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NOAA: U.S., Europe sign agreement to strengthen scientific cooperation on climate, weather, oceans and coasts


May 31, 2012

NOAA offers new estuaries 101 curriculum for middle school students.   Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator, signs US/EU agreement to collaborate on science, with Dominique Ristori, director general of the Joint Research Centre. In the background: US Ambassador William Kennard (left) and John Bell, head of cabinet of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Download here. (Credit: U.S. Department of State)

Top leaders from NOAA and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) today signed a landmark agreement that will further strengthen cooperative science activities in the areas of climate, weather, oceans and coasts. The signing ceremony also marked the launch of the first four environmental monitoring projects under the agreement.

Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, and Dominique Ristori, director general of the JRC, signed the agreement, which calls for exchanges of personnel, shared use of scientific infrastructure, support for joint research, access to laboratory facilities, scientific training and timely exchange of information.

“Today’s global challenges must be met by increased international cooperation that addresses climate, weather, oceans and coasts – issues that impact everyone around the world,” Lubchenco said. “I’m delighted NOAA and Europe’s Joint Research Centre are taking this important step to increase our cooperation on science.”

The signing was part of a trip to Brussels by Lubchenco to speak before the European Parliament Fisheries Committee on the importance of international cooperation on sustainable fisheries management to support jobs, healthy industries, seafood and healthy marine ecosystems. Lubchenco was invited by EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki to highlight U.S. fisheries rebuilding, as Europe is proposing major reforms to its fisheries management.

“We are pleased to announce that we have already identified four specific projects for collaboration between NOAA and the Research Centre,” said Ristori. “These projects collaborate on climate data records, tsunami modeling, space weather and fisheries research. This underscores the rich potential for sharing science and innovation.”

Today’s signed agreement stems from previous meetings between U.S. and EU leaders, including a meeting in January between Lubchenco and EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. High-level representatives from both administrations were at the signing, including William E. Kennard, U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

The JRC is the in-house science service of the European Commission and its mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle.

Click here to read  Lubchenco's speech...

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