It’s time to act for the health of our ocean and for the benefit of the Atlantic communities
One of the highlights of the All-Atlantic R&I for a Sustainable Ocean: Ministerial High-level & Stakeholders Conference June 2-4, co-organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, is the launch of the All-Atlantic Ocean Pledging Campaign seeking Research and Innovation solutions for sustainable use of the Atlantic Ocean.
The innovative All-Atlantic Ocean Pledging Campaign exemplifies how the All-Atlantic research and innovation cooperation is achieving concrete solutions for the well-being of future generations. It calls for solutions to promote the sustainable use of the Atlantic Ocean to protect and preserve its health. Its motto is: TIME TO ACT: The Atlantic Ocean needs more than flowing words.
Jose Luis Moutinho, AIR Centre Chief Business and Networking Officer, one of the main promoters of the Pledging Campaign says “The All-Atlantic Pledging Campaign is a long-term initiative to collect voluntary, result-oriented, personal or institutional commitments to contribute to provide solutions to the many challenges that the Atlantic Ocean holds for people living on its shores and consolidate them on an Atlantic Ocean scale, always taking into account specific local, national and regional contexts.”
The All-Atlantic Pledging Campaign has two main objectives: (1) showcase the already ongoing cooperation as an example of the result of science diplomacy efforts (including being a model for the UN Decade of Ocean Science) and (2) encourage new synergies that may lead to future joint actions.
The campaign is running on an online collaborative platform that will be instrumental in advancing cooperation in the Atlantic, thus strengthening the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and contributing to the implementation of the Galway Statement (2013) and the Belém Statement (2018) as well as the bilateral Administrative Arrangements between the European Commission and Argentina (2018), Cape Verde (2018) and Morocco (2020).
The initiators of the campaign look forward to receiving pledges on topics such as data sharing and management, access to research and innovation infrastructures, sharing of knowledge through the whole innovation chain, building capacity, ocean literacy activities and many others as well as governance and oversight, focusing in Ocean health, Ocean technology, Ocean observation, forecasting and monitoring, Marine pollution, Food security, ocean resources and biodiversity and Polar research.
In the next five to 10 years, the platform could generate thousands of pledges. Jose Luis Moutinho says “through the synergies that will be created through the campaign lifetime and having as central the benefits for the Atlantic communities, we expect to have a real societal impact as a direct result of this platform”.
John Bell, Director, Directorate-General of Research & Innovation of the European Commission, says “The great thing about science is that it’s a universal language that unites us all. Scientific advancement and innovation require a collective effort and that’s why we need to have an All-Atlantic ambition to build an All-Atlantic community so that our shared Atlantic and our shared knowledge of it will give us common solutions. That’s the journey we are on. We are running out of time, but we are not running out of ideas. If you want to engage in the process; if you want to do something useful and uplifting and contribute to this journey of ours, make your pledge.”
There are several benefits for the pledging parties to participate in the campaign. Pledges are a very effective communication channel to engage stakeholders, strengthen collaboration, promote joint actions, mobilize partnerships, establish dialogues, and showcase achievements for a wider audience. Moreover, pledges may demonstrate how individuals and institutions can lead the way towards a sustainable future and get credit for being a driver for change.