The Marine Observation Centre of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute held its first workshop on 10th March 2023 at the Cyprus Center for Land, Open-seas and Port Security training centre in Larnaka. Attended by 38 individuals from 21 different organisations, the workshop aimed to introduce the Cyprus Marine Observation Network project to potential stakeholders.
Among the attendees were representatives from organisations such as the Cyprus Ports Authority , the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, the Public Works Department, the Cyprus University of Technology, The Oceanographic Centre, The Cyprus Institute, the Department of Lands and Surveys, the Department of Meteorology, the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, the Shipping Deputy Ministry and the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research. Relevant private companies such as Cyprus Subsea Consulting and Services, the Marine and Environmental Research Lab, Blue Wise Marine , and SignalGenerix were also present. The event was held as a hybrid session, allowing attendees outside Cyprus to join online.
CMMI’s CEO Zacharias Siokouros presented the work done so far and introduced the concept of CyMON to the attendees. The event also featured presentations by Dr Peter Thijsse from MARIS, who highlighted the importance of Marine and Observation Data Infrastructure at the National and European level based on the SeaDataNet and EMODnet experience. Additionally, EuroGOOs’ Secretary General, Dr Inga Lips, discussed the significance of developing such an infrastructure for the European marine data community. Mrs Dimitra Mavraki and Dr George Petihakis from HCMR discussed the MedOBIS Repository and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research’s experience in developing and maintaining a marine observation infrastructure.
The workshop ended with an open discussion between the potential stakeholders and the CMMI team and partners. Attendees recognised the importance and necessity of developing such an infrastructure for Cyprus and expressed their interest in different aspects of it based on their expertise. The issue of data handling and sharing procedures using protocols and standards was discussed, as well as the extent to which small public bodies can contribute due to their limited resources.
Overall, the workshop was of great importance in initiating a conversation around the topic and creating a small community to support the development and maintenance of CyMON.
Special thanks to Mr Chrysiliou, Director of CYCLOPS for all his support and for hosting the event at their premises. Following there are a few words regarding CYCLOPS.
The “Cyprus Center for Land Open Seas and Port Security” (CYCLOPS) is a Republic of Cyprus-owned training facility situated in Larnaca and it is under the ownership and responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project was established in close cooperation with the Government of the United States, as provided for by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States, signed on September 12, 2020. Funding for the construction and technical equipment of the CYCLOPS Training Center has been provided by the US State Department’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program, while the Republic of Cyprus provided the land for its construction. The objective of this state-of-the-art Training Facility is to bolster security capacity-building in Cyprus, the EU, the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, and beyond.