Back-to-back with the renowned World Ocean Race, a week-long series of talks and workshops took place addressing critical themes related to sustainability, the blue economy, smart cities, and citizen science unfolded in Genova from June 27th to June 30th, 2023, organized by ETT. This dedicated week provided a tangible platform for the exchange of ideas and knowledge among Europe’s most influential figures in the sustainability arena. It actively contributed to the global discourse on ocean preservation and sustainable development.

A full day was dedicated to the exploration of “Low-Cost/Cost-Effective Technologies for Ocean Data Monitoring and Participatory Initiatives,” during which Nautilos unveiled a policy brief titled “Empowering Citizens Through Ocean Knowledge Co-production.” The document underscores the pivotal role of the ocean in the Earth’s system and emphasises the importance of understanding and managing it sustainably, with a focus on citizen science. It advocates for the inclusion of common citizens, leveraging readily available technologies to engage them in oceanographic data acquisition, raising awareness about related issues. This democratisation of marine observation is termed “citizen science,” wherein the public actively participates in scientific research projects, contributing data and observations for analysis by researchers, promoting cost-efficient and sustainable marine observation. Recommendations include stimulating businesses and organisations to support and participate in citizen science initiatives, integrating citizen science data into policymaking through improved data management and quality assurance systems, and fostering a culture of ocean literacy through education and training opportunities, ultimately empowering citizens to actively participate in ocean stewardship and enabling informed decision-making for sustainable resource management.

On the Nautilos Policy Round Table, the project unveiled its second policy brief, titled “Supporting Ocean Observations to Address Climate Change.” This document highlights the continued importance of ocean observation in the context of addressing climate change. While efforts have shifted towards actionable solutions, it stresses the ongoing need for collecting data to understand environmental trends and the Earth’s system. Continuous monitoring of the oceans is crucial for comprehending their state, dynamics, properties, and their impact on the Earth’s climate, especially given the rapidity of climate change. The document calls for maintaining and increasing ocean observation efforts and highlights the necessity of long-term data collection. It advocates for better support, funding, and integration of ocean observation initiatives and emphasizes the importance of closing data and knowledge gaps using innovative technologies. Additionally, it underscores that while action is vital, it should complement rather than replace ongoing observation efforts to fully grasp the changes occurring in the ocean and climate. Ultimately, understanding the ocean’s role in the Earth’s climate and maintaining continuous monitoring are crucial components in addressing climate change effectively. The presentation of these policy briefs at the World Ocean Race marks a significant step in the global effort to preserve our oceans and ensure sustainable development for future generations.

Policy Brief No. 1 Empowering Citizens Through Ocean Knowledge Co-production

Policy Brief No. 2 Supporting Ocean Observations To Address Climate Change