Data Sharing Toolkit

BOX I - Data and information in the Ocean Decade?

Data and Information are key enablers to achieve the Ocean Decade outcomes. The Decade Implementation Plan recognises that “Digitizing, accessing, managing and, most importantly, using ocean-related data, information and knowledge will be cornerstones of the success of the Ocean Decade.” To facilitate this, a Decade Data and Information Strategy was developed in 2023.

The Ocean Decade’s Data and Information Strategy

To deliver on the Decade’s ambitions, the Data and Information Strategy was formulated with the vision to build a trusted, inclusive and interconnected ocean data and information ecosystem that is actively used for decision making to support sustainable ocean management. The Strategy aims to catalyse a solution-oriented, global digital transformation for the digital ecosystem we need to overcome the Decade Challenges.

The five strategic objectives are:

  1. Develop an ocean digital ecosystem that encourages the sharing and equitable access of multidisciplinary data, information and knowledge by all;
  2. Improve data discovery and usability across the ocean digital ecosystem;
  3. Build trust in data and information shared across the ocean digital ecosystem;
  4. Prioritise digital solutions that support decisions for sustainable ocean management;
  5. Expand, empower, and mobilise global communities to advance and maintain the ocean digital ecosystem.

The Decade’s Data and Information Strategy starts from the understanding that despite the multiplication of data from diverse sources, it is still very difficult for users to find, retrieve and use the data and information they need, and we still have major data gaps to fill. Equally, many Decade actors who are generating data face challenges in sharing this data in a way that is findable, accessible and interoperable for the community of users.

There are some key steps that can ensure that data collected by decade actors is made visible and usable, and to help all actors find and use the data they need. These include:

  • Having or following a good data policy (see box III)
  • Developing a sound data management plan (see box II)
  • Creating good and complete metadata associated with all datasets (see box II)
  • Using/developing and agreeing on common standards (see box II)
  • Reporting data effectively (see Box II)
  • Storing data in a suitable repository making the data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) (see box IV)

In the following sections you can find some useful resources, tools and templates that will help to guide you in each of these steps.

Read full report:
Ocean Decade data & Information Strategy: The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)   

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