Marine science community adopts Rome Declaration | JPI OCEANS

Marine science community adopts Rome Declaration

2014.10.13

Marine science community adopts Rome Declaration

In Rome, European experts published a 'common vision' of priorities for marine research through 2020

Ed Hill, Chair of the Rome Declaration Drafting Group, Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director General of the European Commission DG Research and Innovation, Mauro Bertelletti, Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policy, Ricardo Santos, Member of the European Parliament, and Jan Mees, Chair of the European Marine Board.

In a declaration concluding a three day meeting in Rome, EurOCEAN 2014 participants released an agreed, five-year roadmap. In addition to a rising tide of ocean-related threats to human health and economics, the conference statement points to major opportunities in such areas as marine biotechnology, offshore energy, and sustainable aquaculture to create much-needed jobs. Making such "blue growth" sustainable, however, requires a greater investment in science to deliver knowledge, tools and advice on sustainable management of marine resources and a better understanding of ecosystems underpinning the maritime economy.

Participants identified four high-level policy goals:

  1. Valuing the ocean - Promoting a wider understanding of the importance of the seas and oceans in the everyday lives of European citizens.
  2. Capitalizing on European leadership - Reinforcing Europe's position as a global leader in marine science and technology
  3. Advancing ocean knowledge - Building a much greater knowledge base through ocean observation and fundamental and applied research
  4. Breaking scientific barriers - Addressing the complex challenges of blue growth and ocean sustainability by combining expertise and drawing from a full range of scientific disciplines.

Top priorities in the 15-point action plan:

  • A coordinated interdisciplinary and integrated programme on Oceans and Human Health, understanding and managing the risks and benefits of our interactions with the seas
  • A major increase in the promotion of ocean education and literacy, using best practice in communication, training and social marketing. (A recent study of 700 Canadian students showed better informed citizens are also more interested in learning about maritime jobs and careers.)
  • Advanced and agreed mechanisms for attaching monetary and non-monetary value systems to marine ecosystem services and benefits for use in management and decision-making;
  • A coherent blend of fundamental research and industry-driven and policy-oriented research;
  • A significant further investment in collaborative marine research in Europe, designed to address complex challenges to sustainably manage our ocean resources;
  • Fast-tracked funding support, combining a diverse range of funding mechanisms, for the construction and long- term operation of key marine research infrastructures, addressing identified gaps, in particular the further development of a technologically advanced and integrated European Ocean Observing System (EOOS), compatible within the global observing infrastructure;
  • A recognition that seas and oceans research cuts across all research domains which requires cross-cutting research initiatives to address complex challenges;
  • Practical incentives for researchers to engage and work with colleagues in different disciplines and sectors (including industry) across the full range of natural, social and economic sciences.


"With this vision, the European marine science community calls on the support of Member and Associated States, the European Commission and Parliament to shape together the future agenda for marine research."

EurOCEAN 2014 was convened by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Marine Board, the European Commission and three Italian partner institutions: the National Research Council, National Inter-university Consortium for Ocean Science (CoNISMa) and the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS). 340 European scientists, policy-makers and other experts representing 143 organizations from 31 countries attended the conference.

More information

  • EurOCEAN Conference website
  • Rome Declaration (PDF)

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