The increasing ocean acidification (OA) due to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), has prompted greater concern and interest among policy makers and scientists in the Pacific region to increase collaboration and cooperation to find solutions and minimize the negative impacts of OA. Part of this effort is a series of regional workshops and meetings addressing OA.
The first meeting,“Pacific Island Ocean Acidification (OA) Monitoring Dialogue”, was held earlier this month on May 6th. The meeting was organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), the Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification (PPOA), and the Pacific Islands Global Ocean Observing System (PI-GOOS).
PICRC researchers, Mr. Nestor and Ms. Otto presented on the current OA related data collection on CO2, pH, temperature, and salinity eight times a day and the incorporation of water quality assessments into PICRC’s long-term monitoring projects, respectively. In addition to these two projects, PICRC also shared a progress update on the ongoing development of laboratory dedicated to OA data analysis. Support for equipment, funding and technical expertise for the OA laboratory is provided by partners, the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
These presentations were not only revealed the ongoing OA work that is being carried out by PICRC, it also showed that PICRC has been doing this work for some time and already has some experiences and lessons learned that could be shared with other Pacific countries. For their knowledge and experience in their respective OA-related projects, PICRC researchers were invited to present a case study on PICRC’s monitoring program next month at the workshop titled, “Ocean Observations and Data Applications for the Pacific Islands”, which is organized by World Meteorological Organization(WMO)/ Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP).
“We are proud of the work of our local researchers and the contribution they make to scientific knowledge, not only here in Palau, but throughout the whole Pacific. This invitation to our researchers to present their work to all the Pacific Islands countries confirmed that while our work is focused here in Palau, the impact and significance goes beyond Palau. Equally important is that this is also a good opportunity for our researchers to also learn from others in the region” stated Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, CEO of PICRC