Development of an Ocean Data Information Network in the IOCINCWIO
The need to develop capacity in collection, analysis and distribution of data and information from the oceans and all seas was one of the components of Chapter 17 Agenda 21 of UNCED. This was to be done through strengthening of national scientific capabilities for data collection and analysis, creation of national databases, linking of these databases to existing data and information services and mechanisms, and co-operation with a view to the exchange of data and information and its storage and archiving through global and regional data centres. This strategy is perfectly in line with the IODE programme. It has been observed that the participation of IOCINCWIO Member States in IODE programme activities is minimal: no NODCs or RNODCs have been established in this region; only one DNA is registered in Tanzania. At the Third Session of IOCINCWIO, held in Mauritius in December 1992, it was noted that regional capabilities to interpret and use the results from large scale experiments like TOGA and WOCE are very limited. The Regional Committee identified a need to enhance this capability and train human resources to both use the data and interpret the results so as to provide advice on actions to the governments. RECOSCIX WIO was identified as a centre through which such data could be delivered. It is stated that, in order to ensure increased participation of IOCINCWIO Member States in the IODE programme, two major activities have to be undertaken: (i) strengthen national capabilities and assist in the development of NODCs; (ii) develop a regional data and information network for the IOCINCWIO region. It is noted that a regional information exchange network is already operational through the RECOSCIX-WIO (Regional Co-operation in Scientific Information Exchange in the Western Indian Ocean region) project. The existing network can be adapted to include data exchange. In response to the request formulated by IOCINCWIO-III, the IOC Secretariat has drafted this proposal which is submitted to the IODE Committee. The Committee is requested to consider the proposal and decide on further action.