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Future Oceans Conference participants assess agenda for future marine research

The first IMBER open science conference "Future Oceans – Research for marine sustainability: multiple stressors, drivers, challenges and solutions" was formally opened by Eileen Hofmann in Bergen, Norway, today.  The programme aims to provide a synthesis of a range of topics related to marine biogeochemistry and ecosystem research and the human dimension of global marine change.

Future Oceans is organised by the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) project, and has attracted 485 participants from 44 countries worldwide.

The meeting is intended to highlight, synthesize and integrate IMBER-related research to provide a basis for a future marine research agenda. It will include a series of plenary speakers and sessions on cross-cutting issues, as well as capacity building workshops, public lectures and panel discussions.

The ultimate goal is to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary marine research that addresses human-natural marine science issues in the Anthropocene, towards evidence-based solutions and options related to marine issues at local, regional and global levels, and to deliver sustainability science that is of value to governments, business and society.

Looking ahead to the meeting, Martin Visbeck, of GEOMAR and Kiel University, Chair of the German Future Earth National Committee and former co-chair of CLIVAR, said:

"I am interested to contribute to the debate on the future of global marine research. ICSU-SCOR and UNESCO-IOC are supporting the marine community to launch a significant Indian Ocean Initiative to mark the 50th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Expedition. The discussions at Monday's workshop revolved around the role that Indian Ocean Marine Science can play to inform countries about their ocean sustainable development agenda.

IMBER has submitted its draft science plan for the next decade and I am looking forward to the discussions and debates with the assembled marine research community on how we can use the new opportunity that Future Earth provides for more integration of the marine community across traditional disciplines to solve the most significant and hard problems that one nation cannot afford to address, and at the same time co-design and co-produce new knowledge in support of sustainable ocean development including the coastal zones.

Personally, I would like to suggest establishing a global platform under Future Earth that could be called the Future Ocean Alliance to jointly discuss the evolving research plans of all the marine core projects such as IMBER, SOLAS, CLIVAR, LOICZ and associate efforts including GEOHAB, GOOS, ICES, PICES"

Plenary speakers at the conference include Future Earth Science Committee member Corinne Le Quéré, who will speak on perspectives on Future Earth for the marine science community.

More information about the meeting is available online. The keynote addresses will be broadcast live here.