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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

Progress of ODINWESTPAC Pilot Project reviewed at the 20th Session of IODE in Beijing, 6 May 2009

The Twentieth Session of the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE-XX) was held in Beijing, China, between 4 and 8 May 2009. The event is hosted by the SOA (State Oceanographic Administration) of China, attended by 65 delegates from 35 Member States, 5 international organisations and 3 World Data Centres. The IODE Committee reviewed the work of the past inter-sessional period and discussed on important topics such as the cooperation with OBIS, the progress and way forward of the OceanData Portal and the development of standards in the OceanDataStandard project. The current status and progress of the different ODIN networks were also discussed.

The ODINWESTPAC Coordinator, Prof. Shaohua Lin, introduced this agenda item, referring to Document IOC/IODE-XX/20 (Ocean Data and Information Network for the Western Pacific Region (ODINWESTPAC)). A preparatory meeting for ODINWESTPAC was held in conjunction with the 3rd International workshop on GODAR-WESTPAC (4-6 December 2006, Japan), and made the proposal to initiate a pilot project for ODINWESTPAC. The proposal was approved by the 19th session of IODE (Trieste, Italy, 12 – 16 March 2007). The objectives of ODINWESTPAC was primarily to provide an effective capacity building framework, to promote regional collaboration in marine data and information and products sharing, to develop cooperation with other ODINs and international and regional projects/programs, and to provide data and information services mainly for the WESTPAC member states and other users. The Japan Oceanographic Data Centre (JODC) spearheaded the development of ODINWESTPAC, and initiated collaboration with other regional initiatives such as NEAR-GOOS, NOWPAP and PICES. JODC also developed a website for the pilot phase of ODINWESTPAC.

The 7th session of the IOC Sub-Commission for WESTPAC (Sabah, Malaysia, May 2008), designated Prof Lin Shaohua from China as the new ODINWESTPAC Coordinator. In the period 2008 to 2009, ODINWESTPAC has undertaken several activities including establishment of a Project Coordinating Group, collection of information on focal points for data and information management in Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom and Vietnam, establishment of three technical working groups to work for the project at the host centre (NIMDIS, China), acquisition of hardware and software for constructing and hosting the website at NMDIS, and development of the preliminary structure of the website (this will be available at The collection of information for inclusion on the website is ongoing. This will include a directory of research institutions and experts in the region, a regional e-repository of scientific publications published by WESTPAC experts, library catalogues and cruise summary reports. It will also be possible to access metadata, basic oceanographic data, marine information products and marine meteorological data and products.

Prof. Lin presented a work plan for ODINWESTPAC which will focus on development of capacity to enable member states from the region establish National Oceanographic Data and Information Centres, and provide the staff of these centres with the skills for data and information management. She proposed that a workshop be organized for focal points of member states, so that they can develop a strategy and work plan for the project. She noted that Korea will host a training course on portal development in 2009. She emphasised that cooperation with member states in the region is the key to the success of ODINWESTPAC. She invited member states from the region to nominate data and information managers who will work together in developing the project. Prof Lin paid tribute to the Japan Oceanographic Data Centre for their efforts in promoting the establishment of ODINWESTPAC, and the IODE and WESTPAC secretariats for the support that they had provided in implementation of activities.

The Delegate of Japan commended Prof Lin for her leadership that had contributed to the growth of ODINWESTPAC.

The Head of the IOC Regional Secretariat for WESTPAC Dr Wenxi Zhu thanked the various people and organisations that have contributed to the establishment and development of ODINWESTPAC. He informed the Committee that the IOC Regional Secretariat for WESTPAC looks forward to continue working with them in future and expressed the hope that the spirit of cooperation will be maintained.

The Delegate of Malaysia congratulated Prof Lin for the tremendous progress made in development of ODINWESTPAC since the 7th session of WESTPAC. She informed the Committee that Malaysia has been encouraged to establish a National Oceanographic Data and Information Centre, and will need support from IOC Project Office for IODE, IOC Regional Secretariat for WESTPAC and other established centres in the region such as JODC. She expressed Malaysia’s interest in implementing the Ocean Data Portal technology.

The Head of the IOC Project Office for IODE, Mr Peter Pissierssens informed the Committee that IODE encourages WESTPAC countries establishing NODCs to implement portal technology, and looks forward to assisting and working together with the NODCs to implement the technology. He informed the Committee that Korea will sponsor and host a training course on portal development in 2009.

The Committee congratulated ODINWESTPAC and its Coordinator for the progress that has been achieved in implementation of planned activities. The Committee also thanked JODC for its contribution to the development of the pilot phase of ODINWESTPAC.

The Committee adopted the work plan for ODINWESTPAC.