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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

“We can’t manage what we don’t measure”

We can’t manage what we don’t measure”, MOMSEI and BOBLME join hands to develop capacity for ocean-atmosphere observations.

The third Summer School of IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) on the Monsoon Onset Monitoring and its Social & Ecosystem Impact was organized in collaboration with the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem Project (BOBLME) in Qingdao, 6-10 August 2012, with 31 trainees from China, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

This Summer School was generously hosted by the First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration (SOA) of China with a view to improving the capacity of young scientists from MOMSEI participating countries and BOBLME countries to understand the ocean’s role in the monsoon system, air-sea interaction, relevant large-scale oceanographic and ecological process affecting the marine living resources. Lectures and field trips were also provided on the deployment and operation of oceanographic equipment in order to get these young scientists and managers familiar with data collection and interpretation.

The Monsoon Onset Monitoring and its Social & Ecosystem Impact (MOMSEI) is one of pilot project of the WESTPAC’s programme on the South East Asian-GOOS (SEAGOOS). It was launched in early 2009 with objectives to improve the understanding and forecasting of Asia monsoon and its multi-scale variability at a regional scale through developing and carrying out air-sea observations over the Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal and tropical Eastern Indian Ocean and analyzing the preconditioning role of ocean in the monsoon onset. The project was designed with consideration of significant role of Asia Monsoon in the agriculture and the livelihood of people in the wider Southeast Asia and its neighboring countries, including those bordering the Bay of Bengal region since it brings seasonal rainfall over the Asian Continent. When the Asian Monsoon deviates from its normal pattern, especially with early or late onset, it causes flooding or drought, thus finally resulting in the disruption of agricultural operation, even displacement of inhabitants.

Improved understanding of large-scale oceanographic and ecological processes controlling living resources in the Bay of Bengal is among key activities of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) Project to achieve its objective to better the lives of their coastal populations by improving regional management of the Bay of Bengal environment and its fisheries”.

Sharing the common goal of mobilizing science, observation and capacity building towards the improved governance on oceans, coasts and their ecosystem, MOMSEI and BOBLME are determined to synergize the efforts in improving the capacity of countries for better knowledge on the nature and resources of their oceans.

This is the second time BOBLME funded nominated scientists from BOBLME participating countries to participate in the MOMSEI Summer School. Trainees was also sent to the second MOMSEI Summer School in Phuket, 15-19 July 2011 which was kindly hosted by the Phuket Marine Biological Center.

The experience of jointly promoting the capacity for marine science and observations in the region laid down a sound basis for MOMSEI and BOBLME to explore more possibility of collaboration. MOMSEI expects to expand the scope of cooperation with BOBLME in the near future in sharing of the cruise opportunity, data, instrument, and expertise.