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  • GEOSS Support for decision-making in the coastal zone: Managing and mitigating the impacts of human activities and natural hazards in the coastal zone Group on Earth Observations
    Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - Headquarters


    Date: 15 - 19 Feb 2010
    Country: Benin
    City/State: Cotonou
    https://www.preventionweb.net/go/12539

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GEOSS Support for decision-making in the coastal zone: Managing and mitigating the impacts of human activities and natural hazards in the coastal zone

MAIN ORGANIZER(S): Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - Headquarters (UNESCO)

Type: Meeting or Conference Date: 15 - 19 Feb 2010 Location: Benin (Cotonou)

A series of (regional) GEO Workshops organized by the GEO Coastal Zone Community of Practice.

Introduction: Global, regional and local trends in natural processes and human demands on coastal ecosystems jeopardize the ability of these ecosystems to support commerce, living resources, recreation and habitation. In this context, improved, integrated and sustained coastal observing capabilities are required to better support user information needs. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) provides a valuable framework and mechanism to help implement these capabilities, and under the auspices of GEO, a Coastal Zone Community of Practice (CZCP) was initiated in 2006. The CZCP builds on the heritage of the former IGOS Coastal Theme, which provided a strategy for integrated observations across the land-sea interface, and aims to enable broader participation, improved linkage to users, coordinated implementation, and enhanced societal benefits.

The CZCP is a user-driven community of stakeholders, the purpose of which is to develop a strategy, in the framework of GEO for engaging user groups across the land-sea interface in the development of those elements of the GOOS and GTOS that are required to provide and integrate data on terrestrial, freshwater, marine and atmospheric systems that converge in the coastal zone. Its specific objectives are to:

1. Engage data providers and users in the specification of requirements for in situ and remote observations
2. Evaluate current and projected observation capabilities against these requirements, and identify gaps, redundancies and activities that need to be strengthened;
3. Promote the development of workshops and "proof of concept" pilot projects;
4. Promote development or strengthening of networks of institutions globally, regionally, and across Communities of Practice (CPs) that contribute to and benefit from GEOSS to achieve the mutual goals of GOOS and GTOS.

Decision-Making Support For Coastal Zone Management, Water Resources & Climate Change In Africa

The Second Regional Workshop in the Workshop Series of the GEO Coastal Zone Community of Practice (CZCP) will take place as a part of a broader workshop organized by UNESCO's International Hydrological Program (IHP) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)/GOOS. This workshop will address decision support through Earth observations for coastal zone management, water resource management and understanding and adaptation to climate change in Africa. The workshop is organized in partnership with UNEP, GTOS, the African Association for Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE), Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME), Benguela Current Commission (BCC), and the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ASCLME).

The workshop will focus on two sub-themes: (1) Strengthening Observing Systems Capacity for Managing and Mitigating the Impacts of Human Activities and Coastal Inundation in the African Region; and (2) Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Africa. Although there are significant difference in the issues to be addressed in these sub-themes, it will also be a goal to identify data and capacity building needs common to both sub-themes.

Sub-Theme 1: Strengthening Observing Systems Capacity for Managing and Mitigating the Impacts of Human Activities and Coastal Inundation in the African Region

The program of the first sub-theme is organized by the CZCP. Under this sub-theme, the regional workshop will focus on the specific needs, challenges and capabilities in the coastal zones of the African region. In contrast to the first CZCP Regional Workshop in Athens, this sub-theme will provide a first critical assessment of the situation pertaining in tropical coastal countries of the developing world. This will also be the first occasion when attention is paid to the particular issues of coastal mega-cities. The Workshop aims to enlist strong participation from all the coastal countries around Africa. Socio-economic issues will lie at the heart of this African Regional Workshop. The burgeoning coastal population of Africa both looks to the coast for an improved quality of life through, for example, food and shelter, and is most at risk where the resilience of the coast is weak and becomes a key political issue. The capabilities in ocean observation and forecasting are fairly well-known, and it will be fairly easy to collect that information prior to the workshop by tasking sponsored conference attendees from each participating country to submit a 2-3 page white paper on the state of coastal observing capabilities in their individual countries. New knowledge on coastal vulnerability on the regional and continental scale has also recently become available (http://www.africanmarineatlas.net). However, much less is known about the capabilities in decision-making and coastal zone management, in particular those aspects dealing with the terrestrial issues (runoff, erosion rates, sedimentation, etc.). A pre-workshop review of these capabilities can make an important regional contribution by serving as a vehicle to bring the land and ocean scientific and regulatory communities together.

Specific objectives of the Sub-Theme 1 will include:


* Comparison of scientifically sound scenarios for time-space extent of coastal inundation, storm surge, and erosion processes in the coastal zone and for impacts of coastal flooding on coastal infrastructure; human health risks (exposure to waterborne pathogens); ecosystems (e.g., water quality, habitats, biodiversity); and living resources (organisms and habitats).
* Assessment of present observing system capacities for providing the data and information required to assess changes in susceptibility (risk and resilience) both temporally (annual to decadal scales) and spatially (100 meter to 1 kilometer resolution).
* Determination of observing system requirements for the provision of data and information needed to quantify changes in susceptibility on appropriate time and space scales.
* Assessment of training capacity and gaps in marine sciences, fisheries and coastal resource management
* Promotion of an increased awareness among coastal planners and managers of geospatial patterns of susceptibility and causes of changes in susceptibility, both short term (e.g., coastal engineering) and long term (e.g., changes in sea level).
* Assessment of capacity for evaluating ecosystem services and resource valuation.
* Assessment of the existing policy frameworks for coastal resource management
* Pilot project designs, implementation of which will increase operational capabilities for the sustained provision of data and information on environmental changes across the land-sea interface that affect susceptibility.

Sub-Theme 2: Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Africa

Sub-Theme 2 is organized by UNESCO's IHP. This part of the meetings will focus on National Committees of IHP.

Event website: http://www.czcp.org/workshops/Cotonou/

EXTERNAL LINK

African Marine Atlas


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