UNESCO is integrated by 195 Member States with around 2.000 staff members (171 different nationalities) working to build networks among nations that enable solidarity by mobilising for education, building intercultural understanding, pursuing scientific cooperation, such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies. Within the UN system, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission serves as the focal point for ocean observations, ocean science, ocean services and data and information exchange. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea considers IOC to be the competent international organization for marine scientific research. Currently, IOC has a strategy based on Three Expected Results, which together will ensure an efficient and coordinated response by IOC-UNESCO and Member States to the major challenges facing the global oceans: first, a bolstered scientific understanding of ocean and coastal processes that will be used by Member States to improve the management of the human relationship with the ocean; second, reduced risks and impacts of ocean-related hazards, and effective mitigating of the impacts of adaptation to climate change and variability; and third, reinforced Member States' institutional capacities to protect and sustainably manage ocean and coastal resources. The Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section (IOC/MPR) is responsible for the coordination of IOC’s external policy and communication with the aim of fostering multi-agency partnerships related to ocean and coastal matters and related science-policy interface, the development and dissemination of coastal and marine management tools.

IOC-UNESCO is work area lead for coastal issues, as well as the lead for WP6, Information Platform. In this regard, IOC-UNESCO is a key partner to AQUACROSS, providing expertise on coastal-related issues as well as all data and information aspects of AQUACROSS. Moreover, IOC-UNESCO, together with Ecologic Institute, coordinates a pilot case study on transboundary water ecosystems and green/blue infrastructures in the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean Andalusia (Spain) – Morocco.

Alejandro Iglesias-Campos

Alejandro Iglesias-Campos has an MSc in Physical Geography by the University of Seville, Spain, and is a programme specialist at the Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section in charge of the Integrated Coastal Area Management and Marine Spatial Planning Programme.  He works in the fields of coastal and marine management and planning. His current work focuses on integrated coastal area management, marine spatial planning, transboundary waters assessments, coastal risks and impact assessments, coastal and marine ecosystem capital accounting and shared environmental information systems. Alejandro has experience working with European and International Institutions, especially with the European Environment Agency through the different topic centres on Spatial Information and Analysis and Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters, as well as participating in European FP7 Projects (PEGASO, CLICO), ESPON (Environment); INTERREG and LIFE+, and lately coordinating SPINCAM Project in Latin America and participating in Global initiatives such as GEF TWAP and GEF LME:Learn. Alejandro coordinates the coastal thematic area of AQUACROSS, WP6 dedicated to the implementation of the Information Platform and the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean: Andalusia (Spain) – Morocco case study.

Julian Barbière

Julian Barbière is an IOC programme specialist, head of section for Marine Policy and Regional Coordination in charge of the Integrated Coastal Area Management and Marine Spatial Planning Programme. He has two MSc degrees in Bio/Geoarachaeology and in Environmental Sciences. He has been involved in the development of ICZM projects globally, indicators for ICZM, development of technical guidelines on coastal hazards, vulnerability, shoreline change, adaptation measures in coastal areas. From 2006-2009, he coordinated the preparation of the Assessment of Assessments leading to the establishment of the UN World Ocean Assessment under the UN General Assembly in 2011. He is the task manager for the GEF Large Marine Ecosystem Component of the TranSboundary Water Assessment Programme (2013-2015), the GEF LME:Learn Project (2015-2018), and  led the participation of IOC in the FP7 PEGASO project. Julian coordinates all IOC-UNESCO’s contributions to AQUACROSS.

Ana Barbosa

Ana Barbosa is a senior consultant on European Policies and Environmental Information Systems at the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). She has a BSc in Geography and Planning (University of Minho) and an MSc in Geographic Information System (GIS) (School of Statistics and Information Management (ISEGI-NOVA Lisbon). With extensive experience working for European Institutions (European Environmental Agency/European Topic Centre and European Commission/ Joint Research Centre-JRC),  her consultancy work is related to the territorial impact assessment of Environmental and Regional policies, with special focus on the development of integrated Information Systems and modelling policies scenarios for decision making support. At the Marine Policy and Regional Coordination Section (MPR), IOC-UNESCO, she is responsible for the implementation of the IOC-MPR activities of the H2020 AQUACROSS project. She collaborates in the development of the AQUACROSS Information Platform is responsible for the implementation of the Assessment Framework in the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean (Andalucía in Spain and Morocco) case study.

Juan Arévalo-Torres

Juan Arévalo-Torres is an international consultant on Environmental Information Systems and Decision Support tools at IOC-UNESCO. He has a BSc in Environmental Sciences and an MSc in Engineering Applied to Development Projects. He started his professional career as a Data Manager for the Marine Irish Digital Atlas at the University of Cork, Ireland. Afterwards, he moved to Spain where he worked at an International IT company contributing to the development of the Environmental Information System of Andalusia in Spain (REDIAM). At the European Topic Centre on Land Use and Spatial Information of the European Environmental Agency, he was responsible for the technical implementation of the Land and Ecosystem Accounting project, a tool which allows the spatial analysis of environmental variables through the European territory. He was a scientific officer at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, where he was responsible for the establishment of the Latin American network of knowledge centres in the water sector (RALCEA) leading also the development of several decision support tools, such as the AquaKnow Water Knowledge Management Portal and the Regional Frequency Analysis of Climate Variables (REFRAN-CV) software. He also organised several capacity building activities on environmental information systems and climate change issues for the NEPAD Western African Water Centres of Excellence. In addition to this, he was a professor and academic coordinator of an online GIS course at the University of Girona, Spain. Within the AQUACROSS project, he is mainly involved in WP6, leading the development of the Information Platform.