Ocean Data and Information Network for the Caribbean and South America Region (ODINCARSA)
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: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. During 2003 and 2004, several activities were achived: the Second Training course for regional trainers on data management (Cartagena, Colombia, October 2003), a Planning workshop for Caribbean islands held in Barbados (December 2003). ODINCARSA motivated inside the countries positive responses to extend the provided training at national level, Venezuela, Chile and Colombia National Coordinators organized workshops and meetings related to Data management issues. ODINCARSA has provided through the different workshops, the necessary skills to strengthen the interaction between the National Oceanographic Data Centers, Marine Information centers and Libraries at the national and regional levels. The relevant institutions and contact persons have also been identified within the region that can help to consolidate ODINCARSA as a cooperative network. ODINCARSA has fostered working groups in the region to strengthen networking and share the existent capabilities between the Member States. One of these groups is the Latin American IAMSLIC Group, which is working with ODINCARSA on 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 first 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 well as the identification of relevant institutions and contact persons in South America and Caribbean regions. All these elements configure a propitious scenario to begin the second phase of the project. ODINCARSA II was launched during 2004, and now it is necessary to seek for funding and achieve the pendent activities of the project focused on the Caribbean Region and Central America, using the existent and improved capacities of South America.