The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Workshop “Building Regional Earth and Marine Observation Systems to Safeguard APEC Resources and Communities” was held at the Australian Academy of Science on 27-30 September. It was attended by 17 of the 21 APEC economies, as well as the Pacific Islands Forum. This is a clear indication of the importance of this topic to the region.
APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC’s 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.
APEC projects are a vital part of the APEC process. They help translate the policy directions of APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers into actions and help create tangible benefits for people living in the Asia-Pacific region. This workshop was part of the “Building Regional Earth and Marine Observation Systems to Safeguard APEC Resources and Communities” Project.
The objective of this project is to develop a framework to strengthen cooperation in Earth and Marine Observing (EMO) to safeguard APEC resources and communities.
The workshop was organised to gather representatives from government, technical experts, academia and private sector with a strong interest in the Asia-Pacific to:
- educate the APEC members on the benefits of using EMO information to support APEC policy and industry priorities; and
- seek regional agreement on EMO priorities and an approach, including identifying funding opportunities and agreement on principles and next steps.
IMOS Director Tim Moltmann attended the workshop as a representative of the marine science and research community, through his role as the Director of Australia’s national marine observing system which is globally recognised as regional alliance of the Global Ocean Observing System.
“It was very exciting to be involved in a discussion about earth and marine observing in the context of an economic forum: highlighting the importance of marine observing in delivering value to a blue economy,” said IMOS Director Tim Moltmann.
The Honourable Craig Laundy, Member of the Australian Parliament, and Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science recognised the benefits from data use in his address at the Workshop Dinner.
“In Australia, it’s estimated that the net value of more accurate, more timely and more frequent weather forecasts, through data gathered by Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System, is estimated to be at least A$616 million and the benefit to cost ratio is more than 22,” said The Hon Craig Laundy.
“These benefits are realised by a very diverse set of industry sectors, including agriculture, aviation, tourism and recreation, petroleum, mining, property and insurance.”
The workshop also presented a platform to explore future opportunities for collaboration in marine observing in the Asia Pacific region.
“We identified opportunities for enhanced cooperation in the Pacific Islands region where maritime safety and emergency preparedness are essential to prosperity and wellbeing. And we identified opportunities to work more closely with partners in the east Asian region for mutual benefit. We hope to be able to realise these opportunities in the future” said Mr Moltmann.
Workshop outputs will form the basis of the key project deliverable: the APEC policy statement and work plan, which together will provide the framework for the development of a Pan-Pacific integrated observing system.
Workshop Main Partners
A project endorsed by the APEC Policy Partnership on Science Technology and Innovation; Oceans and Fisheries Working Group and Emergency Preparedness Working Group, supported by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, implemented by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, in partnership with the United States, China and the Philippines as project co-sponsors.
Workshop support Partners
CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Geoscience Australia, Integrated Marine Observing System, Australian Academy of Science.