Over 500 leading marine scientists, policy makers, and representatives of the marine sector from all corners of the European Union endorsed the Galway Declaration on the Ocean at the EurOCEAN Conference on Marine Science and Ocean Technology in Galway today (13th May).
The Galway Declaration states:
The crucial role of the oceans in climate, carbon cycle and Life on Earth
The Major contribution maritime industries can make to the achievement of the objectives outlined in the Lisbon Agenda
The essential role of marine science and technology in generating the knowledge needed to fuel this economic achievement in harmony with the environment.
The critical role the European Research Area/7th Framework Programme must play in supporting world-class excellence in marine science and technology.
The objective of the conference was to determine how marine science and technology can contribute to the achievement of European Union objectives stated in the Lisbon, Gothenburg and Barcelona Declaration. Namely to make the European Union the most competitive knowledge based economy in the world based on the application of science and technology and the principles of sustainable development.
Mr. Dermot Ahern TD., Minister for Communications Marine & Natural Resources addressing the conference said, "The European Ocean Margin is comparable in size with the total landmass of Europe, in fact, over half the European Area is underwater. I am therefore pleased to note the historic significance of the Galway Declaration adopted by your conference this morning.
"This is an emphatic statement of the importance of maritime resources & marine research and development in the expanded European Union. I am happy to endorse this Declaration and I intend to promote it strongly with my cabinet colleague Tanaiste Mary Harney who represents Ireland at the Council of European Science Ministers."
EurOCEAN 2004 is a European Presidency event sponsored by the European Commission, the Marine Institute, and the European Science Foundation Marine Board (ESF-MB).