The Caspian Sea Digital Twin Project

Dear Partners of "The Caspian Sea Digital Twin" Project, It is with great pleasure we want to inform that of the IOC endorsement of Decade Action entitled “The Caspian Sea Digital Twin, ID 92” as a project forming part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.

In December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030, -decade). Commissioned by the United Nations General Assembly, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) is coordinating the lead-up to the Decade, inviting the global oceanographic community to plan for the next ten years in science and technology.

According to the draft of the Decade Implementation Plan prepared by the IOC Secretariat in consultation with a wide range of scientific community, business representatives, IOC member states ( /Version-20-of-the-Ocean-Decade-Implementation-Plan-), the vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The mission of the Ocean Decade is ‘to catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and our ocean’.

Objective 1: Identify required knowledge for sustainable development, and increase the capacity of ocean science to deliver needed ocean data and information.

Objective 2: Build capacity and generate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the ocean including human interactions, and interactions with the atmosphere, cryosphere and the land sea interface.

Objective 3: Increase the use of ocean knowledge and understanding, and develop capacity to contribute to sustainable development solutions.

The Decade of Ocean Science will help generate the data, information and knowledge needed to move from the “ocean we have” to the “ocean we need”. The seven expected outcomes below describe the state of the “ocean we need” at the end of the Decade (excerpts from IOC official documents):

1. A clean ocean where sources of pollution are identified and reduced or removed.

2. A healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are understood, protected, restored and managed.

3. A productive ocean supporting sustainable food supply and a sustainable ocean economy.

4. A predicted ocean where society understands and can respond to changing ocean conditions.

5. A safe ocean where life and livelihoods are protected from ocean-related hazards.

6. An accessible ocean with open and equitable access to data, information and technology and innovation.

7. An inspiring and engaging ocean where society understands and values the ocean in relation to human wellbeing and sustainable development.

In October 2020, the IOC published the First Call ( inviting to submit proposals for a Decade focused on real change and contributing to the strategic goal of the Decade of Ocean Science. One form of a proposal is a “Programme”, which is a global or regional initiative that addresses one or more of the Decade's priorities. The programme is long-term, multi-year, interdisciplinary and international in nature. The programme brings together a number of included projects and may include supporting activities. The deadline for submitting proposals to the IOC was January 15, 2021.

One of the Programmes submitted to the IOC by P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia) was “The Caspian Sea Digital Twin”. The goal of the Programme is creation of “The Caspian Sea Data Center”, which would include a constantly updated archive of satellite data (IR, optics, radar, altimetry), oceanographic data (physical, chemical, biological parameters), hydrometeorological data, hydrodynamic model data, atmospheric reanalyses data, results of regional climate change forecasts, electronic atlases, electronic library of publications (open access) on the Caspian Sea and other materials. The flow of data and information will come from all the Caspian Sea countries as well as from other interested partners. The collected data will make it possible to assess anthropogenic loads on the environment of the Caspian Sea, assess the ongoing climate changes, assess extreme weather and climate events, assess the impact of climate change on natural and socio-economic systems, develop a strategy and mechanisms for adaptation to climate change and the state of the Caspian Sea. The created infrastructure will support the Caspian countries with modern information resources in creating improved conditions for the sustainable development of the Caspian Sea region. In the future, The Caspian Sea Data Center may be transformed into “The Caspian Sea Analytical Data Center” with additional consulting functions.

On 6 October 2021, The Caspian Sea Digital Twin Programme was officially endorsed by the IOC-UNESCO as a Project for implementation during the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The Project started on 1 January 2022. Prof., Dr. Andrey G. Kostianoy from P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology is a Head of the Project. One of the important activities of the Project is collaboration with the CASPISNET.

The Caspian Sea Digital Twin Project has 24 teams from 22 organisations from Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Switzerland and France.

The next workshop within Caspian Digital Twin project members with potential users and researchers is planned to the last day of the next CASPISNET Annual Meeting/ Workshop planned to the 9th of June 2023 at ADA University, Baku, Azerbaijan.

Lead Contact for the Caspian Digital Twin:

Andrey G. Kostianoy ([email protected])