A survey of the GOOS National Focal Points from 27 European nations was conducted with the help of our project, within the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS) Framework. The study aimed to understand the national coordination, drivers, focus, and funding sustainability of the ocean observing and marine monitoring activities.
The study revealed funding for ocean observing and marine monitoring is uncertain with no mechanisms to access long-term funding (6-10 years) for over 55% of marine monitoring and 63% of ocean observing activities of the survey respondents. 48% of ocean health, 42% of ocean climate, and 37% of operational service observations have access to medium (3-5 years) or long-term funding (6-10 years). This is despite policy, management, real-time decision making, and statutory requirements driving 65% of these observations, all of them of important societal and economic benefits.
To secure the long-term funding of ocean observations, their importance needs to be recognized by the different sectors concerned. Yet, in most nations, there seems to be low awareness by the public, blue economy areas, and government about their importance.
The national funding structure for ocean observing and marine monitoring in many countries is intricate, with multiple sectors, including government, private industry, research, and international organisations, participating and funding these activities. For example, national government is the largest participant in marine monitoring (46%) while research and education are the largest participant in ocean observing (44%).
Nevertheless, there are encouraging signs in the national coordination and information sharing in ocean observing and marine monitoring within and between the European nations.
The overview provided by the GOOS National Focal Points, gathered in the report sponsored by EuroSea, represents an initial snapshot of the national ocean observing and marine monitoring funding and coordination in Europe. This report forms the basis of the work of the EOOS Operations Committee, coordinated within the activities of EuroSea.
The report is available on the EOOS website – download here.