16-Feb-2015: OBIS Science Advisory Meeting Report

OBIS-SATT The new OBIS Science Advisory Task Team met in December 2014 at the IODE project office, to provide advice on the science mission and priorities, bring fresh ideas on what we can do with OBIS, and brainstorm on what are the areas OBIS should break through.

The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) has been around for more than 10 years, and since 2010 transitioned from a programme under the Census of Marine Life, into an intergovernmental project serving the broad mandates of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. It is therefore the time to revisit what OBIS can do, adopt, and whom it should service (better). At its 3rd session (Dec 2013) the OBIS Steering Group decided to establish a new task team composed of external global experts in fields such as marine scientific research, capacity development, ecosystem services, economy, industry, socio-economics, spatial planning and ocean governance, to provide advice on the science mission and priorities,...

Director-General receives Delegation of the Flemish Parliament (Belgium)

flemish visitOn 30 January, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova met with Members of the Commission for Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Tourism and Immovable Heritage of the Flemish Parliament (Belgium), at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Belgium to UNESCO, H.E. Mr Yves Haesendonck, attended the event.

The Commission is responsible for several areas in the field of UNESCO’s competences and the meeting provided an opportunity to explore UNESCO’s strategies in tackling key global challenges. This working session also allowed the parliamentarians to discuss specific areas of cooperation supported by voluntary contributions from the Government of Flanders.

The Director-General expressed her appreciation for the support of Flanders to UNESCO’s action, notably in the fields of education and science, and stressed the importance of establishing this kind of longstanding partnership. Over the past 15 years, this support has amounted to some...

19-January-2015: JAMSTEC established as an ADU

JAMSTECThe Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) is an independent administrative institution for the purpose of contributing to the advancement of academic research in addition to the improvement of marine science and technology by undertaking fundamental research and development on marine and other related activities through academic research related to the Ocean for the benefit of peace and human welfare. With its leadership and performance in the research community, JAMSTEC has been regarded as equivalent to a national research institute. JAMSTEC hosts the secretariat of the Japan Regional OBIS Node (J-RON) to accumulate marine biogeographic data stored in Japanese institutions and projects, makes these data available to the public via JAMSTEC’s Biological Information System for Marine Life (BISMaL), and transfers the data to iOBIS. More info on JAMSTEC website and on BISMAL.

22-Dec-2014: In Memoriam: Cathy Norton

cathy norton 1

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Cathy Norton at the age of 73. A graduate of Regis College, Cathy joined the staff of the MBLWHOI Library in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1980. She earned a Masters degree in Information Science from Simmons College in 1984. In 1991, as the electronic frontier began to enhance information access, Cathy embraced change to become the MBL's first Director of Information Systems. In 1994, she was appointed Library Director and became a leader in promoting the digital library and open access. During her tenure she spearheaded the development of uBio, a digital biodiversity database that served as a foundation for the subsequent Encyclopedia of Life project. She helped develop an innovative Biomedical Informatics course sponsored by the National Library of Medicine designed to enable biomedical researchers and practitioners to embrace the power of technology. Cathy was also a founding member and served as Chairman of the...

13-Oct-2014: GBIF established as an ADU

GBIFThe Global Biodiversity Information Facility ( was founded in 2001 as an intergovernmental scientific infrastructure aimed at providing free and open access to biodiversity data, via the Internet. It offers a single online access point to more than 500 million biodiversity records published from around 15,000 datasets published by some 600 institutions. GBIF operates through a network of national and thematic nodes, and a secretariat (GBIFS) based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The GBIF secretariat has accumulated considerable expertise on open data publishing through its informatics development and its global community, resulting in a suite of manuals and a training programme that may be of use to many in the IODE community. Today, GBIF and IOC/IODE/OBIS signed an agreement of cooperation, recognizing the two initiatives as complementary with common goals on the management, publication and use of biodiversity data, with IODE/OBIS's special role in meeting the requirements of...

The IODE Meeting & Training Centre



Data: Ocean Data Portal
People: OceanExpert
Learn: OceanTeacher
Biodiversity: OBIS
Video: OceanTeacher-Vimeo



Upcoming Events

Celebration Session and Scientific Conference on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the IOC Project Office for IODE
16 March 2015
Brugge, Belgium

23rd Session of the IODE Committee
17 - 20 March 2015
Brugge, Belgium

XI OCEATLAN (Alianza Regional en Oceanografía para el Atlántico Sudoccidental Superior y Tropical)
23 - 25 March 2015
Montevideo, Uruguay

Second Sino-Africa Forum on Marine Science and Technology
9 - 10 April 2015
Nairobi, Kenya

Forum on Sustained Ocean Observations and Services in IOC Group V (Africa and Arab countries)
11 - 13 April 2015
Nairobi, Kenya

© 2015, UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE, Oostende, Belgium.  Google+