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EU expands its research cooperation with Brazil and South Africa. (Photo: EC Twitter)

EU, Brazil and South Africa to cooperate in ocean research

Saturday, July 15, 2017, 00:50 (GMT + 9)

The European Union (EU) has partnered with Brazil and South Africa to launch the South Atlantic Research and Innovation Flagship Initiative intended to better understand marine ecosystems and climate.

The agreement was signed by Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation; Gilberto Kassab, Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications of Brazil; and Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa, during a High-Level Ministerial and Scientific event.

"The Belém agreement is science diplomacy in action. It moves our cooperation with Brazil and South Africa up a gear, enabling us to better coordinate our research agendas and to make best use of our research and innovation funding. We will be better prepared to exploit the value of the 'blue economy' of the Atlantic Ocean for our citizens. With this agreement, we enter a new era of Blue Enlightenment," pointed out Commissioner Moedas.

The new South Atlantic Research and Innovation Flagship Initiative will improve the scientific knowledge of marine ecosystems and the links between oceans and climate change, food and energy systems, as well as the dynamics of the Atlantic Ocean and its interconnected circulation systems from Antarctica to the Arctic.

This Statement is building on bilateral achievements, namely the signing of bilateral Declarations of Intent on Marine Research and Innovation Cooperation with Brazil and South Africa, and the development of the South-South Framework for Scientific and Technical Cooperation in the South and Tropical Atlantic and Southern Ocean.

It will also help to closely link research activities in the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean with those in the North Atlantic, and explore synergies with other initiatives.

Strengthening international ocean research and data is also one of the focus areas of the Joint Communication on international ocean governance, for safe, secure, clean and sustainably managed oceans.

This communication and related actions form part of the EU's response to the UN 2030 Agenda and more concretely Sustainable Development Goal number 14 "Life below water". It also is a concrete example of how the EU Global Strategy delivers in practice.

Another major event for international ocean governance is the "Our Ocean" conference in October 2017 in Malta, where with the EU and international partners, public and private, will build on these commitments and announce new ones.

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