All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance?

The All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) is the result of science diplomacy efforts involving countries from around the Atlantic Ocean. It builds on the success of two existing cooperative agreements – the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation which was signed by the European Union, United States, and Canada in 2013; and the Belém Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Cooperation, which was signed by the European Union, Brazil, and South Africa in 2017 – as well as on a number of other bilateral and multilateral agreements. AAORIA aims to enhance marine research and innovation cooperation along and across the Atlantic Ocean.

What happens to the Galway Statement Working Groups and AANChOR Joint Pilot Actions?

The Working Groups that were formed under the Galway Statement and the All AtlaNtic Cooperation for Ocean Research and Innovation (AANChOR) Joint Pilot Actions, which are exploring pathways for their long-term sustainability, may continue to exist and may expand their membership and activities to embrace the new All-Atlantic context; new working groups or joint actions may be formed in the future to address priorities of mutual interest.

Why do we need AAORIA?

The Atlantic Ocean is an invaluable resource shared by all Atlantic nations, and beyond. It requires effective cooperation in marine research and innovation to unlock its secrets, to inform the sustainable management of human activities, and to ensure a healthy ocean for the communities that depend on it now and in the future.

What is its vision?

AAORIA intends to advance a shared vision of an Atlantic Ocean to enhance scientific cooperation that advances outcome-oriented ocean science and innovation, for an Atlantic Ocean that is safe, healthy and sustainable for future generations

Who are the original signatories of the AAORIA Declaration?

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cabo Verde, European Union, Morocco, South Africa and the United States of America.


How will AAORIA be governed?

Working modalities for AAORIA will be developed by the original declaration signatories in the coming months that will provide clear guidance for Alliance activities and new members.

What about other Atlantic nations or institutions who want to sign the declaration?

No additional parties may sign the AAORIA Declaration at this time.  However, the original signatories of the Declaration are committed to an open and transparent Alliance and equally committed to developing a process allowing for additional institutions to join the Alliance in the near future. 


However, all organisations and institutions that are not signatories are welcome to participate in the joint science activities of the Alliance.

What are the obligations and financial implications for signatories or other participants?

The Declaration does not create legal rights or obligations under international law and has no financial implications.

What is the geographic scope of AAORIA activities?

AAORIA activities consistent with international law can be conducted throughout the Atlantic Ocean.

Who can participate in AAORIA science activities?

AAORIA is open to all governmental, non-governmental and private organisations and institutions from nations along the Atlantic Ocean. Participants do not need to be signatories to the Declaration to participate in AAORIA activities. All participants must have an interest in cooperating and collaborating on research and innovation activities in alignment with the shared vision of the Alliance.

Will there be a governance structure for AAORIA?

Working modalities for AAORIA will be developed by the original Declaration signatories in the coming months.  These will provide clear guidance for additional Alliance members and activities.

What are AAORIA’s shared priorities?

AAORIA aims to share knowledge, infrastructures, and capacity by promoting innovative and transformative outcome-oriented science.

Shared priorities include –

  • increasing our understanding of the relationship between the ocean and climate change, and to develop outcome-oriented science for mitigating and adapting to its consequences;
  • monitoring, protecting and restoring marine ecosystems and biodiversity, thereby enhancing their resilience and potential for adaptation to climate change and other natural and anthropogenic stressors;
  • tackling the impacts of marine pollution, including plastics, on marine species and ecosystems;
  • developing innovative, outcome-oriented science to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture;
  • coordinating Atlantic Ocean observation and seabed mapping efforts and improving modelling capacities;
  • promoting circular, sustainable and inclusive ocean economies;
  • promoting ocean literacy and broadening engagement in ocean sciences and ocean sustainability.

How do AAORIA partners work together?

AAORIA provides a unique framework that brings together diverse communities from all sides of the Atlantic to facilitate ocean science, research and innovation cooperation and collaboration in Atlantic Ocean research to the benefit of all partners. AAORIA partners are welcome to work within existing working groups or pilot actions or jointly develop new initiatives.

Collaborative actions should give special consideration to –

  • co-creating and co-implementing fit-for-purpose ocean science activities;
  • promoting and applying accessible, interoperable and transparent knowledge and data systems;
  • enhancing access to, and sharing of, ocean science infrastructures, data and expertise;
  • including local, experiential and Indigenous knowledge in ocean science initiatives;
  • promoting diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • recognising the human dimension in ocean science and strengthening stakeholder engagement, in particular with citizens and the youth;
  • proposing and implementing innovative, transformative and outcome-oriented science to support the health and sustainable development of the Atlantic Ocean;
  • promoting capacity building and exchange, particularly by promoting and facilitating youth programmes and creating development opportunities for early career professionals and promoting intergenerational learning;
  • engaging with relevant international initiatives and entities with complementary visions for a healthy and sustainable ocean.


Switchboard: +27 12 843 6300
DSI Building (Building No. 53)
(CSIR South Gate Entrance)  
Meiring Naudé Road, Brummeria  
Private Bag X894, Pretoria
South Africa
© 2021 Department of Science and Innovations . All Rights Reserved.