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“Our majestic oceans have covered 70 percent of Earth’s surface with approximately 80 percent of oxygen being produced from the incredible and wide range of marine species and aquatic plants. Also, ocean water absorbs about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by the humans above land thereby reducing the impacts of climate change and global warming. Such natural attributes of the ocean have been rightfully explained by Arthur C. Clarke through his quote that “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean.” And that’s why the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 (SDG 14) specifically lists protecting ‘Life Below Water’ as a priority.

 

In the year 2008, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized 8th June as the ‘World Oceans Day’ to be celebrated worldwide every year. The year 2020 is celebrating this day with its theme on ‘Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean’. Let’s see a few of the innovative technologies across the world which are contributing to solving the ocean’s grand challenges.

 

Few of the most useful and valuable technologies to be listed are Oil Spill Tracking System, Ice Tracking Technology, marine communication systems, The Ocean Cleanup which uses long floating barriers that work with ocean currents to passively collect the trash, Sea Robots to explore the depths of the ocean where humans cannot go, Marine Skin Tag for tracking animal movements in deep-sea environments, Saildrones, SphereCam, an artificially intelligent camera intended to monitor and track endangered species and mobile apps to deliver information on weather, fish stocks, and market prices.

 

For decades, oceans are shared resources, transcending all boundaries and sovereignties, and are currently on the verge of over-exploitation. And thus, new analytical techniques, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence provide powerful new tools for governments and communities to manage ocean resources. The future of the oceans relies on efficiently using these technologies with shared data and sustainable techniques.

 

In the times of achieving sustainability across various fields and sectors through innovative technologies, let us also use its bit towards ‘Saving Ocean and Saving Water’.”

– Shilpa Singh
India Smart Cities Fellow
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India

Shilpa Singh is an Urban Planner and a Water Management expert. She has completed her post-graduation in ‘Water Policy and Governance’ from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She is currently working as a Smart City Fellow with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under the India Smart Cities Fellowship Programme.

She has been working with her team on developing a ‘Digital Water Balance Tool’ which aims towards achieving water security in Smart Cities under the leadership and guidance of Kunal Kumar (IAS), Joint Secretary and Mission Director, MoHUA, Govt of India. She was previously associated with Tata Trusts and Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoW&CD) as District Lead – Swasth Bharat Prerak for the implementation of the National Nutrition Mission under POSHAN Abhiyaan. She looks ahead to explore her interest areas of urban planning, water management, climate change, transportation, and housing.

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