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Creating an Atlantic Ocean community by implementing the Galway and Belem statements

The All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance and the AANChOR project

The ocean is of crucial importance as it is home to a rich biodiversity, acts as a climate regulator and offers food security. However, due to an expanding global economy the ocean is under increasing pressures. The need for a sustained use of its resources is widely acknowledged, as well as the need for a healthy and active collaboration to better understand the ocean.

To best unlock its secrets and to sustainably manage the Atlantic Ocean as a whole, cooperation is key! This was the motto for the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance, a science diplomacy effort that started in 2013, and which is linked to the international dimension of the European Union Atlantic Maritime Strategy launched in 2011.

AANChOR in Washington, July 2022 © AANChOR

Our latest episode of the podcast is a conversation with Sofia Cordeiro, the coordinator of AANChOR, a Horizon 2020 funded project with the aim to support the implementation of this cooperation, focusing on three pillars: Connecting, Acting and Cooperating.

Marta Norton receiving the International Cooperation award. © AANChOR

The first challenge faced was to create a Research and Innovation Atlantic Community whose members know and trust each other. The countries around the Atlantic Ocean are diverse and this can be an obstacle for long-term cooperation. The second challenge was to identify common activities using existing resources that could demonstrate the power of co-designed and co-implemented cooperation. The third challenge was to support the implementation of these activities. The fourth challenge, which the project is now addressing, is to sustain the cooperation that has been started.

After 4 years, the project achieved many objectives in addressing these challenges. From developing a single point platform which gathers data on, and provides access to, many actors and initiatives focusing on the Atlantic ocean, to the design and implementation of 6 Joint Pilot Actions and the deployment of the All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador programme, the team has been extremely busy. These achievements were recently recognised as AANChOR, represented by Marta Norton, the project manager, received an award for International Cooperation at the Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference which was held in Cadiz, Spain on December 1st (see picture above).

If you want to know more about AANChOR , its activities, achievements and future plans, make sure to listen to this episode!

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