European Conference: Protect our oceans – the challenge of Europe’s global leadership

European Conference: Protect our oceans – the challenge of Europe’s global leadership

Aix-Marseille University will hold its second European Conference on the challenge of protecting oceans on 16 June 2021

After a first edition in 2019 dedicated to neuro-technologies, Aix-Marseille University will organise, on Wednesday 16 June its second European Conference. It is entitled “Protect our oceans, the challenge of Europe’s global leadership”. Initially planned in Brussels this conference will be an online event due to uncertain sanitary conditions. 

Interactions between marine sciences, policy and society will be at the core of the second European Conference of Aix-Marseille University, held under the high patronage of the MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho, Rapporteur of the European Institute of innovation and technology (EIT), former Rapporteur of the Horizon 2020 framework-programme for research and innovation and former Portuguese Minister for Science. Scientific coordination is entrusted to Richard Sempéré, Director of the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) of Aix-Marseille University and of the new Ocean Science Institute created in early 2021 by AMU.

In dialogue with high-level representatives of the European Commission and UNESCO as well as with NGOs, European scientists will contribute to the challenges that Europe intends to meet, in particular through two main topics: Tackling marine ecosystem disturbance caused by climate-change and The challenge of contaminant dispersal. Two areas where Marseille oceanography has a global reach.

In the wake of the 2021 World Oceans Day, the European Conference is an official contribution to the 2021-2030 United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. At European level, it intends to feed into to the European Green Deal and to the future “Starfish” Mission for healthy oceans initiated by Horizon Europe – the framework-programme for research and innovation. The “Starfish” Mission will be the subject of a Communication from the European Commission expected in the coming weeks.

During the European Conference, AMU intends to promote next generation scientists from Aix-Marseille, who undertake promising research. By allowing exchanges with other universities and stakeholders across Europe, the event also aims to accelerate collaboration, as the COVID-19 crisis leads to a reduction of the opportunities to collaborate. Scientific collaboration remains a priority for the United Nations and the European Union to face environmental challenges and to rely on the decisive role of ocean science in observing, understanding and acting on global change, including climate change. The agenda, the ten partners and the twenty-one speakers can be found on the dedicated webpage.

The European Conference is organised by the Aix-Marseille University EU Office, which was opened in 2016 in the premises of Sud-Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region’s Office in the European district of Brussels.

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