SOLAS event report – OA training and networking events in Africa

“Ocean Acidification -Training and Community Networking: Pathways to Success”, 13 – 16 February, 2017, Dakar, Senegal (Marie Boye, University of Pierre and Marie Curie, France)

The Ocean Acidification – Senegal practical training and networking meeting (OA-Senegal) took place for the first time in West Africa at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal. The OA-Senegal events were organized by Future Earth Coasts with the support of the following organizations, represented by attendees: the oil & gas company Kosmos Energy, SOLAS, the Center for Marine and Renewable Energy, the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center, and the Institut de Recherche pour le Dévelopment; to name a few. The OA-Senegal events were attended by fifteen participants originating from Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. Overall, six lecturers coming from France, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, and the United States, guided the participants through the events. Lectures and discussions covered a general introduction to oceanic conditions off the West African coast, the goal and urgency to study ocean acidification, as well as the chemistry involved in the acidification and its impacts on marine biodiversity. In addition, presentations were given regarding measurement techniques of ocean acidification, design of relevant acidification manipulation experiments, and research in the field and in the laboratory. (…)

“The Ocean Acidification – Africa network: Putting Africa on the ocean acidification map” (Sam Dupont, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

Ocean acidification is identified as a major threat to marine species and ecosystems and is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 14.3: Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels (United Nations, 2015). When it comes to under-standing, projecting and anticipating the impacts of ocean acidification, some countries or even continents are left relatively unexplored, despite their biological and socio-economical vulnerability to future marine global changes. This problem was the rationale behind the development of a new network focusing on ocean acidification in Africa. The OA-Africa network has been built over four training courses ( A first general training course was organized in Cape Town, South Africa (November 2-6, 2015) by the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre. It was quickly followed by more specific courses: (i) a practical course on biological experiments in Inhaca, Mozambique (March 7-11, 2016) organized by the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network; (ii) a course focusing on chemical monitoring in Flic en Flac, Mauritius (July 25-30, 2016) organized by The Ocean Foundation through the ApHRICA project; and (iii) a practical training combined with a net-working meeting in Dakar, Senegal (February 13-16, 2017) organized by Future Earth Coasts. All together, these courses gathered participants from more than 24 different African countries (…). The OA-Africa network, led by Dr. Chibo Chikwililwa (Namibia) and Dr. Warren Joubert (South Africa), was launched officially on October 20, 2016 and the first face-to-face meeting was organised recently in parallel of the OA-Senegal events. Prominent researchers from several African coastal countries discussed the coordination and regional priorities for ocean acidification activities on the continent. (…)



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