As part of the Open Data Day 2022 special grant category “Ocean data for a thriving planet”, the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) supported 4 ocean data events with a grant value of USD $1000 each. Organisations from Argentina, Indonesia, Tanzania, and India were supported to host events and activities during World Oceans Day.
The organisations hosted training sessions, focal group discussions, and workshops with many different objectives in mind: to create a different paradigm for sustainable development based on people’s power, to use open data to increase coastal resilience, to learn how open data can be used as a powerful tool for environmental action and the preservation of the ocean, contributing to the production of an ocean dataset that can be leveraged for daily decision-making, and more.
Here are some highlights of the ocean data events supported by the Open Data Day 2022 special grants category “Ocean data for a thriving planet”, which aims to use open data and awareness to ensure the sustainability of the Ocean.
- Escuela de Fiscales (Argentina)
On June 10, 2022, Escuela de Fiscales organised “Mar de Datos” in the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina to mark World Oceans Day. With a special focus on the city’s current situation and its relationship with the ocean, representatives of environmental organisations participated in the event. The participants came to learn how open data can be used as a powerful tool for environmental action and the preservation of the ocean.
The event started with three short presentations, which served to initiate the debate and collaborative work with the participants. After the initial talks where the potential of open data and how to use it were explained, a workshop was held where different datasets were visualised and compared. After the workshop, a debate was held on the results of the work, with a final talk, where the different sources of alternative energy that can be obtained from the ocean were discussed. The attendees participated with great enthusiasm in each debate proposed at the event.
The event served to strengthen the work of civil society organisations and promote the use of open data. Also, it managed to make visible the potential of open data for environmental action and ocean conservation, analysing safe, efficient, and renewable alternative energy sources, friendly to the environment, a topic of enormous importance in a city like Mar del Plata, which finds in the ocean and its coasts the basis of its economy and its lifestyle.
- U-INSPIRE (Indonesia)
U-INSPIRE Indonesia in collaboration with Berdaya Krui organised “Duck, Cover and Hack 4.5”. On 11 June 2022, with 15 participants U-INSPIRE Indonesia commemorate World Ocean Day and started the FGD with a brief presentation about how communities can help to reduce disaster risk in their area using the concepts of open data, access to disaster information and how transparency of public data is important to accurately mitigate disaster in Krui. This first session was presented by Hilman Arioaji, Innovation Working Group Coordinator from U-INSPIRE Indonesia. He highlighted that finding accurate historical disaster datasets in Indonesia is like finding Pokémons.
The goal of FGD in Krui was to understand how U-INSPIRE Indonesia can contribute to the production of an ocean dataset that can be leveraged for daily decision-making by the villagers. Our approach was using a mini buoy that can be replicated, maintained, and operated by the local community.
For the second part, Wina Natalia as Co-lead from U-INSPIRE Indonesia facilitated the discussion. The aim was to gather more information on what has been happening in Krui in the past years, since the data and information about disasters in Krui is limited. During the session, Wina highlighted that community action and collaboration is key to successful disaster mitigation work. Wina also encouraged the locals to approach it with both an open mind and a sceptical attitude, and to see themselves as a part of a national disaster risk reduction community with the power to change it for the better.
After FGD, Hilman and several community members were conducting aerial mapping using DJI Mavic 2. The goal of this activity was to capture Tanjung Setia Beach and its surroundings’ elevation and promote a way to learn about Tsunami inundation prediction, finding a safe place, identifying an evacuation route. Meanwhile, Fandilla DP, the local IoT collaborator, and several youths went to the beach to test our mini buoy. This was the first time we tested it on the open ocean. Using solar panels as the main power source and LoRa as wireless connectivity, we were able to send the data to our local server within a 500 meters range without any delay. We used waste that we found on the beach to make the buoy float, and to prove that waste can be used to support local innovation. We still had homework to calibrate the telemetry sensor. In this first phase, we were able to convince the community that by using low-cost technology and a few hacks, they can monitor the environment while acquiring key knowledge on disaster risk reduction in the form of raw datasets.
After playing around with the buoy, we realised that the sensor was not showing an accurate reading of the wave height. So we made some adjustments based on the raw data that we got from the first attempt. For the second attempt, we finally got a more accurate reading. We were able to prove to the locals that community-based action could have a bigger impact by providing open ocean datasets.
