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French-Mexican Ocean Workshop, September 19-20, 2017 - Mexico City

26 September 2017

A FRENCH-MEXICAN OCEAN WORKSHOP was hosted by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), on its Mexico City’s campus, on September 19-20 2017. This event, organized by UNAM’s Institute of Marine and Limnology Sciences (ICMyL), the Scientific section of the French Embassy in Mexico, in partnership with IRD, CNRS and the French Ocean-Climate Platform, brought together about 40 participants, including 14 French researchers, representing among others the joint research units (UMR) CRIOBE [1], LEMAR [2], BOREA [3], LOCEAN [4], LEGOS [5] and MARBEC [6]. CNRS was also represented by Bruno Blanke - Deputy Scientific Director at INSU [7] -, Thierry Bouvier - Deputy Scientific Director at INEE [8], and Xavier Morise, Director of the North-America Office, located in Washington DC.

The main objectives were to:

  • Share scientific knowledge and expertise – Assess gaps, needs and complementarities
  • Define collaborative efforts on issues of common interests, such as Ocean-climate, Ecology and Marine Biology, Observatories and Natural Protected Areas
  • Identify specific initiatives and projects, including academic and training actions, that could be undertaken on a bilateral basis

Despite the earthquake that struck Mexico on September 19 and had an impact on the course of the workshop (relocation, program and format changes…), the dynamics of exchanges between participants were not affected. Thus, after the two days of lively and fruitful discussions, participants agreed that French and Mexican Ocean research communities should join forces to develop collaborative endeavours in both the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the following main thematic:

  • Climate variability, ocean circulation and biogeochemical cycles, in particular on oxygen related issues (hypoxia/anoxia, oxygen minimum zones, deoxygenation of the ocean), ocean dynamics, the carbon cycle (blue carbon, acidification), climate regionalization, and extreme events (hurricanes, floods, droughts…)
  • Ecosystem degradation and anthropization, including pollution, eutrophication, habitat loss (coral reefs, mangroves), coastal issues (erosion, sea level rise]
  • Ecology and Biodiversity, notably on domains such as fisheries, conservation and remediation (marine protected areas), connectivity, taxonomic and functional diversity, and human health

    Participants also concurred that modelling (climate, regional oceans), technological developments (sensors, probes, platforms…) and time-series observations are instrumental for the scientific partnerships that they intent to establish. They also emphasized that these partnerships must include cross-cutting topics, such as education and training or societal impacts, notably towards decision-making.

    The next steps will be :
  • On the Mexican side, establishment of a thematic network to be proposed for support to CONACYT;
  • On the French side, cooperation tools, such as those implemented by CNRS (PICS, LIA, GDRI) to be considered to structure the cooperation;
  • Second workshop to be held in France end of 2018-beginning of 2019.

[1] Centre de recherches insulaires et observatoire de l’environnement (CNRS, EPHE, UPVD)

[2] Laboratoire des sciences de l’environnement marin (CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, UBO)

[3] Biologie des organismes et écosystèmes aquatiques (CNRS, MNHN, IRD, UPMC, UCN, UAG)

[4] Laboratoire d’océanographie et du climat : expérimentations et approches numériques (CNRS, UPMC, MNHN, IRD)

[5] Laboratoire d’études en géophysique et océanographie spatiales (CNRS, UPST, IRD, CNES)

[6] Centre pour la diversité marine, l’exploitation et la conservation (CNRS, UM, IRD, Ifremer)

[7] INSU = National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy

[8] INEE = Institute of Ecology and Environment