Inter-Regional Coordination Committee discusses strategic IHO endeavoursPublished: 15/06/2022 - 10:11
The Inter-Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC) met last week in Denpasar, Bali to review progress and next steps for the Regional Hydrographic Commissions and various thematic working groups. Hosted by Pushidrosal, the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Centre of the Indonesian Navy, it provided a forum to discuss ocean mapping, nautical cartography, capacity-building, etc. as well as to identify actions to be taken at regional and global levels.
In line with international initiatives to increase our knowledge of the oceans, participants took stock of progress in the IHO-led citizen-science initiative to gather depth-data at sea and were given an update by the chair of the Crowdsourced Bathymetry Working Group. This included the approval of a new edition of the guidance on Crowdsourced Bathymetry (IHO Publication B-12), which is designed to be more technology agnostic in order to be used by a broader range of participants with different instruments.
Important work related to Marine Safety Information also progressed, and participants were informed on the status of the joint IMO/IHO/WMO Manual on MSI for navigational warnings which provides guidance to providers such as METAREA and NAVAREA Coordinators on the roles and responsibilities of a Coordinator, on what can be considered as MSI (and therefore suitable for promulgation), as well as examples of messages covering different topics.
“Hydrography supports the foundation data and information for the implementation of our respective national mission and vision, especially for archipelagic States like Indonesia”
Admiral Margono, Chief of Indonesian Navy
In order to raise awareness about the key role hydrography can play in increasing our knowledge of the oceans and the value associated with open data policies for marine geospatial information, participants decided to organize a workshop on how to engage with international and regional agencies, development partners and coastal states.
“The International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) is moving beyond its sole function of supporting safe navigation to promoting the use of hydrography for all purposes in response to increasing needs, as today Hydrography stands among very few other technical disciplines where the standards and the levels of international and intergovernmental cooperation are truly and consistently implemented at a global level.”
Mr Sinapi, IHO Director
IRCC plays an important decision-making role within the functioning of the IHO as an intergovernmental organization, as participants decide which proposals and decisions will be presented to the IHO Council and then discussed and voted on by all Member States at the next Assembly in April 2023.
The Committee also recognized the efforts made by the Regional Hydrographic Commissions (RHCs) and its subordinate bodies in the implementation of the IHO Strategic Plan and the S-100 Roadmap, as well as the many steps forward made in the areas of Capacity Building, GEBCO, Marine Spatial Data Infrastructures and Education.