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Minutes - 7th Steering Committee Meeting of the European Atlas of the Seas

Published on: Mon, 24/05/2021 - 23:20
Table of Contents
    This article summarise the main discussions of the 7th Steering Committee Meeting of the European Atlas of the Seas which took place remotely on the 25 March 2021.

    7th Steering Committee Meeting of the European Atlas of the Seas

    Meeting location: Remote meeting via Webex

    Date and time: Thursday 25/03/2021 from 13:00 until 16:00

     

    List of Actions

    SC #

    Action

    Description

    Deadline

    Who?

    Status

    7

    Action 1

    Explore further opportunities to promote the Atlas during the EU4Ocean Sea-Basin events, inside the Network of European Blue Schools and the Blue Schools of the Med and in connection with the EU4Ocean advocacy campaign Make Europe Blue. On the other hand, promote EU4Ocean during Atlas workshops such as the upcoming Atlas workshop during the EMODnet Conference (16 June 2021 PM). 

    Next SC

    EMODnet Secretariat in collaboration with EU4Ocean partners

    Note: A workshop based on the EMD-Atlas Treasure Hunt has been proposed in the framework of the online Ocean Literacy Festival within the first Sea-Basin event for the Atlantic and North Sea on 22 May 2021.  

     

    The Atlas has been presented to teachers preparing projects for the Network of European Blue Schools during two workshops. A third one is planned in April.

    7

    Action 2

    Provide to DG MARE communication team relevant maps and ideas for new material to support their communication via the weekly DG MARE Communication planner.

    As from April 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Started. The map on  maritime spatial planning projects was mentioned in the  article on D-Day for Maritime Spatial Planning in Europe. The map on finfish and shellfish farms was suggested in relation to the upcoming aquaculture guidelines.

    7

    Action 3

    Liaise with the dedicated person in the cabinet to reach out to journalists and have more maps embedded in articles. In general, find opportunities to embed the Atlas in news articles.

    Spring 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat in collaboration with DG MARE

     

    7

    Action 4

    Explore possibilities to promote the Atlas in EC newsletters (such as the one of DG EAC).

    Spring 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat in collaboration with DG MARE

     

    7

    Action 5

    Follow-up on the development of the maps of the Young Ocean Advocates and European Blue Schools and discuss in EU4Ocean meetings opportunities to integrate the Atlas in the three EU4Ocean communities.

    Spring / Summer 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat in collaboration with EU4Ocean partners

    Ongoing

     

     

    7

    Action 6

    Explore possibilities to have more data and visibility for the Arctic countries. 

    In the course of 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat in collaboration with DG MARE

     

    6

    Action 1

    Implement the interactive help for as many key features as possible.

    Next SC

    Bilbomatica

    Postponed after September 2021.

    6

    Action 2

    Consult with EEA for records of surface areas of MPAs. Liaise with Tim Lemmens for the GIS data on MPAs.

    Next SC

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Postponed after September 2021.

    6

    Action 3

    Explore options to create predefined maps under the theme “EU Green Deal” with existing map layers (though we need to make sure they are up to date).

    Next SC

    EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomatica

    Ongoing – Under finalisation

    6

    Action 4

    Explore options to create new “EU Green Deal” maps featuring its priorities on the ocean perspective.

    Next phase – after September 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomatica

    After September 2021.

    6

    Action 5

    Explore options to organize another “pop-in” event with DG MARE and other DG’s.

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat and DG MARE

    Difficult in the context of COVID. Postponed after September 2021.

    6

    Action 6

    Produce a 2-minute film about the Atlas with a school.

    September 2021

    EMODnet Secretariat, with support DG MARE

    Difficult in the context of COVID. Postponed after September 2021.

    6

    Action 12

    Develop a more structured approach regarding new partnerships for the Atlas. Make an analysis of our weaknesses to have complementarity in the partnership. 

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Ongoing

    5

    Action 5

    Follow up with EEA and DG ENV to consider ingesting more MSFD layers and other layers relevant for environment

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Ongoing – For next phase

    5

    Action 6

    Investigate how to better organize and categorize information regarding the predefined maps

    Next SC meeting

    EMODnet Secretariat and Bilbomatica

    Ongoing – With the EU green deal action

    4

    Action 7

    Investigate and report on the required resources for a caching system

    30 November 2019

    Bilbomatica

    Ongoing – Part of the EMODnet centralisation

     

     

     

    Meeting Minutes

    1. Welcome and approval of the agenda

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) welcomed the participants, and more especially a new Steering Committee (SC) member: Mrs Olga Mashkina from ACTeon and coordinator of the EU4Ocean initiative (this refers to action 10 of the 6th Atlas Steering Committee meeting). It is an important SC meeting as we are in the last six months of the current workplan and we are also looking for ideas for the next phase. He introduced the meeting co-chairs: Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) and Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE). A tour de table of all the participants followed (see the full list of participants in Annex).

