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NODC at the UNESCO International Ocean Data Conference

27 March 2023

NODC's work on marine pollutants was welcomed at the Second International Ocean Data Conference (IODC-II), which was held on 20 and 21 March at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. This scientific conference allowed members of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange" (IODE) community of the UNESCO (IODE) and all invited guests to present new challenges. The previous International Ocean Data Conference, held in Poland in 2022, concluded with new commitments and recommendations to create a "global ocean digital ecosystem" within the framework of and as a contribution to the UN Ocean Decade. The IODC-II focused on the implementation of these commitments and recommendations and reported on the problems, solutions, experiences and challenges.

NODC's contribution, entitled 'Tackling marine pollution in the Mediterranean Sea: the needs for harmonised multidisciplinary data', was part of Session 4 "Interdisciplinarity, Societal Needs". This section outlined efforts to create integrated and interdisciplinary ocean data systems that address specific societal needs and support decision-making and planning.

NODC concluded its speech with some "take home" messages, emphasising the complexity of managing pollutant data due to the large number of substances, heterogeneity and the need for detailed metadata. For this reason, it was highlighted that access to methodological information is crucial to produce standardised and harmonised large-scale data collections to support marine pollution assessments. This also helps to identify gaps and needs in monitoring and research priorities.

NODC presented European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) as a good example of an integrated and interdisciplinary ocean data system, providing data on pollutant concentrations, on the spatial distribution of human activities and on biodiversity to key data user communities at European and global levels.