparian countries depend to a large extent on marine and coastal resources, the ability to acquire, manage, archive and disseminate data, as well as the capacity to generate products and services in support of decision making and management of the Sea and Coastal Zones is of vital importance. The Ocean Data and Information Network for the Black Sea Region (ODINBLACKSEA) Project is proposed to respond to these needs through: (i) providing assistance in the development, operation and strengthening of National Oceanographic Data (and Information) Centres and to establish their networking in the region; (ii) providing training and education in marine data and information management, taking into account the requirements of operational oceanography; applying standard formats and methodologies as defined by the IODE; (iii) enhancing national and regional awareness for Marine Data and Information Management; (iv) assisting in the development and maintenance of national and regional marine data, metadata and information databases; (v) assisting in the development and dissemination of marine data and information products and services, meeting the needs of user communities at the national and regional levels, and responding to national and regional priorities; (vi) undertaking the ODINBLACKSEA activities in close collaboration and networking with other relevant organizations, programmes and projects operating in the Black Sea region; and (vii) undertaking the above activities applying modern technologies for data collecting, processing, storing and disseminating.

In addition, ODINBLACKSEA will satisfy the requirements of the other IOC programmes (e.g. BlackSeaGOOS), as well as other organizations (e.g. Commission on Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution, Black Sea Economic Cooperation), programmes and projects (e.g. BSERP, ASCABOS, SeaDataNet, BlackSeaScene, ECOOP, SESAME, ESONET) active in the region, in terms of capacity building, and management and exchange of oceanographic data and information.

Development and implementation of the ODINBLACKSEA project will be based on the success and lessons learnt from the other IODE ODIN projects, in particular, ODINAFRICA, ODINCARSA (Caribbean and South America region) and ODINCINDIO (Central Indian Ocean region). First the ODIN idea was implemented in the IOCINCWIO region as from 1996 when the IOC, with funding from the Government of Flanders, started the development of the Ocean Data and Information Network for Eastern Africa (ODINEA). The innovative model of these project was the linking of provision of equipment, training and operation support in a regional context. The ODIN projects focus on building capacity at the national level and the development of products and services at the national and regional scale. Training courses are organized at the regional level and follow-up support by a training consultant is provided. It is worth noting that all ODIN networks are now being developed in close collaboration with GOOS (and other programmes). An excellent example is ODINAFRICA III, which has been developed as a cross-cutting project involving data collection (GOOS), data and information management (IODE), and product/service development (GOOS, ICAM). 

The ODINBLACKSEA proposal was discussed first in the frame of SIBEMA project. The idea was supported by Dr. Patricio Bernal, Executive Secretary of IOC, and discussed in details through electronic communications with all IODE national coordinators in the Black Sea region. They agreed that ODINBLACKSEA should become a capacity building instrument for further development of NODC structure in the region and will support BlackSeaGOOS and other regional initiatives. All of them expressed their support for the establishment of ODINBLACKSEA (see Appendix 1). 

 

2. CURRENT STATUS

Black Sea is a semi-closed basin with very vulnerable ecosystem, which is recovering during the last years after the big degradation in 70s and 80s of twenty century. Therefore to acquire, manage, archive and disseminate both historical and operational data is of crucial importance for understanding the ecosystem changes and preventing further degradation. A huge amount of oceanographic data for the Black Sea is now stored mainly in riparian countries. To make this data available to both scientific community and general public is a challenge which could generate significant added value.

In other hand the state of regional NODCs is quite unbalanced. The status of data and information management varies significantly from one country to another. On the one pole is Russia with WODC in Obninsk and on another Georgia and Romania that do not have well established NODCs. In case of Romania only DNA is operating. In the same time, Bulgaria, Turkey and Ukraine take an intermediate position having comparatively well developed NODC collecting data in organised databases and providing certain products. All riparian countries are represented in the IODE system with national coordinators on data management.

