26.02.2016

The Oceanic Plankton, Climate and Development Project was launched

The initiative of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory is aimed at improving oceanic research. The launch took place at the Alianza Francesa de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires French Alliance) with the participation of experts from national and international institutions.

The Oceanic Plankton, Climate and Development Project was launched

The initiative of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory is aimed at improving oceanic research.

The Oceanic Plankton, Climate and Development project was launched yesterday at the Alianza Francesa de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires City French Alliance). It is an initiative of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), an entity from which the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation is an Associate Member State. The project is financed by the French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM, for its acronym in French). It is aimed at developing a platform that will allow the access to information about oceanic biodiversity and its impact on climate change, technology transfer and the collaboration among all the countries that comprise the international scientific community.

The FFEM manager, Janique ETIENNE, headed the opening of the meeting. She stressed that thanks to this initiative “high quality science will be able to contribute to political decisions” and added “we aim at holding awareness on planktonic systems and oceans worldwide”. On behalf of the EMBL, the leader of the group, Paul Flicek, stated: “A collaborative, international and large-scale project such as the one which summons us, is crucial to ensure the existing relations. Argentina is the first Latin America member associated to the EMBL and this is a two-way relationship”.

For his part, the scientific director of the TARA Oceans Scientific Program stressed the importance of plankton for biodiversity and the progress of science. “Plankton represents life diversification and its complexity. It is an element that plays a leading role in the production of oxygen and the life food chain in the oceans and is also a chemistry regulator of our climate”, Eric Karsenti explained.

The Oceanic Plankton, Climate and Development project aims at contributing to the improvement of the management in oceanic research through the TARA Oceans program by promoting the development of models and indicators for the observation of biodiversity based on the planktonic system. Its added value lies in the innovative aspect of the observation of marine ecosystems, adapting models and data to include the planktonic systems. It has a budget of €9,965,773 for four years, with contributions from the FFEM in association with the Tara Oceans Foundation-EMBL.

The program is expected to develop a research association with the participation of, at least, six countries of the South America and South Africa regions. Similarly, the creation and implementation of an international program for the structuring of oceanic research is being considered.

The meeting was attended by the FFEM manager, Janique ETIENNE, the director of the Ecology and Environment Institute – National Center of Scientific Research  (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique –INEE CNRS), Stephanie Thiebault, the scientific director of the TARA Oceans Program, Eric Karsenti, the head of the TARA Program Environment and Climate, André Abreu, the leader of the EMBL-EBI group, Paul Flicek and Dr. Mirtha Lewis on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, who presented the Pampa Azul (Blue Pampa) initiative.

Tara Oceans – EMBL

Tara Oceans expedition led by EMBL scientist Eric Karsenti, features an unprecedented effort in the subject with 35,000 collected samples that contain millions of microorganisms in 210 maritime stations around the world, specially selected by their climatic and biodiversity relevance.

For further information: www.embl.de/tara-oceans/start/ 

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The initiative of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory is aimed at improving oceanic research.

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