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 The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), in partnership with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, will host the 3rd All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum on 3 and 4 December 2020.

The event will take place virtually and will focus on recovery from the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. No nation has been spared the harsh socio-economic fallout resulting from hard lockdown restrictions, and with the pandemic entering what many have called a "second wave", several countries have been forced to reimpose such restrictions.

The Forum will provide a platform for a diverse audience, ranging from policy makers, research leaders and academics to civil society representatives, entrepreneurs and the youth, to engage in inspirational topics relating to the Atlantic Ocean.

Taking place over two days, the event will showcase the progress of initiatives to support the implementation of the Belém and Galway statements. These initiatives are aligned with the relevant blueprints of the All-Atlantic partners, such as South Africa's Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy, the European Union's Blue Growth Strategy, the Brazilian Blue Economy, Canada's Ocean Strategy, as well as the relevant policies and strategies of the United States of America.

A range of related topics will also be explored, including the society interface for a healthier Atlantic; skills for a changing Atlantic; Atlantic Ocean collaborative and data infrastructure; initiatives under the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Community; the launch of a new intake of All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors; and the contribution of the Alliance towards the UN Decade of Ocean Science and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The result of science diplomacy efforts by countries from both sides of the Atlantic, the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance aims at enhancing marine research and innovation cooperation along and across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Arctic to Antarctica.

The Atlantic Ocean is an invaluable resource shared by the nations of the Atlantic, and effective cooperation in marine research and innovation is needed to manage the human activities that depend on it in a sustainable way.

In February this year, the 2nd Forum was convened to showcase the results that the cooperation has produced so far for the citizens and communities of the Atlantic. The February event paid particular attention to the projected changes the Atlantic Ocean and its ecosystems will undergo, as outlined in the IPCC Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere and the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and to the solutions that research and innovation can provide to societies.

As an outcome of the 2nd Forum, the partners set a new strategic direction for the All‑Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, to enable it to support the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and to deliver on priorities such as the European Green Deal, the Horizon Europe Mission Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters, and other national and regional commitments undertaken by the various international partners.

The 3rd Forum will also see the presentation of the second cohort of All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors. The Youth Ambassadors programme was established to enable the next generation to become actors of change in their communities by promoting stewardship of the sustainable development of the Atlantic Ocean.

The first cohort of Youth Ambassadors were selected in 2019 and were challenged to drive change in their own communities, an effort that is delivering inspiring results focused on "sharing, connecting and acting".

Following the success of the first Summer School in August 2019, Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, launched the All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Forum in Brussels in February 2020. The Youth Forum aims to empower early-career ocean youth in the larger All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.

To register for the 3rd All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum, visit https://allatlanticocean.com/forum_registration

Issued by the Department of Science and Innovation