     

    1. Updates and perspectives from DG MARE on the progress and priorities for the coming 6 months and beyond

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE) thanked all the participants for their time and presented the team from the European Commission working on the Atlas: Chantal Vanhove, Grigore Rischitor and Juan-Carlos Fernandez (CINEA). Since the last two years, huge progress was made to make the Atlas a useful and important communication tool for ocean literacy and DG MARE. The Atlas is now officially translated in all 24 EU languages, technical developments made it more user-friendly and we have invested time in partnerships such as EU4Ocean. As will become clear from the progress reporting during the Steering Committee meeting, these efforts have paid off and the aim is to continue along the set path. The next 6 months (final stretch of the current contract) will focus more on communication activities. It will be a good opportunity to evaluate what is working best in order to improve in the next period. We welcome the input of the SC members on how to move forward more effectively.

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) added that they are very proud of what the team has achieved during the last months and the this is shown in the results.

     

    1. Communication, Events and Partnerships

    Andrée-Anne Marsan and Nathalie Van Isacker (EMODnet Secretariat) presented an overview of what has been done over the last six months regarding the Atlas promotion and outreach (with a strong focus on the Twitter account, the ambassadors’ campaign and the Atlas workshops) and gave a flavour of what is planned in the coming months.  asc7_presentationcommunicationeducation.pdf

    Questions & comments

    Olga Mashkina (ACTeon) mentioned further connections between EU4Ocean and the Atlas such as the upcoming five Sea-Basin events, the first of which will take place during the European Maritime Day (EMD) (the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea event). These events provides an opportunity to do something with the Atlas. Furthermore, the European Blue Schools network and the Blue Schools of the Med are also good opportunities to inform schools about the Atlas. She also made links with the Atlas ambassadors’ campaign and the EU4Ocean Young Ocean Advocates. Finally, there is also a possibility to use the Atlas for communication purposes at the EU4Ocean advocacy campaign Make Europe Blue which will be launched at EMD.

    • Action 1: Explore further opportunities to promote the Atlas during the EU4Ocean Sea-Basin events, inside the Network of European Blue Schools and the Blue Schools of the Med and in connection with the EU4Ocean advocacy campaign Make Europe Blue. On the other hand, promote EU4Ocean during Atlas workshops such as the upcoming Atlas workshop during the EMODnet Conference (16 June 2021 PM). 

    Nathalie Van Isacker (EMODnet Secretariat) added that the connection between the two initiatives (i.e. the Atlas and EU4Ocean) is also often highlighted and optimised on Twitter through tags, hashtags (e.g. #EU4Ocean) and retweets as they target a similar audience.

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) reinforced the importance to maximise the outreach potential of the Atlas and EU4Ocean in connecting the two initiatives. He highlighted the importance of the presence of Olga Mashkina (ACTeon, coordinator of the EU4Ocean initiative) to see what is planned in EU4Ocean and how we can enhance the collaboration even more. Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE) mentioned that from DG MARE’s point of view these initiatives go hand in hand. There are synergies and both are established in a way that can be sustained on the long-term.

    Bert de Meester (DG MARE) shared that he was happy to see the progress, especially on social media. He mentioned the discussion he had with Andrée-Anne Marsan and Nathalie Van Isacker from the EMODnet Secretariat prior to the meeting to see how the collaboration can be further improved. For example, the weekly DG MARE communication planner will include a new column specifically for the Atlas to add links to relevant maps that could support DG MARE’s communication, to share in news items and social media. To increase the Atlas outreach to journalists, he will put the EMODnet Secretariat in contact with the dedicated person in their cabinet. Finally, he added that the Atlas has already been featured for many years in the DG MARE newsletter with the Map of the month and that it would be good to see opportunities in other EC newsletters such as the one of DG EAC (Education). There could also be opportunities related to other DGs and agencies.

