Marine Knowledge 2020 - European Commission needs your input

7 November 2012

Marine Knowledge 2020 Green PaperAs part of the Europe 2020 targets the European Commission is proposing to create a digital seabed map of European waters by 2020, collating all existing data, currently gathered and held by hundreds of institutions throughout Europe, in one coherent database accessible to everyone for the benefit of industry, public authorities, researchers and society in general.

A recently adopted Green Paper on Marine Knowledge 2020 has launched a consultation (open until 15th December) on how this might be achieved, including issues such as how all ongoing activities within Member States can be incorporated in a common EU effort, how to develop more cost-effective technologies and how the private sector can contribute.

It is intended that the seamless multi-resolution digital seabed map should be of the highest possible resolution, incorporate topography, geology, habitats and ecosystems, and include access to opportune observations of the physical, chemical and biological state of the water column, associated impact and oceanographic forecasts. It is intended that all of this should be accessible, interoperable and free from restrictions on use. It should be populated via a sustainable process that progressively improves its fitness for purpose and assists Member States to maximise the potential of their marine observation, sampling and surveying programmes.

An initial set of preparatory actions under the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy has launched prototype data platforms that provide access to marine data held by European public bodies. Six thematic assembly groups - for hydrography, geology, physics, chemistry, biology and physical habitats - have brought together a network of 53 organisations.

The Commission's Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) hopes to get your views and concrete suggestions on the Green Paper to assist in deciding the best way forward. The Commission has set up a website for responses which will be open until 15 December 2012.

Responses can be sent either in an official capacity or individually.

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