On 14 and 15 May, the FUST Ocean Event celebrated 20 years of cooperation between Flanders and UNESCO in ocean matters.
In 1998 the Government of Flanders signed a general cooperation agreement with UNESCO to achieve common global objectives. A year later Flanders approved the first 5-year agreement on the UNESCO/Flanders Fund-in-Trust for the support of UNESCO activities in the field of Science (FUST). Since then 3 additional agreements have been signed. Under these agreements Flanders provides support for projects by UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). Through the FUST Flanders contributes to a sustainable future for the Ocean and coastal areas.
The FUST Ocean event, attended by 130 participants, included a guided exhibition and four seminars providing the opportunity to highlight achievements that were enabled through the FUST. The on-going projects in ocean matters demonstrated their achievements, while reference was made to the Flemish expertise in water management as a valuable asset in the context of global climate change action.
The FUST Ocean guided-exhibition (14-17 May, at the Herman Teirlinck building, Brussels), visited by approximately 250 persons, was freely accessible to researchers, governmental institutions, and the interested public at large. The event was co-organized by the IOC-UNESCO, the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ).
FLANDERS CONTRIBUTION TO OCEAN SCIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY
The FUST Ocean event allowed to showcase the achievements made possible by FUST in the field of research and training such as: the 'OceanTeacher Global Academy’ (OTGA), IOC's flagship project for marine capacity development, the Caribbean Marine Atlas (CMA2), the Southeast Pacific data and information network in support to integrated coastal area management (SPINCAM), the Man and Biosphere reserves in the coastal and marine areas of the Southeast Pacific region (BRESEP), and the Development of Information Products and Services for assessing the status of the ocean (DIPS). The FUST projects also demonstrated approaches in horizontal collaboration between projects and programmes (e.g. MAB and IOC), achieving impact at a higher level. The FUST projects opened the discussion on topics for future collaboration in ocean science and sustainable development.
The FUST Ocean Event brought together experts on ocean science and sustainability to debate how they can collaborate to match ocean research to societal needs.
- Keynote speakers from public administrations provided an overview of the research and funding landscape in Flanders, and how the current instruments and mechanisms for international collaboration can support the FUST and wider objectives for a sustainable Ocean (EWI, FWO-International, VLIR-UOS).
- Invited speakers from research and academia presented on-going initiatives that provide a platform for current and future collaboration in ocean science and policy, such as ocean observing systems and services/remote sensing, data and information services and products, environmental impacts of deep-sea mining (VITO, VLIZ, VLIZ Marine Data Centre, Flanders Compendium for Coast and Sea, UGent/JPI-Oceans, (Eur)OBIS, HAEDAT..).
- Partner institutions and project consortia presented needs, opportunities, and potential areas for collaboration in ocean and coastal research disciplines (CPPS Ocean Science agenda, MAB, IOC and the Global Ocean Science Report, World Ocean Assessment, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable development,..).
- In a panel session, representatives of Flanders universities presented the current international collaboration mechanisms in ocean and/or other relevant areas (climate, capacity development including training, coastal ecosystem management..) and reflected on the opportunities for a more structured collaboration through/with FUST (VUB Brussels, KULeuven, UGent, UHasselt, UAntwerpen).
Consult the Programme and presentations.
Visit the event Photo Gallery.
STRENGTHENING COLLABORATION IN OCEAN SCIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY
The FUST ocean event created an increased awareness on the contribution of Flanders to global ocean science, products and services, and the potential platform it provides for further collaboration.
FUST is currently under review (phase IV). The current evaluation provides an opportunity to explore how FUST can create new or enhanced opportunities for international cooperation in ocean science and capacity building with special attention to collaboration with universities and institutions in Flanders.
Project proposals are submitted by UNESCO and framed by the strategic objectives of the UNESCO programmes (IOC, MAB, IHP). However, the FUST mechanism does stimulate project proponents and coordinators to explore how expertise from Flanders can be taken on board to the benefit of both parties and create long-term collaborations with partners in Flanders.
During the FUST Ocean event, new networks and contacts were established between the UNESCO and Flanders communities in (ocean) science and capacity development. These new contacts can take many forms and shapes, some of them extending beyond the FUST, but all contributing to consolidating and shaping the future the collaboration between Flanders and UNESCO in the context of the FUST trust fund.
WISH TO KNOW MORE?