At this stage the following countries and organisations are involved in ODINBLACKSEA initiative (in alphabetical order):

Bulgaria – Bulgarian National Oceanographic Data Centre (BGODC), Institute of Oceanology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences;

Georgia – Tbilisi State University;

Romania – National Institute for Marine Research and Development "Grigore Antipa";

Russia - All-Russian Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information - World

Data Centre (RIHMI-WDC), Federal Service of Russia for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of Environment;

Turkey - NODC-Turkey, Office for Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanology;

Ukraine – Marine Hydrophysical Institute, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

 

3. PROJECT OBJECTIVES

OBJECTIVE 1: Provide assistance in the development, operation and strengthening of National Oceanographic Data (and Information) Centres to advance the level of less experienced data centres and to establish their networking in the region;

OBJECTIVE 2: Provide training and education in marine data and information management, taking into account the requirements of operational oceanography; applying standard formats and methodologies as defined by the IODE;

OBJECTIVE 3: Enhance national and regional awareness for Marine Data and Information Management;

OBJECTIVE 4: Assist in the development and maintenance of national and regional marine data, metadata and information databases;

OBJECTIVE 5: Assist in the development and dissemination of marine data, information products and services, meeting the needs of user communities at the national and regional levels, and responding to national and regional priorities;

OBJECTIVE 6: Undertake the activities needed for applying modern technologies for data collection, processing, storing and dissemination to achieve end-to-end data management (E2EDM).

OBJECTIVE 7: Undertake the ODINBLACKSEA activities in close collaboration and networking with other relevant organizations, programmes and projects operating in the region.

 

4. ACTIVITIES DESCRIPTION

The activity descriptions below are preliminary and can be modified by the Project Steering Committee.

 

OBJECTIVE 1 

              1.1 Provision of expert support for improvement of NODCs’ structure in the Black Sea region

National experts will work in close collaboration with IODE experts to improve NODCs’ structure in the Black Sea region aiming to meet IOC-IODE requirements and best practices

                  Expected result: Strengthen the structure of existing NODCs and DNA in the Black Sea region.

 

             1.2 Provision of operational support for newly established NODCs 

             Provision of startup hardware/software NODC for newly established NODCs. This will be a standard equipment and software package. This should be justified by a relevant document describing the planned use of the hardware/software. Some support may be provided for operational expenses (communication, Internet access, office supplies). It is recommended that the cost be covered by the national sources.

                   Expected result: Pre-operational NODCs.

 

             1.3 Setting up the Project office

              Project office could be set up in one of the participating countries. The main function of the office will be to support day-to-day activities of the project. Hosting country is expected to support functioning of the office, providing of startup hardware/software, communication, Internet access, office supplies etc. Extra funding will be searched to employ a project technical secretary. It is recommended to set up the office in the project Coordinator’s country.

                   Expected result: Project office set up.

  

OBJECTIVE 2

              2.1 Participation in basic level data management training course

              These data management training courses should be attended by the staff of newly established NODCs and low experienced staff of the other ones with the support of IODE.

Expected result: Increased expertise of the NODCs’ staff.

 

              2.2 Participation in advanced level data management training course

              These training courses will cover advanced oceanographic data management with special emphasis on new technologies and operational oceanography with the support of IODE.

Expected result: Increased expertise of the NODCs’ staff.

 

              2.3 Participation in specialized training courses (remote sensing and GIS application)

              The IODE experience will be used for implementation of high level advanced training courses;

Expected result: High level expertise transferred to the Black Sea specialists.

 

              2.4 Operational oceanography training, provided by top experts

              With the support and collaboration with BlackSeaGOOS and IODE a basic course on Operational Oceanography will be organized for the specialists from regional NODCs (ASCABOS training program). 

Expected result: NODCs will obtain expertise on Operational oceanography.

