An agreement was signed on 2 July 2013 to strengthen and formalize collaboration between UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) and Océanopolis, Centre for the Scientific and Technical Culture of the Sea, in Brest (France). The agreement was signed by Eric Hussenot, Directeur Délégué of Océanopolis and Wendy Watson-Wright, Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO, during the 27th Session of the IOC Assembly in Paris, France.
Océanopolis shares the natural history of the ocean with the general public with a scientific approach combined with spectacular presentation of life in the ocean; it is about to welcome its ten-millionth visitor. This ocean discovery park is found in Brest, a European capital of oceanography that hosts 60% of French oceanographic researchers and engineers. Océanopolis works closely with science institutes and showcases oceanographic research. Located on the tip of Brittany, in France, the city known as Brest metropole océane has become an active ambassador for the ocean.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Sang-Kyung Byun, President of the IOC Assembly, Michel Morvan, Director of the Brest Iroise Technopole and Director of the Pôle Stratégie métropolitaine et prospective de Brest Métropole Océane (City of Brest), the city of Brest, Oceanopolis and the IOC secretariat.
JCOMMOPS, the in situ Observing Programme Support Centre founded by the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM), also represented at the ceremony, will be based in Brest within Ifremer by 2014 and will collaborate actively with Oceanopolis.
“I am convinced that this collaboration with Océanopolis is the cornerstone of a more developed cooperation with France, with the region of Brittany and with the City of Brest in particular” said Wendy Waston-Wright, noting that Brest metropole océane was well represented during the signing ceremony. “I am delighted to see so many of you today, because we know how important Océanopolis is to Brest, and how important JCOMMOPS is to IOC. We hope to see the JCOMMOPS centre installed in Brest soon”.
IOC/UNESCO and Océanopolis have already collaborated on a short film about plankton, “Poussières d’océan” (Ocean Dust), released on World Ocean Day 2013.