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Esri, UN and GEO Blue Planet release global water health tool to help coastal nations improve ocean quality

Press Release 4 Nov - 14:07 SAST

Esri, UN and GEO Blue Planet release global water health tool to help coastal nations improve ocean quality

Press Release 4 Nov - 14:07 SAST

Information from Esri

Esri announced a new free and open tool it is making available for countries seeking to improve their coastal waters. The tool uses real-time analysis enabling countries to monitor coastal water quality and use that information to guide policy and reduce pollution from land sources.

A team from Esri, the United Nations Environment Programme, and GEO Blue Planet partnered to develop this statistical approach using satellite data and geospatial technology in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds by 2025. The team received the 2020 Group on Earth Observations (GEO) SDG Award for the Special Category, Collaboration in recognition of the new tool they built.

By measuring above-normal concentrations of marine algae, this new analysis provides a starting point to achieve the SDG target of limiting marine pollution. This project empowers countries with the information they need to understand potential impacts on coastal water quality, address those impacts, and have routinely updated data to understand and report their progress to the United Nations as part of the SDG initiative. While governments and organisations around the world are already able to conduct these analyses, this project transforms the raw global data into actionable information to make it easier for them to make informed decisions.

SDGs require timely and objective reporting, and metrics are typically self-reported by each country. However, many nations do not have the capacity or capability to conduct ongoing environmental analyses. This collaboration provides automated analysis for every coastal country in the world.

This partnership’s methodology, now included in the UN’s Global Manual for Ocean Statistics, can also be applied in other environments where it is needed and modified to work on many geographic scales.

To see the initial analysis results and information products, visit the hub site at chlorophyll-esrioceans.hub.arcgis.com.