Canada’s Environment & Climate Change Minister visits Marine Institute to advance Atlantic Ocean cooperation

Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate ChangeCanada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna was in the Marine Institute headquarters in Oranmore this Friday, 13 October to discuss collaborations under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. The Marine Institute meetings were part of a tour by Minister McKenna to London and Dublin to advance discussions on clean growth and climate action.

Minister McKenna was accompanied by Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers and met with Dr John Killen (Chair, Marine Institute), Dr. Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO, members of the senior management team and scientific staff. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss existing projects and opportunities to further Ireland and Canada’s collaboration on Atlantic Ocean research and climate impacts.

Welcoming the visit Dr. Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO said: “Trans-Atlantic cooperation is essential to broadening our scientific understanding of the Atlantic Ocean and helping to ensure it remains healthy and productive.  It’s hugely important for Ireland and brings us closer to achieving the goals of the ‘Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation’ signed here at the Marine Institute Galway in May 2013 by the EU, USA and Canada. The goal is to work together, share expertise and advance our science goals to promote the sustainable management of our Atlantic ocean for the benefit of all.”

The Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation established a formal Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation between Canada, Europe and the United States and partner countries. Since then, the Marine Institute has been leading initiatives to further this collaboration in areas including Atlantic Seabed Mapping, climate change research, and is leading the EU H2020 funded Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance - Coordination and Support Action. (A short video on the recent GO-SHIP Atlantic Ocean Climate survey on the RV Celtic Explorer last May shows what can be achieved through Atlantic Ocean research collaboration.)

Speaking on her visit to the Marine Institute in Ireland, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna said:
“Canada and Ireland are natural partners on marine research. Canada recognizes that Atlantic research will be more effective if we work together and on both sides of the ocean. The knowledge we gain benefits us all, and all and is crucial to helping us to meet the challenges we face, in particular climate change, food security and new sources of energy”.

Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers said:
“We are now entering a new era of transatlantic co-operation that will enable us to achieve great things together in the coming years. We are raising the importance for ocean discovery above sectoral interests and putting marine research on a new global level that transcends national borders, making literal the bonds connecting Ireland and Canada, to increase our knowledge of the Ocean that joins us and to maximise the innovation potential it affords us.”