The NOS International Program Office (IPO) is the focal point for NOS’s international activities to enhance U.S. and international capabilities for ocean and coastal management. Specifically, IPO facilitates international partnerships, capacity building, scientific and technical exchanges, and access to NOS products and services.
IPO highlights from fiscal year 2010 include:
- Capacity Building for Trinidad and Tobago on Integrated Coastal Management
In March 2010, IPO and the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), conducted a two-week training workshop on integrated coastal management (ICM) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The training engaged IMA staff and government officials by sharing the ICM concepts and working with them to identify the priority issues, objectives, and actions to develop a national ICM plan. Trinidad and Tobago and the IMA are strategic partners with NOS to implement the NOAA-U.N. Environment Program-Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, a partnership to develop national programs of action to address marine pollution from land-based sources in the wider Caribbean.
- NOS Collaborates for a Regional Observation Network in the Wider Caribbean
In an effort to implement one of the three priority actions identified in the National Ocean Service International Caribbean Strategy, IPO, Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, National Geodetic Survey, and Office of Coast Survey collaborated with the Caribbean Climate Change Center to develop a framework for realizing a regional observation network, supported with $600,000 funding from the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB). Through this collaboration, a proposal was submitted in response to the IDB's Regional Public Good grant announcement in 2009. Final funding is contingent on the review and acceptance by the IDB Board. This project will produce a regional consensus document on the standards and protocols to realize a regional observation network.
- Partnership with Vietnam to Address Coastal and Ocean Resources Management Issues
IPO assisted in the development and scoping of Vietnam’s draft national Law on Marine and Island Resources and Management since establishing a cooperative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government of Vietnam. The MOU is designed to promote ecosystem-based management as well as marine and coastal science and technology. The draft legislation will be revised this year following stakeholder consultations and then submitted to their National Assembly for further deliberation. The law defines authorities and responsibilities among various government agencies and promotes environmental health and sustainability while also seeking to meet Vietnam’s needs for socioeconomic growth. In May, IPO convened the first Joint Working Group meeting of the MOU to outline a priorities work plan for 2010-1011. The work plan includes climate data management, fisheries, survey technologies and standards, marine protected area management, and integrated coastal management.
- Solutions for Watershed and Ecosystem-Based Management in China
NOS assisted the Third Institute of Oceanography of the State Oceanic Administration of China and Xiamen University to develop a strategic action plan for watershed management in the Xiamen Bay-Jiulong River Basin. IPO is a technical advisor and Steering Committee member for the plan. The plan represents an important test case to demonstrate the linkage of coastal water quality management to upland land use practices. IPO’s involvement increased visibility for the principles, concepts, and international best practices of ecosystem-based management, resulting in the selection of coastal watershed management as the theme for the international 2010 World Ocean Week.
- Collaboration with Korea for Integrated Coastal and Ocean Resources Management
NOS provided oversight for a cooperative program involving five of NOAA’s line offices and two Korean agencies for joint research and training. Cooperative activities included short to medium-term exchanges in such areas as oil spill modeling, Sea Grant, harmful algal bloom research, marine protected area management, integrated coastal and watershed management, fisheries research, ocean and coastal observations and data exchange, and aquaculture. The Korean Ministry of Land Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry jointly provided NOAA $660,000 to promote effective stewardship for ecosystem approaches to coastal and ocean management.
- NOS Supports Chile in Marine Protected Areas Management Planning
IPO and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, in collaboration with the U.S. National Parks Service (NPS), organized a visit of Chile’s Francisco Coloane Marine Protected Area staff to Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. As a result of the visit, staff at both protected areas decided to engage in a cooperation program and develop a sister-park agreement with support of NOAA, NPS, and the U.S. Department of State. These three agencies will develop a proposal on bilateral cooperation for the protection and management of terrestrial and marine national parks and protected areas.
- NOS Hosts International Representatives for Marine Protected Areas
IPO and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, with support of the U.S. Department of State’s Partners of the Americas program, organized a marine protected area (MPA) staff exchange program with Chile and Peru. A representative from Peru’s Paracas National Park and Chile’s National Environmental Commission are each visiting NOAA for six weeks to learn about the national systems of MPAs and MPA management in the U.S. Based on their national interest and advancement of MPA development, the Peruvian representative is assigned to work primarily with the NOAA MPA Center, and the Chilean representative will observe activities at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.