The Maritime Silk Road Environment Forecast System for protecting the marine environment and averting marine accidents entered into trial operations on Wednesday.

The system, developed by the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre (NMEFC), will be used to improve the capabilities of coastal regions and related sea areas in protecting marine environment.

It serves a vast area along the ‘maritime silk road’, part of China’s Belt and Road megaproject, including the South China Sea, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal as well as 102 major cities and 67 major ports.

The project consists of seven forecast analysis systems for ocean waves, sea surface winds, storm surge, tsunamis, search and rescue, oil spills and ocean salinity. It also includes a service platform for safe maritime navigation. The NMEFC said it owns complete independent intellectual property rights of the forecast products.

In the future the centre aims to strengthen cooperation with countries along the maritime silk road route, enhance data sharing, and improve data acquisition capabilities in relevant sea areas, said Yu Fujiang, director of the NMEFC.

The maritime silk road is the maritime section of historic Silk Road that links China to Southeast Asia, Arabian Peninsula and all the way to Egypt and finally Europe.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road initiative, which is the modern version of Silk Road that includes a Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.