Cuba inaugurates ocean acidification observatory

Photo credit: Julio Martínez Molina

Dazhu Yang, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Department of Technical Cooperation, inaugurated the Caribbean Regional Ocean Acidification Observatory in Cienfuegos.

Cienfuegos.– On March 22, Dazhu Yang, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Department of Technical Cooperation, inaugurated the Caribbean Regional Ocean Acidification Observatory in Cienfuegos as part of the IAEA’s RLA/7/020 project.

In his opening remarks, Yang described the inauguration of the Observatory as “an important event,” recalling that the IAEA “is a member of the United Nations family, founded in 1957, an organization which works with member states – such as Cuba – to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy and its utilization for development and in the field of environmental protection: one of the most important in regards to cooperation.

“The Cuban government attaches great importance to environmental protection and I know that there are many capable scientists working on their own national projects in this field, and our organization – through its technical cooperation efforts – has supported this commitment, and I am very pleased to learn that said support has been useful and has contributed to these efforts,” stated the Deputy Director General.

Alain Muñoz Caravaca, representing the Cienfuegos Environmental Research Center, which has been working with the IAEA for 15 years and to which the Observatory, based at the Faro Luna International Diving Center, is attached, stated that the new facility “is an expression of the organization’s solid cooperation with Cuba.”

He noted that the brand-new scientific institution represents “a new strength and the challenge is now to create new knowledge products through the information collected by its technology, guarantee its full exploitation and as such contribute to our ability to better read the signs and propose suitable adaptation or mitigation measures for local and national conditions.”

Ocean acidification refers to a reduction in the ocean’s pH levels over an extended period of time, making it more acidic and negatively impacting marine flora and fauna. According to the IAEA, the current acidity rate of the planet’s oceans may be without precedent in our known history.

Julio Martínez Molina, Granma, 23 March 2017. Article.

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