* VISIT the FUST OCEAN PROJECTS websites:
- OCEANTEACHER GLOBAL ACADEMY (OTGA): www.oceanteacher.org
- CARIBBEAN MARINE ATLAS (CMA): www.caribbeanmarineatlas.org
- DEVELOPMENT OF INFORMATION PRODUCTS & SERVICES FOR OCEAN ASSESSMENTS (DIPS-4-OCEAN ASSESSMENTS)
- SOUTHEAST PACIFIC DATA & INFORMATION NETWORK IN SUPPORT TO INTEGRATED COASTAL AREA MANAGEMENT (SPINCAM): www.atlasspincam.net
- BIOSPHERE RESERVES AS A TOOL FOR COASTAL & ISLAND MANAGEMENT IN THE SOUTH- EAST PACIFIC REGION (BRESEP)
* EXPLORE the FUST Ocean section on this FUST website
* CONSULT the Compendium for Coast and Sea (VLIZ) to contact marine expertise or to get an overview of marine science capacity, research infrastructure, and continuously updated science-based information on the multiple uses of the sea and coast in Belgium
Monday, 14 May 2018
10:00 - 11:00 Registration and coffee
11:00 - 12:00: Opening FUST Ocean Event
- Mr Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC Executive Secretary, on behalf of the UNESCO Director-General (PDF)
- Mr Mark Andries, chief of cabinet of Flanders Minister President, Geert Bourgeois
- Mr Johan Hanssens, Secretary-general Flanders Department Economy Science and Innovation (EWI) (PDF)
- Ambassador Mentor Patricio Villagómez Merino, Secretary General Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS) (PDF)
12:00 - 13:00: Opening of the Trade Fair
12:30 - 14:00: Buffet Lunch
14:00 - 15:00: Seminar 1 - Brief presentations on experiences and challenges for FUST Ocean projects
- Dr Miguel Clüsener-Godt on behalf of BRESEP (presentation PDF; project poster wall PDF)
- Capt. Francisco Arias Isaza on behalf of CMA (presentation PDF; project poster wall PDF)
- Dr Adriana Zingone on behalf of DIPS (presentation PDF; project poster wall PDF)
- Assoc. Prof Dr Aidy Mohamed Shawal Bin M Muslim on behalf of OTGA (presentation PDF; project poster wall PDF)
- Dr Fernando Félix on behalf of SPINCAM (presentation PDF; project poster wall PDF)
15:00 - 16:00Coffee
During the afternoon guided tours through the Trade Fair as well as networking opportunities were organised.
Tuesday, 15 May 2018
09:30 - 10:30Registration, coffee and possibility to visit the Trade Fair
10:30 - 13:00: Seminar 2 - FUST Ocean meets Flanders Academia. Moderator Mr Gert Verreet, EWI-Flanders.
- Brief Overview of the 5 FUST Ocean projects (BRESEP, CMA, DIPS, OTGA, SPINCAM)
- Flanders FWO international programmes - Ms Tinne Jacobs, FWO (PDF)
- Flanders VLIR-UOS programme - Mr Koen De Koster, VLIR-UOS (PDF)
- Scientific baseline coordinated by CPPS in the Southeast Pacific - Dr Fernando Félix, Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS) (PDF)
International Cooperation Programmes at Universities in Flanders: Interactive Questions & Panel Discussion
- KU Leuven - Prof Dr Peter Lievens, Vice-rector International Policy and LERU
- University Antwerp - Prof Dr Ronny Blust, Vice-rector Research (PDF)
- University Ghent - Prof Dr Marleen De Troch and Prof Dr Ann Vanreusel, CESAM and Ocean Research programme (PDF)
- University Hasselt - Prof Ir Ann Peters, Director Research
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Prof Dr Farid Dadouh-Guebas Dept. Oceans and Lakes
13:00 - 14:30Buffet lunch
13:00 - 14:30Continuation of Trade Fair
14:30 - 15:30: Seminar 3 - Flanders International cooperation in ocean affairs
- Marine Research Capacity in Flanders - Dr Hans Pirlet, VLIZ (PPT)
- Marine Data Systems at VMDC and international collaboration - Mr Francisco Hernandez, VMDC-VLIZ (PDF)
- Terrascope, the Belgian/Flanders portal to remote sensing data - Dr Bart Deronde, VITO (PDF)
- JPI Oceans projects on environmental effects of deep sea mining - Prof Dr Ann Vanreusel, Ghent University (PDF)
15:30 - 16:00Coffee
16:00 - 17:00: Seminar 4 - Partner initiatives
- UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development - Mr Julian Barbière, IOC-UNESCO (PDF)
- OBIS, a Global Ocean Biodiversity Information System hosted in Flanders - Mr Ward Appeltans, IOC-UNESCO (PDF)
- Forging an Ocean Literate society through actions at global and regional level – Dr Francesca Santoro, IOC-UNESCO (PDF)
- VLIZ and Public Engagement to Open Science - Dr Nancy Fockedey, VLIZ (PDF)
17:00: closure of the event