Dealing with the changes, the threats and opportunities, depends on an understanding on what is happening and what could happen in the future. And, this understanding requires knowledge of the past which can only be obtained through careful observation. For this reason, EU member states currently spend more than €1.5 billion a year in observing the ocean. Over the past seven years, the EU has honoured the promise made in the Green Paper “Marine Knowledge 2020 ” and made great progress in providing access to the observations made by individual organisations in all Member States, mainly through the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet). However, with the significant exception of observations made from orbiting satellites, almost no progress has been made in rationalising the observations themselves in terms of defining priorities, setting minimum standards and sharing assets. The consultation seeks stakeholder views on the main challenges facing those engaged in all aspects of ocean observation – instrument design, monitoring campaigns, measurement analysis etc. – as well as those who need the results. It will invite feedback and suggestions on potential solutions. It will include both targeted consultations with those known to have a stake or an interest in the issue as well as an open consultation with as wide and representative position as possible. It will invite stakeholders to submit position papers, policy briefs, studies, roadmaps etc. The objectives of the consultation are to:
• collect facts, views and opinions on current bottlenecks in ocean observation and options and preferences for resolving them;
• ensure all voices are heard with adequate representation of all stakeholder groups – private industry, public authorities, civil society, research;
• gather further information, including roadmaps, policy briefs, studies and analysis of policies, actions and technologies.
Feedback period: 27 November 2020 - 19 February 2021 (midnight Brussels time)