 

OBJECTIVE 3 

              3.1 Support to enhance national awareness

              To enhance awareness about the importance of oceanographic data and information management, NODCs will develope a number of promotional products such as brochures, posters, newsletters etc in local language. The NODCs will also organize national awareness workshops for data and information users.

              Expected result: Enhanced national awareness and increased institutional and public support.

 

              3.2 Development and maintenance of project web site

              In order to assist the coordination of project activities, as well as to create awareness and to promote the project, an ODINBLACKSEA project website will be developed. It will be hosted and maintained by the Project Office. 

      Expected result: ODINBLACKSEA web site set up. Spotlighting the project activities.

 

              3.3 Development of electronic newsletter

              In order to promote project activities and raise awareness amongst users for the achievement of the project an electronic newsletter will be prepared and issued at least twice a year. It will contain user oriented information. This product will be issued by the Project Office.

     Expected result: Keep the users informed on ODINBLACKSEA activities.

 

              3.4 Development of regional awareness tools

             In order to create awareness in the participating countries and international bodies for the ODINBLACKSEA projects a number of promoting products will be developed and distributed. These will include brochures and posters. They will be prepared by the Project Office and distributed through the participating NODCs and by Project office to international organization.

     Expected result: Promoting ODINBLACKSEA activities.

  

OBJECTIVE 4

               4.1 Repatriation of data collected by other countries

               A number of research cruises and/or research activities have been carried out in the EEZs of participating countries by foreign research vessels and scientists. Often these data have not been provided to the countries where the data were collected. The project will organize the digitization (as necessary) and repatriation of such data to the region. This will be done through the different project. The task will be implemented jointly by the WDCs Oceanography. 

       Expected result: Completing the national data collections.

 

                4.2 Data archeology and recovery

                A significant volume of oceanographic data in Black Sea countries are still on hard copy. The project will organize digitization, quality control and proper description of these data in order to include them in national collections. For implementing this task corresponding funds should be acquired.

       Expected result: Recovered data from hard copies.

 

               4.3 Development and updating of national metadatabases (NODC)

               In order to ensure the best possible knowledge on data sets available within the region, cooperating institutions will be requested to develop national oceanographic metadata bases. Where they exist cooperating countries will be requested to ensure that they comply with the agreed upon international standard for metadata bases. It is recommended that the cost be covered by the country.

       Expected result: Updated national metadatabases.

 

               4.4 Development of national oceanographic databases 

               In order to ensure the best possible preservation and utilization of the oceanographic data available within the region, cooperating institutions will be requested to develop national oceanographic data bases, where they do not exist. Advanced NODCs will assist less experienced in creation of national databases. Related cost will be covered mainly by the country. Additional financing will be sought from other sources.

       Expected result: Set up of national oceanographic databases.

 

               4.5 Development of national experts database

               In order to ensure awareness at the national level of the expertise available at the national level it is recommended to develop national experts database. This information will be valuable for all stakeholders to identify relevant experts to deal with specific issues and avoid continued reliance on external experts when local expertise is available. IOC-IODE is providing such tool (OceanExpert).

       Expected result: Increased visibility of national expertise. Database containing information of national experts in oceanography.

 

OBJECTIVE 5 

                 5.1 Support for elaboration of concept of data products

                 To enhance utilization of the existing oceanographic data it is recommended NODCs to prepare concept for information products and services corresponding to the end user needs. To this end, users’ requirements in each country should be investigated. It is recommended that the cost be covered by the country. ODINBLACKSEA jointly with IODE and GOOS will organize workshop on this issue.

        Expected result: Concept of data products.

 

                 5.2 Development of user oriented data and information products

                 The most important activity of NODCs and NOICs is the development of user products and services: data and information centres cannot be isolated data or information archives but must operate in a continuum that responds to issues and to short-term or long-term environmental/climate problems. As such research needs to respond to issues defined by decision makers and other stakeholders. The research implemented will generate data and information that will be managed by the NODCs and NOICs. They, in close cooperation with the research community, will develop products and services that can be provided to the decision makers and stakeholders to respond to the original issue/problem. It is recommended that the cost be covered by the country.

