FNOB and UNESCO reveal agreement

Barcelona World Race
Responding to an invitation by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO IOC), the FNOB revealed the guidelines of the agreement reached to collaborate with the United Nations' leading organisation for the consolidation of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue. UNESCO approaches these objectives through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information, an ideology which coincides with the FNOB's founding principles.

The agreement partnering the UNESCO IOC and the FNOB was established following a continued collaboration between the two organisations which first came about during the last Barcelona World Race 2010/11 with the measuring of sea temperatures and salinity levels carried out by the Barcelona Institute of Sea Sciences (ICM).

The initiative was the first ever collection of oceanographic data of interest during a sports event and provided valuable information about extensive zones of the world's oceans, often with difficult accessibility, such as the Southern Indian and Pacific Oceans where part of the regatta takes place. The success of this experience was recognised by the awarding of one of the 50 commemorative flags to mark the 50thanniversary of the UNESCO IOC and the award for the best poster given by the 44th International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics.

For the next edition of the round the world regatta the project, which has been developed within the framework of the agreement between the FNOB, the Spanish Sea Sciences Institute (ICM) and CSIC, Spain's state agency for scientific research, will expand to include all of the yachts taking part in the Barcelona World Race and will also include the addition of a microplastics sensor to each of the boats.

This scientific project means a step further in the collaborative relationship between the UNESCO IOC and the FNOB. The understanding between the two organisations was already cemented on February 5th this year with the launch of the book 'A Commitment to the Environment' which took place during the round table discussions on Sailing in the Southern Ocean: Climate change and ice gates; a debate involving Jorge Luis Valdés, Director of Ocean Sciences at the UNESCO IOC(See interview and video of Jorge Luís Valdés in the debate).

During the same debate the organisation of the II International Ocean Research Conference to be held in Barcelona was revealed, with the event officially announced today in Paris. The FNOB will be in charge of the logistical support for the Conference which will take place from the 17thto the 21stof November 2014, just a month and a half ahead of the start of the Barcelona World Race.

The International Ocean Research Conference was held for the first time in Paris back in June 2005 and was organised by the UNESCO IOC in collaboration with the Oceanographic Society, with the aim of analysing the future of sea sciences over the coming decade. Now, almost ten years later, the UNESCO IOC and the Oceanographic Society have got together to launch a new conference based on the same objectives.

The conference will focus on the way in which ocean science has developed over the past 20 years and will provide an overview of the latest trends and achievements in the field of oceanography as well as the latest oceanographic technologies being used in this scientific sphere. The conference will also address the issues of future requirements and developments in oceanography as well as their management and monitoring.

The conference audience will mainly be made up of oceanographers, researchers, engineers, academics, conservation organisations as well as those responsible for coastal and marine planning. The event is also open to young scientists. There will be talks, presentations and poster sessions.

The oral presentations will be structured across the following three main topics:

Topic 1. The generation of scientific knowledge: Marine research and observation of climate and the way in which ecosystems work and safety.

Topic 2. Creating knowledge to benefit society as a whole. Improving the management of marine ecosystems.

Topic 3. Improving the management of human activity in the ocean and creating new capabilities.

The second International Ocean Research Conference will be held at the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB) on the same site as the Barcelona Natural Sciences Museum integrated into the Diagonal Mar, the most modern stretch of the Barcelona seafront. The CCIB is located at the heart of the city's technological and business district known as 22@ Barcelona.

The FNOB objectives are built on combining the power of sport, technology and industry, with special emphasis on projecting the message into schools and universities, with the aim of encouraging research on the subject of the environment. These aims are have been clearly laid out in the partnership with the UNESCO IOC and they are outlined in their mission to inform and educate the general public on the subject of sustainable development. This philosophy has been a driving force behind the Barcelona World Race since its very beginnings.

In the presentation which took place this afternoon, Jorge Luis Valdés said that he particularly values the involvement of civilian society and the FNOB in the cooperation with international science. Andor Serra, the FNOB's Director General also sees the collaboration between the UNESCO IOC and the FNOB as incredibly positive, since it means a further reinforcement of the Foundation's commitment to the conservation of the blue planet as well as the work of the IMOCA Class skippers in the field of science.

Barcelona World Race website