Brussels, 23 Nov 2004
The European Commission is providing funding to enable universities in Latin America and Europe to join forces and form a Latin American and European School of Oceanography.
The school, which will research issues including climate change and food security, will be coordinated by the University of Concepción in Chile, reports the science and development network, SciDev.Net.
The new initiative aims to promote international cooperation, both in education, and in research, the project coordinator, Tarsicio Antezana from the oceanography department at the University of Concepción, told SciDev.Net. 'It will promote development of joint research projects in areas such as the El Niño phenomenon - a periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that can lead to significant shifts in global weather patterns - and sustainable fisheries,' added Dr Antezana.
Kiel University in Germany, Vigo University in Spain, Gothenburg University in Sweden and Plymouth University in the UK are the four EU universities currently taking part in the project, although more institutions are expected to join soon. On the Latin American side, universities from Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Chile will participate.
While the European universities will focus their research on the Antarctic Ocean and global climate change, the Latin American universities have declared their interest in researching fisheries, aquaculture, marine pollution, and the Humboldt current (the cold water current off the west coast of South America that brings nutrients from deeper waters and sustains fish populations).
The educational programme will start in January 2005.