12 Jul 2022 - 14 Jul 2022
By Isabel Sousa Pinto
The Atlantic Ocean is a priceless resource essential to the development of national and regional economies. To ensure sustainable management and a healthy ocean, effective cooperation in research and innovations from around the whole basin is key.
On the 13 of July 2023, representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cabo Verde, Morocco, South Africa, the United States, and the European Union, came together in Washington D.C. to sign a new All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) Declaration. Building on the success of the Galway and Belem Statements, as well as a number of other bilateral and multilateral agreements, the declaration is the result of science diplomacy efforts.
The signing of the declaration was marked by a two-day high-level ministerial event held from 12 to 14 July 2022, where various All-Atlantic research projects and activities, including MISSION ATLANTIC, were present to provide inputs on how to move forward with this cooperation. Isabel Sousa-Pinto, IPBES expert and MISSION ATLANTIC’s lead on societal engagement and communication represented the project and attended the events.
Through this joint agreement, scientists will work together more effectively to support the management of the ocean in a way that is safe, healthy, productive, and managed in sustainable way for human well-being today and for future generations. By connecting diverse communities along and across the Atlantic, AAORIA offers a framework for sharing knowledge, infrastructure, and capacity. Its top priorities are:
- increasing our understanding of the relationship between the ocean and climate change, and developing outcome-oriented science for mitigating and adapting to its consequences;
- monitoring, protecting, and restoring marine ecosystems and biodiversity, thereby enhancing their resilience and potential for adaptation to climate change and other natural and anthropogenic stressors;
- tackling the impacts of marine pollution, including plastics, on marine species and ecosystems;
- developing innovative, outcome-oriented science to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture;
- coordinating Atlantic Ocean observations and seabed mapping efforts and improving modelling capacities;
- promoting circular, sustainable and inclusive ocean economies;
- promoting ocean literacy and broadening engagement in ocean sciences and ocean sustainability.