Dr. Aletta Yñiguez to lead CoastPredict’s GlobalCoast ocean forecasting program in the Philippines

Featured Photo: THE GLOBALCOAST LAUNCH. Dr. Aletta Yñiguez (right), joined by fellow faculty Dr. Charina Lyn Amedo-Repollo (center left) and Dr. Jimmy T. Masagca (left) from Catanduanes State University at the GlobalCoast launch in Barcelona, Spain.

Together with CoastPredict, Dr. Aletta Yñiguez announced SUSTAIN: a program for the development of ocean observation and modeling for coastal ecosystem health in the Philippines. The program was publicly presented as part of the GlobalCoast launch in Coastal Futures: Charting Priorities for Resilience, an event in the week-long 2024 Ocean Decade Conference held in Barcelona, Spain last April 11. 

SUSTAIN, or the “Supporting our seas through automated and integrated networks: strengthening ocean observation and management of risks to coastal ecosystems” program, aims to develop technological and socio-ecological capacities for ocean observation and modeling. Fit-for-purpose and co-design approaches will be crafted together with stakeholders to manage coastal ecosystem threats.

“We aim to bridge the gaps in coastal observation, modeling, and technical capacity in the Philippines,” said Dr. Yñiguez. “Through this collaboration with CoastPredict and its partners, and strong engagement with stakeholders and communities, we are hopeful to contribute to tangible improvements in coastal and marine ecosystem community health and resilience.

FOR AN ARCHIPELAGIC NATION. Dr. Aletta Yñiguez explains the significance of climate and ocean research for the Philippines at Coastal Futures: Charting Priorities for Resilience. Photo by Dr. Charina Lyn Amedo-Repollo.

GlobalCoast: the Global Coastal Ocean Experiment is the central framework for the coordination and practical implementation of CoastPredict, a program endorsed by UN Ocean Decade. GlobalCoast aims to advance knowledge, innovative products, and services to support coastal community resilience. Over 120 pilot sites have been set in 65 countries, with marine scientists all over the world conducting their own programs for coastal management.

The three pilot sites in the Philippines are Verde Island Passage, Tayabas Bay, and the Visayan Sea. The sites in Verde Island Passage and Tayabas Bay are under Dr. Yñiguez’s SUSTAIN program, while the site in the Visayan Sea is managed in collaboration with the VISMO (Visayan Sea Model for Operational Oceanography) program led by Dr. Cesar Villanoy and Aiko del Rosario, also from UP MSI.

The program’s chosen pilot sites will ensure that coastal management tools and practices can be optimized depending on whether the area focuses on capture fisheries, aquaculture, or tourism in biodiversity hotspots.

“These sites around the Philippines will serve as pilot sites in the global coastal ocean experiment, representing a variety of biodiversity and marine resources, as well as contexts and threats that could also be shared elsewhere around the world,” said Dr. Yñiguez.

SUSTAIN is funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

WOMEN OF MARINE SCIENCE. Dr. Aletta Yñiguez (left) and Dr. Charina Lyn Amedo-Repollo (right), UP MSI’s representatives at the 2024 Ocean Decade Conference. Photo by Jhobert B. Repollo.

Joining Dr. Yñiguez in the GlobalCoast launch were CoastPredict Co-Chair Dr. Joaquín Tintoré; the Fugro Global Lead for Coastal Resilience, Tom Parry; Dr. Edem Mahu of the MANCOGA Program for Ghana; and Edgard Cabrera of the IOCARIBE Program for the Tropical Americas and Caribbean. 

Coastal Futures: Charting Priorities for Resilience also featured talks from CoastPredict Chair Dr. Nadia Pinardi, Dr. Bart van den Hurk from the Knowledge Hub on Sea Level Rise, Loreley Picourt from the Ocean and Climate Platform, and Dr. Srinivasa Kumar Tummala from the Tsunami Decade Programme.

Watch the full event on CoastPredict’s website: https://www.coastpredict.org/coastal-future-charting-priorities-for-coastal-resilience/