United Nations
Establish the Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network in all oceans and along all of the world's coastlines within 5 years
by Conservation Science Institute (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
The commitment objective is to rapidly establish an effective local-knowledge-based global oceans surveillance system for detecting, measuring, understanding environmental change across scales, and to enable the development of scale-relevant solutions such as social-ecological adaptation actions.

The LEO Network, found at leonetwork.org is an online and app-based platform, created in 2008 and implemented in Alaska since 2012, for sharing observations of unusual environmental change, developing knowledge collaborations between observers and other experts, documenting these observations descriptively and sometimes quantitatively, and setting the stage for the development of specific solutions to identified problems, such as adaptations to environmental change. The LEO Network produces published online observational mini-articles that are geospatially and temporally referenced and media-rich, and are organized in a continually-growing user-friendly online database, from which fascinating patterns of ocean change are emerging. The LEO Network was built by and for indigenous communities for surveillance and communication of environmental change, but is now available for anyone to use.

The platform is already developed and available for anyone to use, but effort is needed to implement the network in new regions in terms of awareness and marketing, but also in terms of coordination and technical support. The LEO Network is facilitated and moderated by regional coordinators / editors who ensure quality and add value and texture to posts, and connect participants for collaborations and partnership formation. Regional expert coordinators will be sought around the world, and these experts need support and coordination across the whole system. Some other kinds of support will be needed.

Funding investment of this global oceans initiative (LEO Oceans) is requested and necessary. Given the value of surveillance provided by the LEO Network, and given the relatively low costs of the overall project, this initiative promises enormous efficiency and impact in both ecological and human dimensions.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Reduce invasive aquatic species introduction
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Access and capacity building for eco-labelling and traceability systems
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
July 2020
The LEO Network is utilized by people along all coastlines of the world and in all oceans
July 2022
LEO Regional Hub coordinators are established along all regional coastlines of the world
Staff / Technical expertise
Leadership and global coordination
Staff / Technical expertise
Staff and technical experts for support and development of observations and LEO Projects
Staff / Technical expertise
Technical experts for continued technical support of the LEO Network online and app-based platforms
Basic information
Time-frame: September 2017 - September 2022
Mr. Michael Y. Brubaker at the The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (NGO) created the LEO Network. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (Intergovernmental Organization) has supported an expansion of the LEO Network from Alaska to throughout North America. Some other organizations that have historically supported the development of the Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network include the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Government), the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Government), the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (Government), Arctic and Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (Intergovernmental Organization). Other Tribal, First Nations, and health organizations have also supported the LEO Network.
Ocean Basins
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Global
  • Indian Ocean
  • North Atlantic
  • North Pacific
  • South Atlantic
  • South Pacific
  • Southern Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
All people and all biodiversity
Contact information
Thomas Okey, Founder, Science Director, Thomas.Okey@gmail.com, (250) 208-0677
Victoria, Canada
Other SDGs
United Nations