The Organisation of Journalists Against Drugs Abuse and Crimes in Tanzania (OJADACT) organised a training program for journalists on the use of data to increase coastal resilience on 11 June 2022 in the Mwanza Region, Tanzania. The training event was attended by 25 journalists and researchers, and the Tanzania Fisheries Institute of Research (TAFIR) facilitated the session on topics of coastal resilience, ecosystem rehabilitation, livelihood, food security, land use, development, and other related topics.
A representative from the National Bureau of Statistics assisted with data and how accessible they can be for journalists to use when disseminating information related to coastal resilience.
During the training sessions participants were oriented on what coastal resilience is, and the need of using open data to ensure that media is promoting ecosystem rehabilitation. The following are among the presented topics;
- Understanding coastal resilience in promoting ecosystem rehabilitation, land use development, livelihood, and food security: Tanzania has 1,424 km of coastline on the Indian Ocean. Journalists have a role to protect its rehabilitation by increasing media coverage. This would raise awareness among the communities on coastal areas and the responsible authorities, so that they can plan and strategize on matters such as land use management, and develop alternative livelihoods for the coastal communities to prevent the over exploitation of the ocean as the only source of food provision.
- The availability and accessibility of data to enhance media coverage in reporting coastal issues to promote its rehabilitation: Journalists were encouraged to increase the use of open data available to report on issues related to coastal resilience. It was made known that different government authorities such as the NBS, National Environment Management Council (NEMC), and TAFIR have open data, which are easily available to be used when reporting. The use of open data when reporting would help promote transparency in the ocean ecosystem rehabilitation. Reporting on alternative livelihoods would also potentially help protect the ocean and its coastal areas. Through the information disseminated on media, communities could develop habits such as planting trees or seagrass or removing invasive vegetation. The available open data indicate massive pollution in the ocean and its sources. Therefore, journalists should take the lead in changing the narrative that will protect the ocean, and inform of the need for land use management and other ecosystem rehabilitation protection measures.
During the ongoing discussions, journalists highlighted that the responsible authorities lack sufficient data that will spearhead ecosystem rehabilitation, and they fail to plan for land management of the coastal areas. Because of the lack of data, journalists made a point on the fact that it was difficult for them to report on marine and aquaculture matters.
With the major objectives to create a different paradigm for sustainable development based on people’s power, and engaging fishermen in transformative politics, SWEAD organised training programs for youngsters in the fishing community to train them with available data on sustainable development, inter-generational equity, governance, and gender justice.
The participants of the training program were provided with the latest information on gender justice, governance, intergenerational equity, and sustainable development. They were trained by professors from Annamalai University. The training directly assisted 500 actual fishers, particularly the young men and women who reside in the 25 coastal villages in the coastal area of Cuddalore district, who play an important role in food security, nutritional status, and employment in the coastal villages.
On 23 June 2022, SWEAD entrusted the task of preparing Information, Education, and Commination (IEC) materials on sustainable sharing of ocean resources to five Ph.D. scholars in Coastal Aquaculture, and Ocean Science and Technology Studies at Annamalai University, Parangeepet. They jointly came up with a write-up on the subject, which was printed. On 24 June 2022, SWEAD organised training programs for 50 youngsters from the fishing community in two batches of 25 each. The professors Dr. Gobalakrishnan, Dr. T.M. Vasanthan and five Ph.D. scholars in coastal aquaculture, ocean science, and technology studies resourced the content of the training program. The training programs were punctuated with input sessions, followed by plenary sessions, group discussions, the presentation of group reports, and common question & answer sessions. The contents of the training programs were data on sustainable development, inter-generational equity, governance, and gender justice. They also discussed the impact of ingesting plastic debris on the lives of fish, seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals, and how they are causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning of such marine life.
On 25 June 2022, SWEAD started distributing the IEC materials to 50 women SHGs through their respective leaders. SWEAD advised them to read and discuss the contents of the IEC materials during their weekly regular meetings. The 50 trained youngsters who participated in the training process took an active part in the weekly meetings of 50 women SHGs in the 25 coastal villages. In the process of discussions, they created awareness on available data. They also helped more than 500 women members of 50 SHGs to understand the negative impact of plastic usage on the marine environment.
Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world, where we gather to reach out to new people and build new solutions to issues in our communities using open data.
For the 2022 edition of Open Data Day, Open Knowledge Foundation supported 14 events with small grants; out of which 4 events were related to ocean data. Please find the details of all grant winners here.