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AquaDocs is the joint open access repository of the UNESCO/IOC InternationaI Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) and the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) with support from the FAO Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts. It is a thematic repository covering the natural marine, coastal, estuarine /brackish and fresh water environments and includes all aspects of the science, technology, management and conservation of these environments, their organisms and resources, and the economic, sociological and legal aspects. [see About]
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Strategies for increasing water availability and enhancing water-use efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean.What strategies to choose to overcome the challenge of water management? Climate change, new patterns of land use, deforestation and urbanisation, among others, make water management in Latin America and the Caribbean a challenge of significant complexity. Population growth also plays an important role: the region's population has grown steadily since 1950, to over 650 million today, adding pressure in terms of water availability. Despite this scenario, efforts have been made at all levels. Discover in this publication the work on research and technology to improve water management and use in Latin America and the Caribbean, how progress has been made in the recovery of techniques, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what countries can do to adopt them. This publication is aimed primarily at technicians and decision-makers who have an impact on public policies, strategic plans and management, as well as all those who interact in water resource management.
Tsunami Hazard in Central America : Historical Events and Potential Sources. San José, Costa Rica, 23-24 June 2016.Central America lies between two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic through the Caribbean Sea. Although it has no records of great earthquakes (~8.0 to 9.0), a tsunami catalogue based on historical references for Central America lists more than 50 entries. Tsunamis caused damage and casualties in 1882 off the Caribbean coast of Panama, in 1991 in Costa Rica and Panama and in 1992 in the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. Coastal population has vastly increased in recent decades, along with tourism, increasing total exposure to tsunami. The outcomes of this meeting, organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), are initially intended to contribute with sound science inputs to the project "Building resilient communities and integrated Early Warning Systems for tsunamis and other ocean related hazards in Central America", funded by the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) implemented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and national counterparts in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, in close cooperation with Panama and Costa Rica.
The UNESCO Courier • July-September 2018.There have been spectacular advances in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years, leading to inventions that we had never thought possible. Computers and robots now have the capacity to learn how to improve their own work, and even make decisions – this is done through an algorithm, of course, and without individual consciousness. All the same, we must not fail to ask some questions. Can a machine think? Towards a global code of ethics for artificial intelligence research © Evgenija Demnievska (evgenijademnievska.com) What is an AI capable of at this stage of its evolution? To what degree is it autonomous? Where does that leave human decision-making? More than ushering in a Fourth Industrial Revolution, AI is provoking a cultural revolution. It is undeniably destined to transform our future, but we don’t know exactly how, yet. This is why it inspires both fascination and fear. In this issue, the Courier presents its investigation to the reader, elaborating on several aspects of this cutting-edge technology at the frontiers of computer science, engineering and philosophy. It sets the record straight on a number of points along the way. Because, let’s be clear – as things stand, the AI cannot think. And we are very far from being able to download all the components of a human being into a computer! A robot obeys a set of routines that allows it to interact with us humans, but outside the very precise framework within which it is supposed to interact, it cannot forge a genuine social relationship. Even so, some of AI’s applications are already questionable – data collection that intrudes on privacy, facial recognition algorithms that are supposed to identify hostile behaviour or are imbued with racial prejudice, military drones and autonomous lethal weapons, etc. The ethical problems that AI raises – and will undoubtedly continue to raise tomorrow, with greater gravity – are numerous. While research is moving full speed ahead on the technical side of AI, not much headway has been made on the ethical front. Though many researchers have expressed concern about this, and some countries are starting to give it serious thought, there is no legal framework to guide future research on ethics on a global scale. “It is our responsibility to lead a universal and enlightened debate in order to enter this new era with our eyes wide open, without sacrificing our values, and to make it possible to establish a common global foundation of ethical principles,” says Director- General Audrey Azoulay, of UNESCO’s role, in this issue of the Courier (see pp. 37-39). An international regulatory instrument is essential for the responsible development of AI, a task that UNESCO is in the process of undertaking. The Courier lends this initiative its support, by exploring different avenues of thought on the subject.
IODE Quality Management Framework for National Oceanographic Data Centres and Associate Data Units.The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE)1 programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO2 maintains a global network of National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC) and Associate Data Units (ADU) responsible for the collection, quality control, archive, and online publication of many millions of ocean and marine observations which are made available to Member States. In addition, it coordinates a network of marine information (library) managers. The IODE Committee has long held the view that there is a need for a quality management framework to ensure that NODCs and ADUs are established and operate according to defined principles, including adherence to agreed standards and the requirements of the IOC Oceanographic Data Exchange Policy. This will ensure NODCs and ADUs are able to provide data of known quality to meet the requirements of a broad community of users.
Integrated ocean carbon research: a summary of ocean carbon research, and vision of coordinated ocean carbon research and observations for the next decade.The Integrated Ocean Carbon Research (IOC-R) programme is a formal working group of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) that was formed in 2018 in response to the United Nations (UN) Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), “the Decade.” The IOC-R will contribute to the science elements of the overarching Implementation Plan for the Decade1. The Implementation Plan is a high-level framework to guide actions by which ocean science can more effectively deliver its contribution and co-development with other entities to achieve the societal outcomes outlined in the Decade plan and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the UN. Knowledge of the ocean carbon cycle is critical in light of its role in sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere and for meeting goals and targets such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the associated UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Increasing levels of CO2 in the ocean, predominantly due to human greenhouse gas emissions, and the partitioning of CO2 into organic and inorganic species have fundamental impacts on ocean carbon cycling and ecosystem health. The Integrated Ocean Carbon Research (IOC-R) effort aims to address key issues in ocean carbon research through investigative and observational goals. It takes advantage of the appreciable knowledge gained from studies over the last four decades of the ocean carbon cycle and its perturbations. IOC-R addresses the clear and urgent need to better understand and quantify the ocean carbon cycle in an integrative fashion in light of the rapid changes that are currently occurring and will occur in the near future. IOC-R can make significant breakthroughs, capitalizing on advances in modeling, data assimilation, remote sensing, and new in situ observing technologies, including novel biological observing techniques, artificial intelligence, and the use of bioinformatics. This IOC-R vision reflects an increasing appreciation for the significant role the ocean carbon cycle has on global well-being now and in the future, and for the critical need to study and monitor it in a holistic fashion.