The AANChOR project in collaboration with the European Commission and the Bel?m Co-Chairs has organized a workshop titled The All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance ? the way forward of our ocean science cooperation on July 13, 2022, hosted at the premises of Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, kindly offered by the Office of the Dean. This event took place as a side event to the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance ? Ministerial event that occurred in Washington DC on last July 13 and 14.
The workshop counted with the participation of representatives from several Atlantic European projects, the AANChOR Joint Action leaders and the AORA WG representatives, and represented a unique opportunity to share ideas and discuss barriers to the implementation of Alliance activities directly with the Co-Chairs.
The workshop was structured around a set of questions around a few essential aspects concerning the future of the Alliance:
- Which programs can be leveraged to reach out the priorities of the new All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) declaration?
- How to engage a broad range of stakeholders in the AAORIA community?
- Which mechanisms are necessary to promote the long-term implementation of the projects/actions?
Addressing these questions, the participants had the opportunity to share highlights of their own perspectives, examples of best practices that are being successfully implemented in their own initiatives and countries, examples of successful synergies with other initiatives, ideas for new cooperation mechanisms, gaps and needs that need to be addressed.
? Elisa Natola
As major discussion outcomes on ways to move forward some recommendations can be highlighted: A. bring the earlier All-Atlantic implementer initiatives forward, empower them instead of creating new ones and promote coordination among them; B. Inclusion of social scientists in the Alliance activities; C. Inclusion of other Atlantic countries not yet involved, especially those that have less capabilities and resources; D. Promote sustained and balanced funding to promote further the All-Atlantic cooperation; E. Keep promoting a centralised All-Atlantic portal and build products from the knowledge and data that is produced; F. Engage institutions not individuals and provide feedback; G. Co-produce research and innovation with the local communities; H. Streamline the work of the All-Atlantic Alliance with the one of the UN Decade of Ocean Science.
The Co-Chairs interventions provided very rich and inspiring thoughts for the future, emphasizing: A. the need for the AAORIA to be inclusive, shared and open to everybody, B. the need to act urgently in a focused way from the actual context, C. the need to find concrete coordinated cooperation mechanisms for the distinctive All-Atlantic community; D. the need to frame what can be achieved in the next decade aligned to the values and principles that defended in the Declarations. As mentioned by John Bell, ?the new declaration is very important for the future as a convene point; a place where practical questions are asked; a place to focus on the priorities where we need to have a structure, organization, coordination and impact; That is what we?ll do between now and the next forum, we?ll find a way to organize the conversation with the community, to see how best can we progress in a structured organized scale, accelerate and include.?
Before closing the workshop there was the opportunity to hear flash presentations of a new set of Atlantic European projects (BIOCEAN5D, Marine SABRES, Ocean Ice, EPOC which are about to start) and the European Space Agency-ESA, which are very welcome to the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance!
The new Atlantic European projects are:
GES4SEAS (starting September 2022) will inform and guide marine governance in minimizing human pressures and their impacts on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, while maintaining the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services. This will be achieved through developing an innovative and flexible toolbox, tested, validated, demonstrated and upscaled, in the context of adaptive Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM).
BIOCEAN 5D (starting December 2022) BiOcean5D is a large research project that aims to increase knowledge on marine ecosystems that are still poorly known, also from a perspective of preservation, and the value that can be associated with them. The purpose is to explore marine biodiversity from viruses to mammals, through space and time. This research will contribute to the long-term preservation of marine life and the development of new indicators of marine biodiversity. BiOcean5D will mobilize a set of technologies and protocols with the aim of sampling aerosols, deep sediments and critical marine habitats at 120 selected sites on European coasts. The new data will be harmonized with existing data and will be freely accessible to the international research community. Using these data on marine ecology, the project will develop new theories and models of marine biodiversity, as well as provide a portfolio of indicators of marine ecosystem health. The new data and knowledge acquired will be able to provide essential information to policy makers More information available soon.
Marine SABRES (starting September 2022) Marine Biodiversity loss is continuing to decline despite current conservation efforts. Reversing the decline in biodiversity requires rapid roll out of effective conservation measures that can also enable a sustainable and resilient blue economy. Social-ecological systems-thinking and Ecosystem-Based Management are globally recognized tools to enable balanced marine development and conservation. Marine SABRES will co-design as Simple Social Ecological Systems approach (the Simple SES) to rapidly enable and upscale EBM across Europe and abroad.
Ocean Ice (starting November 2022) Aims to assess the impact of changes to the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) and surrounding Southern Ocean on the global climate, particularly those impacts mediated by changes in ocean circulation driven by glacial ice melt. There is a strong emphasis on understanding the coupled nature of ocean-ice interactions, improving our observations and modelling of these processes, and determining the impact of such feedbacks on climate scale simulations over centennial timescales. As part of this project, the EPB will work to improve the existing knowledge and provide evidence-based policy advice to regional and international policymakers. OCEAN ICE will collaborate closely with existing Horizon 2020 programs looking at individual aspects of the Polar-climate system, such as SO-CHIC, PROTECT, TiPACCS, PolarRES etc and many co-Is also have leading roles in these projects.
EPOC (started March 2022) Europe is dealing with a number of big issues that are complicated due to path dependency, irreversibility, systemic risk and (local) interaction of heterogeneous agents. Climate change and the design of Europe?s desired transition to a low-carbon economy are such issues. Policies to address these challenges should be based on empirical analyses and appropriate modelling methods. The EU-funded EPOC project is an innovative training network aiming to advance and apply pioneering computationally intensive methods for decision and policy analyses in the fields of climate change and innovation.
Interested in participating in the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance and contribute to the long-term sustainability of its activities? Join us!