    • Action 2: Provide to DG MARE communication team relevant maps ideas to support their communication via the weekly DG MARE Communication planner.
    • Action 3: Liaise with the dedicated person in the cabinet to reach out to journalists and have more maps embedded in articles. In general, find opportunities to embed the Atlas in news articles.
    • Action 4: Explore possibilities to promote the Atlas in EC newsletters (such as the one of DG EAC).

    Nathalie Van Isacker (EMODnet Secretariat) highlighted that DG MARE and the Atlas team have a good collaboration on Twitter and that we often see what other DGs are doing to react and link with relevant maps.

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) said that it is time to move to a more structured approach regarding our communication to news outlets and make sure we fully capitalize on synergies such as opportunities in newsletters within the EC. The article in Euronews France with an embedded shows a clear impact.

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) further stated that these are good suggestions and a good way to reach out to a lot of people is to embed maps in online articles to further spread the Atlas. The article in Euronews France has shown a big impact in the number of visitors and it is the evidence that the presence of the Atlas in news articles is a very important strategy to increase the reach.

     

    1. Monitoring performance over the past six months

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) presented the web traffic analytics from Europa Analytics to show who is using the Atlas and where visitors are coming from, with a focus on the impact of the Ambassadors’ campaign.  asc7_traffic_analytics.pdf

    In his presentation, he showed why the Map of the week is an important communication activity as the impact is often seen many weeks after the release, when people are searching for a specific information or a certain topic. Regarding the languages, English remains the main language used with a spike of French users because of the Euronews article. Others languages have grown in popularity since the V6 launch (September 2020) and this shows that the Atlas is more accessible. The diversity in languages used can also be a result of the ambassadors’ campaign, which doesn’t have an immediate effect but the impact is often happening after a few weeks, with an increase of visitors from that country. We can interpret this as people from that country getting to know the Atlas via the Ambassadors’ campaign and spreading the information in their community.

    Clara Becares (Bilbomatica) presented the current service monitoring tool which helps to detect occasional problems in the Atlas. There were no critical issues over the past six months. Such a tool is important to improve the quality of the Atlas. Bilbomatica is working on a new tool which will be more flexible and that will allow a better control.   asc7_monitoring_performace.pdf

    Questions & Comments

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) thanked Tim for this clear overview and the connection to the previous presentation on communication. It is useful to connect activities and see the effect such as for the Ambassadors’ campaign. It shows what works well and how we can capitalize over the past three years. We should give an extra push in the coming six months based on this experience or, to speak in Marketing terms, to have a six months sprint where we consolidate what we have and give more effort on communication, marketing and PR. Earlier this week, we had a publication in a Belgian newspaper in Dutch mentioning the Atlas and it will be interesting to see if it has an effect.

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) mentioned that it is great to see the support from DG MARE to have more maps integrated in articles and webpages as it is also not just useful at the time of publication but also afterwards, like with the Map of the week. We now have so many topics covered that when a person is looking for a relevant topic, they find the Atlas. It drives traffic to the Atlas and it is part of the success we are having.

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE) showed her support to what was said and expressed that she is happy with the results. The efforts we have put show appropriate results.

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) thanked Tim for making these figures meaningful for all of us to see the great impact of our communication activities. She thanked all the ones involved in communication and mentioned that we should find a way to push it forward and to continue on that flow.

     

    Short break

     

    1. Content development

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) presented the maps that were added and updated since the last SC meeting. He also presented the maps that are planned to be released for the coming six months but the number is relatively low since the focus will be on communication.  asc7_content_update.pdf

    Questions & comments

    Olga Mashkina (ACTeon) stated that all three EU4Ocean communities (Platform, Youth, Blue Schools) could benefit from the Atlas and we should develop a map in the Atlas for each community to show who the members are. It would also be interesting to look at links between the EU4Ocean advocacy campaign and the Atlas.

    • Action 5: Follow-up on the development of the maps of the Young Ocean Advocates and European Blue Schools and discuss in EU4Ocean meetings opportunities to integrate the Atlas in the three EU4Ocean communities.

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) reiterated that we would be happy to create other EU4Ocean maps that can be useful.

    Nathalie Van Isacker (EMODnet Secretariat) mentioned that it is the plan to have a map for each of the EU4Ocean community. The Platform Members map is already online and the one with the Youth Ocean advocates is in preparation. The map with the European Blue Schools will follow.

