We are pleased to inform you that a kick-off symposium for the new GEO marine Task SB-01 "Oceans and Society: the Blue Planet" will be held in Ilhabela, São Paulo State, Brazil, from November 19 to 21, 2012. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), GEO, INPE and POGO and will take place just prior to the GEO-IX Plenary, to be held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (November 22 and 23, 2012). The Blue Planet Task is a comprehensive initiative with four main components:

  • Global Ocean Information Coordination and Access;
  • Operational Systems for Monitoring of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems;
  • A Global Operational Ocean Forecasting Network;
  • Applications of Earth Observations and Information to Sustainable Fishery and Aquaculture Management.

The Symposium will highlight each of these components through special sessions on their programme elements. For example, there will be sessions on GOOS and the Framework for Ocean Observing, GEOBON (marine), CSA-sponsored SAFARI and ChloroGIN, OceanSITES, Capacity Building, Operational Oceanography in Brazilian Regional Waters. The full program will be finalized in the next few months and suggestions are welcome.

For those already engaged in the Blue Planet Task, the symposium will offer an opportunity to become familiar with the full scope of its activities, to help develop synergies and linkages, and to plan future involvement. For those not yet engaged, it is a chance to see where you might fit in to participate in the exciting expansion of GEO into the marine sphere. Please send initial expressions of interest to Trevor Platt, with a copy to Li Zhai and Douglas Cripe

The symposium poster can be viewed here.