The platform, led by the Science Ministry in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs and Environment ministries, will house over 30 sets of open and standardized data on water, oceans, the atmosphere and the cryosphere, among other environmental topics.
Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation Minister Andrés Couve launched the digital platform of the Climate Change Observatory (Observatorio de Cambio Climático, or OCC) during an event at Universidad de Magallanes in Punta Arenas in the south of Chile. This unprecedented project will make Chile a global climate sensor by integrating sensors set up throughout the country to obtain open and standardized data on water, the oceans, the atmosphere and the cryosphere, among other topics. The data are now available online at occ.minciencia.gob.cl.
The initiative is the result of a key recommendation made by the scientific community to contribute to research and evidence-based decision-making. The OCC platform currently has over 30 data sets extracted from monitoring stations managed by various public and private institutions that cover areas stretching from the desert, through the central valleys and mountains to Chile’s national forests, Patagonia and Antarctica. It is important to note that the information on the platform will be continuously updated, and that its website will house a historic record of the variables.
“We need climate data to be able to make good decisions in the public and production sectors, and to inform the public. This platform integrates data and sensors on the climate throughout Chile so that we can provide the information needed for making evidence-based decisions. When you look at what is happening at the global level, it is clear that we have little information about the southern part of the Americas. As such, the OCC is a something that the scientific community needs and wants. Major strategic partners have joined the initiative, allowing us to offer everyone free access,” Minister Couve explained.
The Climate Change Observatory data come from 180 monitoring stations that belong to the institutions that have signed agreements with the initiative: the Chilean Meteorological Directorate (DMC), the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), the Center for Advanced Studies in Arid Areas (CEAZA), the Fishing Promotion Institute (IFOP) and the Institute for Ecology and Diversity (IEB). On Thursday, this group of organizations grew to include the General Water Directorate (DGA) and the Environment Superintendency (SMA), which formally joined the OCC.
“We are certain that the OCC, which is designed to connect 8,000 kilometers of territory between Visviri and Antarctica through a set of sensors, will be enthusiastically welcomed by the international community. The information gathered will provide the data necessary to understand, predict and anticipate the effects, risks and threats of changes related to the ecosystem, allowing us to formulate mitigation and adaptation actions for the future of Chile and the world. This will make a real contribution to the fight against climate change,” added Foreign Affairs Minister Andrés Allamand.
“Chile has a key role in building a sustainable future for our planet. As such, the Environment Ministry supports this initiative, which seeks to make data available to the public because they are valuable inputs for the people, the scientific world, the production sector and the government,” said Environment Minister Javier Naranjo.
Imagen de Chile Executive Director Constanza Cea noted, “Our Chilean pride study revealed that the developments that make us most proud are those related to science and renewable energy. This speaks to a great deal of interest in topics related to science and caring for our environment. We hope that this Climate Change Observatory can be one of the developments that makes us really proud because of the contribution it will allow us to make in this fight against climate change and very especially in what we want to contribute to the world, which is something that we know is of interest to the people of Chile.”
At the presentation of the new platform, the government also announced the formalization of the Presidential Advisory Commission for Climate Change Observation. The entity will advise the Executive Branch on identifying and establishing standards, sensors and platforms that guide the generation, storage, management and access to data linked to observation of the Earth. The entity is part of the Climate Change Observatory governance structure, and is comprised of the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Science ministries as well as established technical teams and experts in this field.
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