The Conference report summarises the many science and policy presentations made at the EurOCEAN 2010 Conference in October last year focussing on new challenges and opportunities to be addressed by the marine and maritime sectors in the coming years.
The Ostend Declaration, which was presented to EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn at the conference, calls for the Seas and Oceans to be recognised as a grand challenge for the European Union in the 21st Century and as a topic to be considered in the forthcoming EU Common Strategic Framework Programme (2014-2020).
Dr Heffernan (pictured left - centre), who proposed the adoption of the Declaration at the EurOCEAN Conference, said that “the Ostend Declaration represents the latest engagement by the research community in informing the European marine research agenda and science policy initiated at the Irish EU Presidency EurOCEAN Conference in 2004 and the Galway Declaration. It is part of an on-going process to move our (marine science) community out if its comfort zone and bring it right to the engine of policy making in Europe”
Copies of the Conference Report and Ostend Declaration can be downloaded from www.eurocean2010.eu. Other downloads include a Conference video, photo gallery and posters.
In a parallel initiative, the Marine Board-ESF (www.esf.org/marineboard), one of the Conference organisers, has established a EurOCEAN Conference Series website (www.euroceanconferences.eu). This website hosts information on the Ostend (2010), Aberdeen (2007) and Galway (2004) Conferences and it is hoped in time to include archived material on the Brussels (1994), Sorrento (1996), Lisbon (1998) and Hamburg (2000) Conferences.
Preliminary plans are already afoot to organise the EurOCEAN 2014 Conference which will provide a unique opportunity to review changes in the European marine and maritime research landscape since Galway 2004 and the contributions of marine science to the sustainable development of our marine resources and protection of the marine environment. Details of EurOCEAN 2014 will be posted on the EurOCEAN Conferences website: www.euroceanconferences.eu.