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
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