The critical role of ocean science in responding to climate change- A call from the ocean research communityPDF 195.3 KB (195.3 KB)
On 20 January 2016, the European Marine Board formed its own legal entity as an international non-profit association under Belgian law (IVZW). An important day in the history of the Board, eight founding members signed the deed in the presence of a Notary Public at a dedicated founding meeting in Brussels (see picture). The EMB was originally formed as an expert board of the European Science Foundation and has operated as such for almost 20 years. During that time the EMB has flourished under the European Science Foundation, expanding its membership, activities and gaining a reputation for providing high-quality science policy advice to underpin the marine research agenda in Europe. Although EMB will remain for the time being associated to ESF, the foundation of a non-for-profit association in Belgium is the first step in a process to eventually become a fully independent legal entity and to secure the future of EMB as the primary marine science foresight and strategy think tank in Europe.
Picture features the EMB IVZW founding members, directors, secretariat, and notary public. Top row left to right: Yves-Marie Paulet (UBO), Colin Brown (NUIG), Karen Donaldson (EMB), Slawomir Sagan (IOPAN), Nan-Chin Chu (EMB), Jan de Leeuw (NIOZ), Veronica French (EMB), Lars Horn (RCN), Arturas Razinkova-Baziukas (KU), Notary Public. Bottom row left to right: Erlend Moksness (IMR), Jan-Stefan Fritz (KDM), Niall McDonough (EMB), Jan Mees (EMB Chair), Gilles Lericolais (Ifremer), Mark James (MASTS), Tarmo Soomere (EAS)
The FP7 project, “Towards coast to coast network of marine protected areas (from the shore to the high and deep sea) coupled with sea-based wind energy potential in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea” (CoCoNet, 2012-2016), presented its achievements at their end-user meeting in Brussels (14 Jan. 2016). The project proposed the concept of “Cells of Ecosystem Functioning” as a conservation and management unit to help in the development of a coherent network of MPAs and to identify suitable area for offshore wind farms. Further details can be found on the project webpage and documentary films. Their results are in line with previous EMB recommendations for an ‘ecosystem-based marine spatial management’ (EMB PP18) and a holistic approach to continue biodiversity research (EMB FSB1). The project also stressed the need for biological ocean observation and human capacity building. In 2016, the EMB will address both topics: to kick off an expert working group (website) and to publish a Future Science Brief on Marine Graduate Training based on the work of WG Training (website).
Related funding information:
DG MARE/EASME issued/will issues calls related to MPA, MSP and training:
To increase Ocean Literacy in Europe, the Sea Change project is looking for innovative concepts for events, campaigns or any other activities that could help to increase people’s awareness and appreciation of the ocean. To enter, simply make a video to illustrate your creative, innovative idea and submit it online. Your idea will be in with a chance of becoming a reality and you could also win one of seven unique experiences, including ‘behind the scenes’ days at aquaria and science centres across Europe, or an exciting chance to experience a day in the life of a marine scientist. The closing date for entries is 20 March 2016. The winning entries will be chosen based on public vote as well as the innovation, feasibility and potential impact of the idea. The Sea Change project will release one short video every week for the next five weeks through social media to provide further inspiration. For more information on the Think Big, Think Ocean video contest, see: www.seachangeproject.eu/thinkocean. For queries related to the Think Big, Think Ocean contest, please contact: Mieke Sterken (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jan Seys (email@example.com)
EMB is attending COP21 and participating in a number of events aimed at raising the profile of the integral role of the ocean in our response to climate change. On 3 December, Nan-Chin Chu is giving a presentation at an underwater cultural heritage event hosted by UNESCO. During this event Nan-Chin will highlight the Ocean-Climate Nexus Consensus Statement and recent EMB publications on continental shelf prehistoric research as part of her presentation on ‘Projecting the climate future by understanding the past: Rescue historical data through maritime cultural heritage.’ The Ocean-Climate Nexus Statement will be further promoted during EMB’s participation in the Ocean & Climate Forum (3 December) and Oceans Day at COP21 (4 December). Activities during Oceans Day will report on the science of oceans and climate change; showcase successful efforts in policies on oceans and climate, identify key actions on oceans and climate change to be addressed through the UNFCCC process; and identify what the oceans community can do to advance the oceans and climate change agenda outside of the UNFCCC process. The expected result of Oceans Day is an action plan for the ocean and climate change agenda for the next five years.
A video summary of EMB’s 5th Forum, The Ocean-Climate Nexus has been released. In the lead-up to the COP21 talks, EMB’s 5th Forum focused on the critical role of ocean science as part of the societal response to climate change. This message is further elaborated in the Ocean Nexus Consensus Statement.
The Canadian Consortium of Ocean Research Universities (CCORU) was formed in 2011, aiming to coordinate ocean science research in universities, unite a body of expertise to provide advice and create a national voice for Canada’s oceans. Further to the Ocean-Climate Nexus Consensus Statement (link) released last month, Canadian researchers have also voiced their concerns on the critical part of ocean science in climate change and the need for decision-makers to take coordinated action at COP21 (download the Ocean Science and Climate Change briefing note). The EMB Secretariat and the US Consortium for Ocean Leadership have interacted during the preparation of this document to ensure our community messages are aligned.