         Expected result: End-user oriented products and services.

 

OBJECTIVE 6

                 6.1 Setting E2EDM technology as a basis of ODINBLACSEA

                The “end to end” data management (E2EDM) system is considered as the coordinated and inter-connected combination of the following basic components: the ocean and marine meteorological data management systems (local data system systems) which are operated and being developed under various ocean study programs and services; the integration technology as an “umbrella” that comprises local data systems and provides communication and “transparent” interaction between metadata, data and products resulted from these local data systems and also an end-user access to any data and information generated by systems.

                The goal of this E2EDM technology is to integrate the non-homogenious local data systems into unified distributed marine data system, that will provide the transparent exchange between these local systems and a end-user access to numerous data flows/sets/bases in a “single stop shopping” manner. The E2EDM technology should provide the real-time access to, and fusion of distributed marine data: 

       Expected result: E2EDM products and services available for the Black Sea region.

  

OBJECTIVE 7 

                7.1 Promoting project activities among possible collaborators in the Black Sea region

                Communication will be set up to promote ODINBLACKSEA activities among other relevant organizations, programmes and projects operating in the region.

        Expected result: Setting up regional relations

 

                7.2 Preparation and signing of formal documents for collaboration

                 Relevant documents for collaboration will be signed between ODINBLACKSEA and other relevant organizations, programmes and projects operating in the region.

        Expected result: Signed documents for collaboration

 

               7.3 Collaboration and coordination

               Activities of the ODINBLACKSEA will be coordinated and performed in collaboration with all other relevant organizations, programmes and projects operating in the region.

                     Expected result: Coordinated project activities

 

5. ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT

             The project will be directed, monitored and supervised by the Project Steering Committee. Members of the Project Steering Committee are IODE national coordinators from Black Sea countries. It is recommended that the Steering Committee will meet once a year. Project Coordinator will be elected by the Steering Committee and will manage day-to-day activity of the project. It is recommended to set up project office equipped with all needed communications to support everyday activities.

  

6. FUNDING 

The activities of ODINBLACKSEA project will be funded by:

  • participating countries;

  • IOC – 5000$ to support Project Steering Committee meeting;

  • projects;

  • donors.

  

7. Requested Actions from the Committee

The Committee is requested to:

  • Comment on the PROJECT DOCUMENT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OCEAN DATA AND INFORMATION NETWORK FOR THE BLACK SEA REGION (ODINBLACKSEA)

  • Adopt the Recommendation IODE-XIX/??

  

Recommendation IODE-XIX

OCEAN DATA AND INFORMATION NETWORK FOR THE BLACK SEA REGION (ODINBLACKSEA) 

 

The IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange, 

Noting with satisfaction the submission of the ODIN Black Sea project document supported by all Black Sea countries,

Noting further the existence of the Black Sea GOOS regional alliance for which ODIN Black Sea can serve as the regional data management service

Further noting the interest of all Black Sea riparian countries to join the ODIN Black Sea,

Taking into account the existence of several international regional projects operational recently in the region that are interesting in the distributed regional data management system and that can provide in kind support for the ODIN Black Sea, 

Recognising the role of ocean data and information management capacity building in the region,

Recommends that an Ocean Data and Information Network for the Black Sea region be established;

Requests the IOC Executive Secretary to implement, as a priority, the following actions: 

  1. to coordinate the necessary actions with the Black Sea GOOS Secretariat, and Black Sea Commission to obtain donor support for ODIN Black Sea;

  2. to provide funding for the implementation of the ODIN Black Sea work plan (2008-2009);

  3. to strengthen links with JCOMM and GOOS in terms of capacity building and oceanographic data and information management in the Black Sea participating Member States  

Urges Member States and donors to support this project by providing financial resources and/or in-kind support to enable the implementation of the ODIN Black Sea.