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) thanked Olga and invited her to think about content that should be added in the Atlas in the future. A lot has been achieved with colleagues from CMEMS, Eurostat, etc. All ideas are welcome and won’t be lost. They will be collected and prioritized as needed in the next phase.

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) informed the members of the SC meeting that Stanislova Jonusas from DG MARE had to leave but that he mentioned the need to do more on the Arctic and have more visibility in this region. A new Arctic Communication will be released later this year.

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) mentioned that EMODnet Physics have a map on ice extent that can be useful.

    Zoi Konstantinou (DG MARE) stated that this is an excellent idea. The problem, beside what we have from EMODnet Physics, is the availability of the data from the Arctic but we need to work in that direction. The discussions include the work to bring the data available into EMODnet and then in the Atlas.

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) highlighted the success of EMODnet in the Southern Ocean (e.g. SOOS map). There is not always an equal spread of interest for the Atlas. The Atlas is more popular in the South of Europe than in the North of Europe. He mentioned that the EU4Ocean Coalition and the huge network could maybe help to balance the interest throughout Europe.

    • Action 6: Explore possibilities to have more data and visibility for the Arctic countries. 

     

    1. Technical developments  

    Clara Becares (Bilbomática) gave a brief presentation on the ongoing technical improvements. She presented the current status of the My maps functionality, the monitoring tool and the interactive help. New developments will be put on hold for the coming months as we will focus more on communication. Josu Olaso (Bilbomática) presented the released features since the last SC meeting: the layers status, the optimisation of layers’ visualization, the new cookie banner and other improvements (Notification of no-translation available for new layers and the removal of social networks icons other than Twitter).  asc7_technical_improvements.pdf

    Questions & comments

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) thanked Bilbomática for the great collaboration and great work and for the useful features that are further improving the Atlas.

    Chantal Vanhove (DG MARE) highlighted that the monitoring tool is improving the quality as the reports in the last development phase were efficient but hard to read. It is now easier to understand and this is a big improvement. The Atlas is under control and this is good for the users. Indicators associated to map layers will allow visitors to explore more areas in the Atlas such as the Teachers’ Corner. We need to transform visitors into users of the Atlas.

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) stated that it is very rewarding to see a project with strong communication and technical aspects where the teams are working in concertation at a very professional level: Bilbomática responsible for the features’ development, the content and liability and the communication team from the EMODnet Secretariat making sure the people are using it and that the community is expanding.

    Tim Collart (EMODnet Secretariat) also wanted to thank all the team for the great cooperation, the Atlas being appreciated increasingly. The user base was growing very rapidly in the last year. It is a testimony of the improvements made to the Atlas. We are now shifting our focus towards communication and we will capitalize on what we created. He is looking forward to brainstorm with the team for the next phase, to find new angles and improve the usefulness of the Atlas.

    Conor Delaney (EMODnet Secretariat) stated that he appreciates the Atlas meetings as the team is focused on the problems and on how to fix them, with a well-structured way of doing it. He thanked the team and Chantal Vanhove for nurturing this constructive collaborative spirit.

     

    1. Any other business and/or particular feedback?

    No further comments.

     

    1. Next meeting time and location

    Jan-Bart Calewaert (EMODnet Secretariat) concluded the meeting by thanking all the participants for their time and interest and by inviting them to share any reflections to further improve the Atlas, and particularly to keep close links with the EU4Ocean initiative. For next meeting, the intention is to invite more of the data providers to look ahead at the next phase.

    A Doodle link will be sent to set the next meeting in September 2021.

     

    End of the Meeting

     

     

    Annex 1 – List of participants

     

    Name

    Organisation

    Chantal Vanhove

    DG MARE

    Zoi Konstantinou

    DG MARE

    Grigore Rischitor

    DG MARE

    Stanislova Jonusas

    DG MARE

    Tim Lemmens

    DG MARE

    Bert De Meester

    DG MARE

    Alberto Telletxea

    Bilbomática

    Natalia Orio Moreno

    Bilbomática

    Clara Becares

    Bilbomática

    Josu Olaso

    Bilbomática

    Sheila Garcia

    Bilbomática

    Jan-Bart Calewaert

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Conor Delaney

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Tim Collart

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Andrée-Anne Marsan

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Nathalie Van Isacker

    EMODnet Secretariat

    Juan-Carlos Fernandez

    EASME / CINEA

    Olga Mashkina

    ACTeon