The Tara Ocean Foundation joins UNESCO to contribute to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

In the context of the United Nations proclamation that the next decade will be dedicated to developing ocean sciences for sustainable development, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC of UNESCO) and the Tara Ocean Foundation have concluded a partnership agreement and will lead joint projects that will contribute to scientific research, international cooperation, data sharing as well as public awareness. This agreement should make it possible to place research and ocean science as essential prerequisite in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new agreement was signed today aboard the schooner Tara in Paris, by Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the IOC of UNESCO as well as by Romain Troublé, Director General of the Tara Ocean Foundation.

“I am certain we can achieve great things with the Tara Ocean Foundation – our joint efforts, together with the Ocean and Climate Platform, were already decisive to make the ocean more visible within the Paris Agreement in 2015. Now we’re ready to go one step beyond and reminds the world how ocean and science are essential to delivering on the whole sustainable development agenda. That’s what the Decade of Ocean Science is all about, “stressed Vladimir Ryabinin during the signing.

2021-2030: a Decade of scientific cooperation on the marine microbiome and the arctic regions

This cooperation between the Tara Foundation and Unesco, which already borne fruits between 2015 and 2018, is now part of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, promoted by the United Nations over the period 2021-2030.

“Basic research plays a vital role as a compass in the face of the environmental and human upheavals that are underway,” says Romain Troublé, Director of the Tara Foundation. It is urgent to progress even faster in the advancement of our knowledge in order to protect ourselves, tomorrow, from future probable crises and to take the right decisions at the international level. Given this context, the Tara Foundation is more mobilized than ever. It will continue and strengthen its involvement in research on the evolution of the marine microbiome, on the vital services it provides us and on how these services are affected by pollution or global warming. ”

The Tara Ocean Foundation will be an active scientific partner of this Decade through, in particular, two main priority axes: knowledge of the marine microbiome and polar research. In the fall of 2020, the schooner Tara will be on an expedition to the South Atlantic and Antarctica for more than 18 months as part of a study on the marine microbiome and planktonic ecosystems. True to the polar DNA of the schooner, research on the polar ocean regions will be among its priorities from 2022.

Scientific cooperation with the countries of the South

Launched in 2015, the cooperation project with countries in the Global South “Ocean Plankton, Climate and Development”, in partnership with the FFEM – French Fund for the Global Environment – is also continuing this time with the support of UNESCO’s IOC: this collaboration with developing countries in South America and Africa will include an important component of capacity building and technology transfer. Cooperation activities within Africa will be consolidated from a seminar planned in Dakar in the first half of 2021. The participation and support of IOC national offices and representations in West Africa will be organized.

Making the voice of the ocean heard in the hemicycles of the United Nations

The Tara Ocean Foundation is committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Together, Tara and IOC will work to continue to collect scientific information contributing to an ambitious agreement for the protection of the high seas, through the Intergovernmental Conference on the conservation of marine biodiversity beyond the zones of national jurisdictions (side events and information sharing) as well as on actions on the ocean nexus and the climate.

Spread the culture of the Ocean internationally

The two organizations will collaborate on the “Ocean Literacy” aspect, dissemination of the “Ocean” culture to the general public as well as decision-makers, within the framework of a project funded by the European Union. This agreement also aims to explore the synergies and opportunities for promoting the scientific material produced by the Foundation with several key audiences that the two partner organizations aim to reach.

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