The implementation of ODINAFRICA-III progressed well and the following are some of the achievements:

  • The African network for measurements and monitoring of sea level was expanded and upgraded by installing new tide gauges in Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, and Mauritania.  The installation of Global Navigations Satellite Systems – GNSS receivers at the sea level stations in Takoradi (Ghana), and Inhambane and Pemba (Mozambique) provides the connection between the horizontal and the vertical datum at these locations. The tidal and GNSS observations together allows one to monitor crustal motions at the tide gauge locations in order to derive absolute or climate related signals in mean sea level from the tide records. Experts from the African countries used the training provided to analyse data from the sea level stations around Africa and prepare tidal predictions. Information on the network (equipment types and location, reports, trainings etc) is available on the African Sea Level Network website (www.iode.org/glossafrica), while the data from the stations can be accessed near-real time at www.sealevelstations.net. Thanks to the combined efforts of GLOSS, IOC/tsunami and ODINAFRICA-III Africa now has a network of 40 sea level stations.
  • The training courses, covering diverse topics (data and information management, development of e-repositories, websites development, application of remote sensing and GIS to coastal management, marine biodiversity data management, modelling; end to end data management; and Sea level data analysis and interpretation) provided the staff of the data and information centres with the skills to develop and maintain a wide range of databases as well as to prepare data and information products.
  • The support provided to the institutions hosting the NODCs enabled them develop a core set of data and information products. This included but was not limited to: library catalogues, catalogues of national data sets and data sources (meta databases), directories of marine and freshwater professionals, directories of marine related institutions and their profiles, marine data archives and marine biodiversity databases. NODC websites were of the format www.nodc-countryname.org (eg www.nodc-senegal.org) were developed as mechanisms for providing access to the services and products offered by the NODCs. Several ODINAFRICA NODCs published their National Marine Database collections on CD-ROMs. The new NODCs established or re-activated in Algeria, Angola, Egypt and Namibia received equipment, software and training to enable them setup infrastructure for management and exchange of ocean data and information.
  • The contribution of the African institutions to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) was improved considerably through the organization of focused workshops during which experts from ODINAFRICA institutions in Africa developed databases on marine molluscs, sponges, and decapods. Their work will form the basis for creation of an African Register of Marine Species (ARMS). Some of the institutions have made progress in developing national marine biodiversity databases and availing them online or through the AfrOBIS node, which is one of the global nodes of OBIS.
  • The development of the Repository of Marine Related Publications from/about Africa (OceanDocs-Africa, formerly OdinPubAfrica) provided the scientists and institutions/organisations affiliated to ODINAFRICA with a mechanism to make their publications easily accessible online, and thus increasing their visibility. The repository covers articles, scientific reports, technical reports, theses, conference papers, grey literature, and preprints.
  • ODINAFRICA used several mechanisms to publicize its activities and products. These included: posters and brochures, newsletters (WINDOW and COSMARNews), and websites (http://www.odinafrica.org: African Ocean Portal : http://www.africanoceans.net, African repository of marine related publications - OceanDocs-Africa: http://iodeweb1.vliz.be/odin/handle/1834/1337; African marine atlas www.africanmarineatlas.net,  the Sea level data facility www.sealevelstation.net, the sea level information site www.iode.org/glossafrica ).


African Marine Atlas

The African Marine Atlas (http://www.africanmarineatlas.net) was officially launched on 23 February 2007 at the IOC Project Office for International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) in Ostend, Belgium.

This prototype Atlas provides continental-scale maps, images, data and information to coastal resource managers, planners and decision-makers from various administrative institutions and specialized agencies in Africa. A web mapping application provides access to the data through an interactive mapping application developed using MapServer, an open source development environment for building spatially-enabled internet applications. The Atlas will be of immense benefit to national institutions and a variety of users such as environmentalists, local administrators, park managers, scientific community, fishing cooperatives, tourists, hotel keepers, teachers, NGOs, the general public, and any other interested persons. It has over 800 downloadable data products derived from the fields of marine geo-sphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, geopolitical and the human socio-economic dimensions.

The Atlas indicates areas of intense use along the coastline requiring careful management and provides potential foresight on likely consequences of specific decisions.  Further, the Atlas indicates gaps in knowledge and information base, where additional efforts may be directed.  The Atlas will also act in other ways as a guide to recreational opportunities and tourist attractions.

In developing the Atlas, the main objective was to collate available geospatial datasets and information on the marine environment and to summarize it into an African Marine Atlas suite.

The Atlas was realized through intensive work between May 2006 and February 2007 by a team of 16 marine scientists and GIS experts from NODC’s in Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, and Tanzania. International ocean data experts provided key inputs in data analysis. It is based on an extensive survey of coastal and marine data needs undertaken in early 2006 in all the countries participating in ODINAFRICA.

Primary partners in this project were the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP). The Atlas has brought great benefits to participating national institutions and Africa as a whole, by encouraging scientists to work together, learn new techniques, and build teams that should continue to regularly update the Atlas with national and local scale data sets.

Website developed and maintained by Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)