MarCoSouth - WIOMSA - CORDIO - Ocean InfoHub Partnership

Sub-title: MarCoSouth is in the process of developing a partnership with a new project of the IOC/UNESCO, the Ocean InfoHub Project. 

The GMES and Africa Marine and Coastal Operations for Southern Africa (MarCoSouth) Project, through the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) and the IOC Sub-Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States and together with Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO), are pilot partners for the Ocean InfoHub Project in the Africa region.

The Ocean InfoHub (OIH) Project aims to improve access to global oceans information, data and knowledge products for management and sustainable development. The OIH will link and anchor a network of regional and thematic nodes that will improve online access to, and synthesis of existing global, regional and national data, information and knowledge resources, including existing clearinghouse mechanisms. The project will not be establishing a new database, but will be supporting discovery and interoperability of existing information systems. The OIH Project is a three-year project funded by the Government of Flanders, Kingdom of Belgium, and implemented by the IODE Project Office of the IOC/UNESCO. 

The OIH will support the development of the Ocean Data and Information System (ODIS) architecture, which will provide an interoperability layer and supporting technology to allow existing and emerging ocean data and information systems, from any stakeholder, to interoperate with one another. This will enable and accelerate more effective development and dissemination of digital technology and sharing of ocean data, information, and knowledge. As such, ODIS will not be a new portal or centralised system, but will provide a collaborative solution to interlink distributed systems for common goals. Together with global projects and partners, a process of co-design will enable a number of global and regional nodes to test the proof of concept for the ODIS. 

MarCoSouth, as one of the pilot partners with the OIH Project, aims to participate in developing proof of concept for interoperability with the global OIH network, underpinned by the ODIS infrastructure. Data types that MarCoSouth intends to exchange include documents from global datasets pulled to MarCoSouth, and MarCoSouth applications and service exposure of data products to the OIH network.

The benefits to MarCoSouth are:

  • Greater visibility of products and services
  • Providing open and FAIR access to data products
  • Ensuring compliance and interoperability of services with global open data systems
  • Exposure to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development global data ecosystem.
  • Greater awareness of MarCoSouth activities and services to a broader pool of potential end users.


For more information on any of the partners mentioned here, please contact:

MarCoSouth: Riette Pretorius (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Ocean InfoHub Project: Lucy Scott (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
WIOMSA: Arthur Tuda (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
CORDIO: James Mbugua (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
IOC Sub-Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States: Mika Odido (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


The Ocean Infohub (OIH) Project launches its first website

The Ocean Infohub (OIH) Project is pleased to announce the launch of their website to find useful information about OIH objectives and services. Published in February 2021, the OIH community is invited to discover the latest news and events of the project, as well as regions where the project is implemented and their official partners. Through this website, the OIH team would like to assist experts and ocean scientists in the dissemination of digital technology and sharing of ocean data.

Discover the new and existing content at

Ocean InfoHub: Call for technical partners to test the implementation of ODIS

The development of the documentation for the ODIS architecture is well underway. We have developed schema specifications for all six of the priority themes and documentation for connecting to the ODIS network. Further, we have conducted an initial test of the ODIS-architecture, to allow search across multiple databases, which has been successful.

Now, we would like additional proof-of-concept partners to test the implementation of the ODIS architecture through expressing their data in one or more of the patterns for our priority themes. We would welcome their feedback on the implementation, so we can ensure that our documentation can support all partners.

If you would like to implement a test, please reply by email, specifying which theme your data would best align to, and we can get started with you.


  1. Experts and institutions (get records from OceanExpert, for example)
  2. Documents (get document metadata from Aquadocs, for example)
  3. Spatial data and maps
  4. Vessels
  5. Training Opportunities
  6. Projects

New set of policy briefs highlights role of Marine Spatial Planning in sustainable ocean governance

The MSPglobal Initiative has published five policy briefs highlighting the importance of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) for a sustainable governance of the ocean. These documents aim to help decision-makers and relevant stakeholders make coordinated decisions that allow for a more sustainable use and management of marine resources.

The documents can be downloaded at: 

Identifying existing and future conditions in marine spatial planning

Marine spatial planning and the sustainable blue economy

Climate change and marine spatial planning

Ocean governance and marine spatial planning


The Ocean Panel and Ocean Decade: unleashing the full potential of ocean knowledge for a sustainable ocean economy

The High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (the ‘Ocean Panel’) was established in 2018 by 14 world leaders. The Ocean Panel seeks to change the way the world thinks, acts and feels about the ocean, and inspire policies and actions at the highest levels to catalyse the transition to a sustainable ocean economy. In this spirit, over the last several years the Ocean Panel commissioned a number of peer-reviewed Blue Papers and Special Reports to explore priority ocean issues that have significant policy relevance. This assessment informed the Ocean Panel’s action agenda ‘Transformations for a Sustainable Ocean Economy’ which has a headline commitment to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean by focusing on five key pillars: Ocean Wealth, Ocean Health, Ocean Equity, Ocean Knowledge and Ocean Finance.

Find out more about these synergies: