Fugro Commits Geo-Data Expertise to UN Ocean Decade

Fugro has signed a partnership agreement with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO) to improve the coordination of and access to global ocean science data.

The partnership will directly support the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (the “Ocean Decade”), a multifaceted initiative focused on reversing the cycle of decline in ocean health and creating improved conditions for sustainable ocean development worldwide.

As the world’s leading Geo‑data specialist and a participant in IOC‑UNESCO’s early planning activities for the Ocean Decade, Fugro is committed to addressing the data coordination and access needs of this landmark programme.

The agreement calls for Fugro to provide the IOC-UNESCO Secretariat in Paris, France, with experts to help establish and administer two key ocean science data working groups.

Initially this work will focus on the development of an Ocean Decade Data Coordination Platform, which will provide a global, cross-sectoral convening framework for the creation of a ‘digital ecosystem’ to share, manage and distribute ocean data and interoperable marine science.

Next, Fugro will help establish a working group of global private‑sector stakeholders who collect or own ocean science data, and are willing to make these data publicly accessible in support of the Ocean Decade. This group will provide a global, cross-discipline and cross-data type convening framework for the development of equitable mechanisms to accelerate public access to privately held ocean science data.

IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin stated, “IOC and Fugro may be different kinds of organizations, one intergovernmental, one commercial, but we share the same ultimate goal, which is to bring ocean science and surveys to the service of the people. Not only does IOC appreciate the possibility to capitalize on Fugro’s technological leadership and expertise in ocean Geo-data; the most important element for IOC in working closely with Fugro on the Ocean Decade is their leadership in opening data to the world, offering an unprecedented example for the private sector. IOC is a standard-setting organisation in ocean science and data, and Fugro is setting a new golden standard in moving towards making ocean data a common good.”

Fugro’s CEO Mark Heine stated, “Fugro is committed to bringing our global expertise, experience and relationships to this partnership and we are eager to help IOC-UNESCO build a truly global digital ecosystem that encompasses all sources and all types of ocean science data. The opportunity to help transform the way ocean science data is managed, distributed and accessed through direct participation in the Ocean Decade aligns perfectly with Fugro’s purpose to create a safe and liveable world.”

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