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You can manage what you measure: The International Photonics Advocacy Coalition for the Future of Environmental Sensing

Phil DeCola

(Submission #376)


The International Photonics Advocacy Coalition (IPAC) is a global initiative of the Optical Society (OSA), which brings together representatives of industry, academia and government to raise awareness of the applications of optics and photonics technologies amongst policymakers worldwide. In particular, IPAC has focused its work on meeting current and future requirements for environmental monitoring. This is of crucial importance in the context of the EU’s implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement for both mitigation and adaptation policies and measures, and in support of improved resource management of fresh water, forests, biodiversity, renewable energy, agricultural productivity and more. IPAC is currently drafting a Technology Roadmap, which will outline the capabilities and applications of optics and photonics-based technology. This roadmap will serve to stimulate and guide the development of the next generation of environmental sensors that will be deployable at the scales necessary to meet these societal challenges. One of the core aims of the INSPIRE Directive is to facilitate better sharing of data and information between public authorities in Europe. This is of fundamental importance in the field of environmental monitoring. In the current context, the implementation of climate action and resource management is severely impaired by the scarcity of environmental monitoring data, and the lack of an infrastructure to effectively share what data is available.
Photonics-based technology can provide accurate means of gathering data, but we also we need effective means of data sharing, because our environment does not respect national boundaries. This is a core element of IPAC’s approach, which seeks to promote greater collaboration between policymakers internationally. This is why IPAC has launched itself as a global initiative, active, for example, in the US, the EU and in Asia. We need an effective framework for data sharing for environmental monitoring that brings together a coalition of the willing. The Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Information System (IG3IS), a joint programme by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), provides an important model of data sharing in the area of environmental monitoring. The core aim of this programme is to help guide valuable GHG emission-reduction actions in response to climate change. This new System will establish and build confidence in the role of atmospheric composition measurements as an essential part of cli-mate change mitigation efforts.


Topic Area:  [1.2] Environmental monitoring and assessments
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Comments:   Photonics, International Photonics Advocacy Coalition, environmental monitoring, greenhouse gas emissions, data sharing infrastructure

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