17.02.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Tara Oceans Expedition: Call in New York.

© S.Bollet-Tara Expeditions. The schooner travelled 62,000 miles across ocean investigating the effects of global warming on biodiversity and marine life.

The French scientific research vessel Tara arrived in New York on 5th February for a week-long stay. The Tara team had a series of strategic meetings in New York, including a meeting with Ban Ki Moon and the announcement of a partnership with the IOC/UNESCO.

Many school visits and public conference were on the agenda but one of the high points of this week has been the meeting with the United-Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon. The goal was to strengthen Tara’s partnership with the UN System.  In view of the forthcoming Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development in June, it has also been an opportunity to support ocean’s issues. Ban Ki Moon repeated his personal commitments regarding the ocean. 

The other important event was the announcement of the partnership between Tara Oceans and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, made by Philippe Kridelka, Director, UNESCO office in New York.

Tara Oceans runs a 3-year scientific and outreach expedition throughout the ocean. The schooner has travelled 62,000 miles across the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Indian oceans investigating the effects of global warming on biodiversity and marine life, particularly focusing on marine plankton. Thanks to a broad collection of water sample, the Tara Oceans expedition allows a better understanding of the environmental conditions affecting the sampled organisms at a global scale. While a fraction of the samples are studied on board for imagery, the main part are sent to the 21 laboratories involved in Europe and USA. More than 12 fields of research are involved in this integrated project.

Besides supporting scientific research, Tara Oceans and UNESCO-IOC will work together to promote ocean education and public awareness on the crucial role our ocean play in global warming and to encourage sustainable management of the environment.


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