ODINCARSA was set up primarily as a mechanism for assessing the current and potential state of development of national data centers and to create the means for mutual capacity-building in South America and the Caribbean. It further sought to develop a cooperation network for managing and exchanging oceanographic data and information within these regions. ODINCARSA is a network which is integrated by 19 IOC Member States:
- Saint Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
After, 5 years of activity and limited resources, ODINCARSA has achieved several milestones which can be summarized as follows:
- To put the Ocean Data and Information Management as a relevant issue at National level in most of 60% of Member countries mostly allocated n South America.
- To establish and keep active a huge regional network integrated by more than 60 National Institutions with 237 experts from different sectors related to Ocean and Marine activities.
- To contribute on improving the provision of ocean data and information products and services to different users by sharing of expertise, knowledge transference and capacity building.
- To become a useful partner/platform for other IOC programs and Organizations such as GOOS, GCOS, IAMSLIC, IAI, CPPS, JCOMM, ASFA and ICAM.
However, important challenges remain in the region. The level of implementation of ODINCARSA in the Caribbean region is quite modest, and it will require, partnership, national involvement and additional funding.
ODINCARSA has fostered working groups in the region to strength network and share the existent capabilities between the Member States. One of these groups is the Latin American IAMSLIC Group which is working with ODINCARSA in Marine Information Management issues with more than 27 libraries in the region. Other working groups have been working in regional products and services as the Regional Directory of Experts, the regional Ocean Portal and the Regional Libraries Catalogue, and the recently formed working group on Ocean Teacher translation to Spanish.
ODINCARSA has completed successfully the pilot phase of the project. It has provided training, technology transfer in the region and it has compiled key information about the current status of ocean data and information management capabilities, as the same as the identification of relevant institutions and contact persons, existent in South America and Caribbean regions. All these elements configure a propitious scenario to begin the implementation project, and convert
ODINCARSA as a cross cutting linkage in the region of another important IOC programs as GOOS, JCOMM and ICAM, linking the operational oceanography, climate predictions and the coastal and environmental parameters with scientific and common users through a good data and information management. The next phase of ODINCARSA in Latin America should have two main outcomes:
1) The consolidation of a regional network on Marine information that provides permanent and valuable services to a wide community and
2) The provision of data and information services to the Operational Oceanography, Coastal Management and Disaster Reduction Programs in the regions.
Find out more about ODINCARSA through the web site http://www.odincarsa.org