Worldwide ENC Database working group discusses the future of coverage

Published: 04/03/2022 - 09:52

The Worldwide ENC Database working group (WEND) gathered last week to discuss the future of global ENC coverage, decisions which are key to support the safety of navigation, search and rescue activities, and mitigate the impacts of storms, marine pollution etc. The goal was to pave the way and be ready for when the new S-100 based digital products are implemented, and to try and coordinate initiatives.

"This meeting provided a much needed opportunity to make progress on the guidelines for the implementation of the WEND-100 Principles, to consider challenges and accomplishments from the regional chart coordinators, but also to discuss how to coordinate S-1xx products and services through partners like the RENCs and new tools like the ever-evolving INToGIS online catalogue, an IHO interoperable web service which will allow users to view the IHO catalogue of S-1xx products."

Dr John Nyberg, USA, WEND working group chair

27 IHO Member States and the 3 RENCs/RECC gathered to express their views as to what shape the future should take. Photo © IHO

One of the questions raised was the overlap of information between neighbouring countries or areas. Participants discussed the key role the Regional Hydrographic Commissions must play in the establishment of regional capacities and the coordinating principles for harmonized production and distribution of future S-100 based products at a regional level. The working group also discussed governance of the new marine geospatial products. It was recommended that these commissions discuss how they engage in the development of a regional organizational pathway which is UN-GGIM IGIF compliant for every S-1xx top priority products defined for the S-100 Implementation Decade. Especially as going forwards, national hydrographic offices will not always be the sole providers of hydrographic S-100 datasets.

It was agreed to prioritize the efforts in order to meet user requirements with regard to safety of navigation in accordance with SOLAS V and how the new S-1xx products can support it under the overarching umbrella of the recently renewed WEND 100 Principles.

These discussions were very timely considering the resources needed to prepare the transition from S-57 ENCs to S-101 ENCs (dual standards that will coexist for a while until mariners use S-100 ECDIS only). The global strategy is now documented in the “dual-fuel concept governance document” that will be presented officially at the next meeting of the Hydrographic Services & Standards Committee in May.

“In the 2000’s, the IHO succeeded in its efforts to establish mandatory carriage requirements for ECDIS by the IMO, for one major reason: by committing to an adequate worldwide coverage of ENCs to be available in the short-term! How can we get the lessons learned from this outstanding experience and use them in the S-100 world? How can we ensure an adequate worldwide coverage of at least the most important S-1xx products for route monitoring in the near future? This is the question at stake now, which needs to be tackled by every Regional Hydrographic Commission and their Member States.”

Yves Guillam, IHO Secretariat & WEND Working Group Secretary

The WENDWG12 meeting was held as a hybrid meeting. 55 participants representing 27 IHO Member States and the 3 RENCs/RECC gathered to express their views as to what shape the future should take.

The meeting was chaired by Dr John Nyberg, NOAA, USA, and vice-chaired by Annika Kindeberg, Swedish Maritime Authority.

Dr John Nyberg, NOAA, USA, and Annika Kindeberg, Swedish Maritime Authority chaired the meeting. Photo © IHO

IHO Director Luigi Sinapi thanked Dr Nyberg for chairing the meeting. 

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Last modified: 10/03/2022 - 10:34