Ifremer and IRD consolidate their cooperation in marine research

On March 19, 2021, Ifremer and IRD signed a five-year framework agreement. It aims to strengthen the positioning of marine research for development in France, in the Overseas Territories, in Europe and internationally, and to consolidate cooperation to promote sustainable solutions.

Ifremer, a research organization dedicated to marine science and technology, and IRD, a public research institution that promotes an original model of equitable scientific partnership with developing countries, have decided to work together to better address the challenges and goals of marine research for sustainable development.

This partnership is based on the following 7 priorities  

Observe the physical and biogeochemical processes at work in the ocean and model their evolution and their impacts on the ocean by 2100;
Understand globally the land/sea continuum, the coastline, the ocean-lithosphere interface and extreme events;
Addressing societal challenges related to the ocean in the context of global change: operational oceanography, adaptive management of marine ecosystems (evolution, preservation), law and economics;
Study biodiversity and marine ecosystems: diversity, structure and dynamics of populations and communities, connectivity;
Carrying out an ecosystem approach to sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
Consider the impact of emerging pollutants, toxic microalgae, but also the effects of non-point source pollution and anthropogenic pressures on living marine organisms
Develop and promote a "One Health" approach integrating ocean-related issues.

This partnership is also an opportunity for the two institutions to pursue and develop mutual knowledge to better cooperate together. Their research teams are already working closely together in several joint research units (UMR) in France and overseas, scientific observation networks and research infrastructures.

"This agreement marks our common desire to cooperate in order to better understand and respond to the major challenges facing the ocean. We will achieve this together: by pooling our resources and observations, by sharing our knowledge with the international scientific community, by coordinating our campaigns at sea thanks to the French Oceanographic Fleet. Like the ocean, we must be "connected" to better understand and protect it and ensure sustainable management of its resources. This connection between our two institutes is expressed in the joint research units that we share in metropolitan France, in Brest, Sète, Palavas and Montpellier, as well as in overseas France. Our partnerships in French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Reunion Island and French Guiana are all gateways for observing the three major oceans of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans to address specific issues related to the vulnerability of these territories and their populations to anthropogenic stress and climate change. François Houllier, CEO of Ifremer.

"IRD and Ifremer share a common vision of ocean science and the ethical values that we hold regarding the challenges and solutions brought by marine research for the sustainable development of the oceans and the people who live in them. We defend a multisectoral research focused on sustainable solutions for the ocean and the management of marine resources. This strengthened partnership with Ifremer should enable us to work even better together, consolidating and pooling our marine science research projects and actions, particularly on the projects we are conducting with our partners in the French overseas territories. This agreement is also a way to share together the results of our research for an open and citizen science. The international agenda with, as of this year, the COP15, the launch of the United Nations decade for ocean sciences, the World Conservation Congress... are all opportunities to organize joint initiatives and programs and to give even more resonance to the research carried out by our joint units on the oceans. We will be keen to raise the awareness of society as a whole, decision-makers, donors, partners and users, of the importance of excellent scientific research for the future of the oceans. Valérie Verdier, CEO of IRD.