The generation of data and information is the basis for progress in scientific research and discovery. Standards and formats are necessary to ensure inter-comparability of data. This enables scientists to compare their results with others, and also build on previous work.
The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) programme was established in 1961 to: (i) facilitate and promote the exchange of oceanographic data and information, (ii) develop standards, formats and methods for the global exchange of oceanographic data and information, (iii) assist the Member States to acquire the necessary capacity to manage oceanographic data and information, and become partners in the IODE network. IODE facilitates the availability of reliable, upto date, accessible data and information which is essential as a basis for integrated and sustainable management of coastal and marine environment and resources. IODE also enables the identification of gaps in availability of oceanographic data and information that need to be addressed.
The Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA), initiated by IODE, has over the years developed a wide range of ocean data and information products and services at both national and regional levels. These include: catalogues of libraries of marine institutions, catalogues and an electronic repository of marine related publications from/about Africa, directory of marine and freshwater experts and institutions from Africa, catalogue of on-going and completed marine related projects implemented along the African coastline, access to a wide range of data sets from regional and global ocean data centres, development of national ocean data catalogues and databases, development of Coastal and Marine Atlases, and the African Register of Marine Species.
- Development of an African Ocean Data and Information portal to improve access to ocean data and information
- Developing a marine biodiversity and biogeography programme, building on the African Register of Marine Species and the African node for the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (Afri-OBIS)
- Preparation of Ocean Data and Information products for Sustainable Development of the Ocean and Coastal regions.