The Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) at its 7th session, held in New York, 2-4 August 2017, endorsed the establishment of a Working Group on Marine Geospatial Information together with the Terms of Reference.
A key work program of UN-GGIM is to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable geospatial information including for the marine environment in support of national development priorities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Marine geospatial information will be needed to meet the demand for critical analysis when questions of governance, management and coordination pertaining to our inland waters, seas and oceans, and its resources arise. These include spaces for recreation, telecommunication, transportation and natural resources yielding food, medicine, energy and minerals, etc. In addition, this information will play a vital role in measuring, monitoring and mitigating climate risk in our inland waters, seas and oceans. While honoring technologically good practices and currently adopted standards and schemas, the Working Group will work to agree upon appropriate marine spatial data infrastructures and its integration with terrestrial spatial data infrastructures into a national geospatial information infrastructure that will also include standards for mapping the seas and oceans, and marine observations. The Working Group will also support the geospatial data management aspects of inland waters.
The Working Group will promote geospatial data interoperability - a key requirement for sustainable development in fields such as inland waters, seas and ocean use planning and administration, construction, water management and hazard assessment.
The objectives of the Working Group, as decided at the 7th Session of UN-GGIM, are to:
- play a leading role at the policy level by raising political awareness and highlighting the importance of reliable, timely and fit-for-purpose marine geospatial information to support the administration, management and governance of the marine and ocean environments;
- encourage the use of internationally agreed-upon geospatial information frameworks, schemas, systems and established standards to improve the growing inter-dependent relationships between people and the marine environments; and
- support the Committee of Experts in the development of norms, principles, guides and standards to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable geospatial information including any regional capacity development initiatives.