The European Commission’s Atlantic Strategy and Action Plan, together with the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AAORA) are the main drivers for data and information related to the Atlantic Ocean. The new Action Plan (updated in 2020) aims to unlock the potential of Blue Economy in the Atlantic area while preserving marine ecosystems and contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation. This objective is in line with the global commitments for sustainable development and are fully integrated in the European Commission’s political priorities for 2019 – 2024, notably a European Green Deal, an Economy that works for people and a stronger Europe in the world. Through international EU-funded projects, AAORA supports the implementation of the Galway and Belem Statements on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation, which the European Commission signed respectively in 2013 with Canada and the USA, and in 2107 with Brazil and South Africa, as well as the bilateral agreements that the European Commission signed with Argentina, Cabo Verde and Morocco.
To expand the global monitoring and forecasting capacities, and increase the sharing and use of ocean observations to address societal challenges across the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal zones, the European Union funds various initiatives, infrastructures, research projects, and coordinating networks, including:
The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AAORA) has been established to enhance marine research and innovation cooperation across the Atlantic Ocean, from pole to pole. AAORA aims to advance a shared vision of an Atlantic Ocean that is healthy, resilient, safe, productive, understood and treasured. Through a number of international projects, it supports the implementation of the Galway and Belem Statements on Atlantic Research and Innovation Cooperation, which the European Union signed respectively in 2013 with Canada and the USA, and in 2107 with Brazil and South Africa, as well as the bilateral agreements that the European Commission signed with Argentina, Cabo Verde and Morocco.
As part of the AAORA, the All-Atlantic Projects have received EU funding to run ocean research activities that are aligned with the objectives of the Galway and Belém Statements, contributing to the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Community.
The AtlantOS programme builds on the EU Horizon 2020 AtlantOS project and the Galway and Belem cooperative agreements. AtlantOS supports cooperation, alignment of interests and the implementation of an integrated All-Atlantic Ocean Observing and information System. This in turn connects a number of highly relevant existing and future ocean observing activities to meet user needs. Its coordination is collaboratively supported by the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA), the All AtlaNtic Cooperation for Ocean Research and innovation (AANChOR) and national initiatives around the Atlantic basin. The programme supports the Atlantic basin scale implementation of the Global Observing Ocean System (GOOS) and contributes to the GEO Blue Planet Initiative.
AA-MARINET is a Joint Pilot Action providing tools to support a transatlantic network of Research Infrastructures initiatives, promoting Trans-National Access and other methods for sharing infrastructures in the Atlantic area. It serves as a platform to share information about planned observation activities and available spare capacities, creating a forum where thematic networking and synergies will bring a better articulation of infrastructure-related activities in the Atlantic basin, improving the support of multidisciplinary science to address global societal challenges.
- EMODnet resources for Atlantic Stakeholders (access to data & products)
- Copernicus Marine Service (access to Global Ocean products & North Atlantic Ocean Monitoring Indicators)
Through its H2020 funding programme for Research and Innovation, the European Union funds ocean research projects that are aligned with the objectives of the Galway and Belém Statements, contributing to the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Community. A full list of the All-Atlantic Ocean research projects are available here.
The European Space Agency’s Atlantic Regional Initiative has several active fora in place to support regional approaches for managing Atlantic related activities. These fora work to address the various challenges within the regions, including sustainable management of the environment (e.g. water quality, river sediment, marine pollution, toxic waste, land degradation), urban development, economic development, resource management and cultural heritage.
The Atlantic Ocean borders nine ESA Member States (Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway) and one ESA Cooperating State (Canada). It is therefore a key interest for ESA to focus its space applications portfolio on the Atlantic region, including also established privileged European relations with Brazil and South Africa, and potentially strengthening partnerships with the U.S.A. and other Atlantic countries (e.g. Iceland, Morocco, Nigeria, Caribbean States, Mexico, Argentina. Moreover, challenges faced by Atlantic Ocean also indirectly impact the other European seas (Arctic, Baltic, Mediterranean and Black sea) and the Member States bordering them.
EU4OceanObs will closely work with AAORA to strengthen Atlantic partnerships, cooperation and coordination for the enhanced collection, sharing and use of ocean observations to address societal and environmental challenges in countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
In early June 2021, EU4OceanObs hosted 3 side events at the All-Atlantic 2021 Research & Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean Conference (2-4 June 2021). Organised by the EU4OceanObs coordinators of the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative and GEO Blue Planet, together with key partners, the side events focused on Atlantic Ocean data sharing, and monitoring and managing of marine debris and Sargassum across the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal areas.
For more information on these events, click here.