The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance
The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance is the result of science diplomacy efforts involving countries from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, aiming at enhancing marine research and innovation cooperation. The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AANChOR) intends to advance the shared vision of an Atlantic Ocean that is healthy, resilient, clean, safe, transparent, predictable, productive, understood and treasured to promote the well-being, prosperity and security of present and future generations. The Alliance includes the All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors initiative, which is jointly coordinated by JPI Oceans and the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM) under the AANChOR-Coordination and Support Action (CSA).
The AANChOR-CSA is funded under the last European framework programme Horizon2020 and is one of the main activities implementing the vision of the Alliance. AANChOR is composed of a consortium of 18 partners from various European countries, including JPI Oceans, as well as from Brazil, South Africa, Cabo Verde and Argentina. It is coordinated by Fundação Portuguesa para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal).
In order to upscale research and innovation cooperation within the Atlantic basin, to better understand and sustainably manage the Atlantic Ocean as a whole, and to seed the basis for healthy future large-scale joint Atlantic marine activities, AANChOR has three main objectives:
- Identify concrete joint actions to support the implementation of the EU-Brazil-South Africa Belém Statement
- Contribute to the implementation of the selected joint actions
- Define long term measures for sustainability of the cooperation framework beyond the lifetime of the CSA
The more than 70 stakeholders collaborating through the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance’s Multi-Stakeholder Platform identified more than 1000 initiatives towards strengthening marine research and innovation collaboration at the Atlantic level, 56 gaps and 79 needs/recommendations to achieve the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance ambition, guided by a total of 20 Strategic Objectives, 20 Operational Objectives, and 10 Key Performance Indicators.
Based on these findings and on the idea of collaboration, alignment, and use of existing resources, they developed six ambitious and long-term collaborative Joint Pilot Actions.
JPI Oceans is co-leading the initiative of All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors alongside the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM). Since the first cohort ended at the end of 2020, the programme was expanded to a second cohort of 26 ambassadors from 15 countries, plus 12 mentors from the previous cohort. JPI Oceans was also responsible for the recruitment of the current Belgian ambassador, Eloïse Savineau.
All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors are being involved in the AANChOR joint pilot actions. They participated in the organization of the Ministerial AllAtlantic21 conference (June 2021) in the Azores, participated in several of its events and organized a side event focusing on early career ocean professionals. All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors were invited to speak at international conferences and events, including the EU4Ocean Ocean Literacy festival (May 2021), EURACTIV conference on Blue Economy (April 2021), the UN Ocean Decade kick-off conference (Jun 21), the ICES Annual Science conference (Sep 21), EU Arctic Forum (Nov 21), One Ocean Summit (Feb 22).
The All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance brings together and connects all relevant actors across the Atlantic Ocean to identify concrete research and innovation activities with a long-lasting potential and impact across a range of six key areas. Through the AANChOR CSA and its 6 identified Joint Pilot Actions, the Alliance works towards understanding and ensuring the sustainable management of the Atlantic Ocean from pole to pole. This is in line with the Galway Statement on Atlantic Cooperation and Belem Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Cooperation upon which it is built.
The Atlantic Ocean is an invaluable resource shared by all Atlantic nations, including several of JPI Oceans member countries, with vast societal value for all countries located at its shores. Yet there is still much we need to know and understand to ensure the sustainable management of the Atlantic Ocean. Cooperation in marine research and innovation is an effective way to unlock the Atlantic Ocean’s secrets and enable sustainable management of human maritime activities. In addition, youth and next generations, equipped with the skills and knowledge to act as effective ocean ambassadors, can drive positive change and sustainable development along and across the Atlantic Ocean.