International Training on Marine and Coastal Ecological Environment and Disasters Monitoring in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Date of Issue:2024-02-29 Reading:202

Sponsored by the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and the State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics (SOED), Second Institute of Oceanography (SIO), Ministry of Natural Resources of China, “International Training on Marine and Coastal Ecological Environment and Disasters Monitoring in SIDS” will be held in Hangzhou, China during 1-15 June, 2024.

1. Background

At the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Small island developing states (SIDS) were first recognized as a unique group of developing countries. These nations, located in the Pacific, Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean, face challenges such as small landmasses, growing populations, limited resources, and climate change impacts, leading to constraints on sustainable development. To address these issues, specific objectives and measures for SIDS have been included in United Nations agendas. China has always attached great importance to promoting the implementation of the United Nations development agendas, actively supporting and assisting SIDS in addressing climate change.

Comprehensive monitoring and disaster response for SIDS' marine and island ecosystems require advanced observation technologies such as satellite remote sensing and monitoring buoys. Satellite remote sensing, conducted from space, offers unique advantages of rapid, wide-range synchronous, high spatiotemporal resolution, and continuous observation, enabling the monitoring of various ecological environment information including sea surface temperature, biological abundance, mangroves, and coral reefs. Besides, Argo profiling buoy and anchored buoy, provide essential time-series data including meteorological, hydrological, and biogeochemical parameters for understanding marine environment and ecosystem. In summary, satellite remote sensing and buoy observations are the most effective means of obtaining global ocean observation data over large areas, synchronously, and in real time over long periods, which can provide long-term series of three-dimensional marine information. Since most satellite remote sensing and Argo buoy data are freely shared, they are highly suitable for SIDS as prioritized technologies for marine observation.

The State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics (SOED) of the Second Institute of Oceanography, is the only state key laboratory within the Ministry of Natural Resources system. Its goal is to maintain national interests in the ocean and address major needs such as disaster prevention and reduction, by establishing a technological and theoretical system for comprehensive monitoring and forecasting of the marine environment. The SOED has been the exclusive Chinese representative of two major international organizations, the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG) and the global Argo program, and holds significant international standing. In recent years, SOED has undertaken a number of international collaborative research and exchange training projects. Under the framework of China-GEO cooperation, SOED has collaborated with Pacific Island countries to conduct capacity building for marine environmental and disaster monitoring. This collaboration has led to achievements in marine monitoring technology and data application, and has facilitated in-depth exchanges based on these achievements with SIDS. SOED has been establishing a strong international cooperation network and accumulating extensive experience in international training programs.

2. Objectives

In 2024, the training course plans to enroll the trainees from SIDS. The objectives of this training course are: 1) to promote the talent development in the SIDS, using practical marine and island ecological remote sensing, buoy monitoring, and on-site observation techniques as the main focus of training, enhancing their sustainable development and disaster response capabilities. 2) to assist SIDS in enhancing their capabilities in marine ecological environment, island coastal ecological environment, typical marine disasters, marine spatial management and planning, and sharing the benefits brought by global marine remote sensing observations, real-time buoy observation networks, and on-site observation techniques. 3) to establish various cooperation, enhancing the three-dimensional monitoring capabilities of marine environment and ecosystem in the maritime areas of SIDS.  

3. Main Activities

The curriculum of the training course is listed as the following (the detailed agenda can be found in the appendix):

——Knowledge-based Lectures

1) Satellite data collection, processing and algorithm development;

2) Remote sensing applications in marine and coastal regions;

3) Introduction of the marine International Argo Project and data processing, quality control and applications of Argo floats;

4) Introduction of on-site observation techniques of Buoy, Mooring, Glider, etc.

5) Introduction of marine dynamics and ecological model;

6) Introduction of marine management including climate change and disaster reduction, ecological restoration and blue carbon sinks, as well as marine planning.

——Hands-on Training

1) Acquisition, processing, inversion, and application of satellite data;

2) Data acquisition, processing, quality control, mapping and applications of Argo buoy data;

3) Practice of marine on-site observation equipment in field work.

——Discussion and Q & A Sessions

1) The trainees will be invited to introduce current conditions and demands of ocean observation and research in their own countries;

2) Q & A sessions on the training course and the related topics;

3) Discuss the next steps in collaboration and talent development direction.

4. Enrollment and Application

1) Enrollment planning: The training course will recruit approximately 30 trainees, e.g., marine management staffs, early career scientists, and postdoctoral fellows from SIDS.

2) Transportation, meals and lodging: the meals and lodging expenses in Hangzhou during the training course will be offered and the cost will be covered by organizer, yet participants should pay for their own round trip flight tickets to Hangzhou. Outstanding trainees will be selected for award fellowship that can cover the international flight tickets for the candidates.

3) Application procedure: if you are interested in attending the training course, please send the completed application form, and a Curriculum Vitae (in English) to Dr. Wenting CAO via email ( before March 25, 2024.

   The steering committee of the organizer will review the applications and send the offer no later than March 31, 2024.

If you have any question about the application or any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Wenting CAO via email (

     Application Form .docx

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