POGO-3 Media Release | POGO

POGO-3 Media Release

For Immediate Release: 19 November 2001

CONTACT: Shubha Sathyendranath
902-426-8044 Email: pogo@sio.ucsd.edu


Heads of Major Oceanographic Institutions of the World Meet in Nova Scotia, Canada

During the last week of November (27 - 29), White Point in Nova Scotia will be the venue for a gathering of men and women who direct oceanographic research and operations in leading institutions world wide.

The occasion is the Third Annual Meeting of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans. This Partnership is a registered not-for-profit society that maintains its office at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography inDartmouth, Nova Scotia, but it has world-wide membership. Its members are leading oceanographic institutions of the world. The purpose of this recently-formed society is to:

- promote observations of the oceans

- improve scientific knowledge

- interpret scientific knowledge to policy makers

- enhance public awareness of oceanic issues

- provide training and technology transfer in oceanography

Though several international organisations exist to promote collaboration among oceanographers, the Partnership is the first organisation that brings together major oceanographic institutions under a single umbrella. Underlying this new effort to promote collaboration, co-operation and co-ordination among oceanographic institutions is the realisation that many of the problems that face us today are global in scope, and that we have to work together in a coherent fashion to be able to address these issues at the global scale. The Partnership recognises that ocean studies and their applications are truly international activities: the oceans do not recognise national boundaries.

The Partnership encourages their members to abandon a purely parochial vision in favour of a global perspective. At last their meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the participants unanimously adopted a Declaration that calls for the need to enhance ocean observations in the Southern Hemisphere: two thirds of the world oceans are in the Southern Hemisphere, and most of the major world economies and world leaders in oceanography are in the Northern Hemisphere. The goal of global observations therefore will not become a reality without a concerted efforted to bridge the north-south divide.

As part of their strategy to address these issues, the Partnership launched a fellowship programme this year which allows scientists and technicians from developing countries and economies in transition to travel to leading oceanographic institutions for training on specialised subjects. Thirteen fellowships have been awarded this year, and three of these winners are being hosted by Canada: the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Dartmouth), Dalhousie University (Halifax), and Institute of Ocean Sciences (Vancouver Island) will be home for a few months to visitors from India, Uruguay and Russia, thanks to this international training programme.

Dr. Mike Sinclair, Director of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography is a member of the Executive Committee of the Partnership. The Chair is Dr. Charles Kennel, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, California.

Over forty participants from some thirteen foreign countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States of America) will be converging on White Point this month, along with representatives of other major international organisations with oceanographic interests. On their agenda are plans to establish and enhance a global network of long-term observations of the oceans. They will also be discussing the need to promote biological observations: there is much to be learned about how life in the oceans will respond to climate change, and about marine bio-diversity. Also on the agenda are more plans to help each other, learn about each other, and promote collaboration and understanding among oceanographic nations.

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