Tara Oceans expedition arrives in New York City
New York, 5 February 2012 - The French scientific research vessel, Tara Oceans, which is backed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), has made a stopover at UN headquarters in New York as part of its campaign to raise awareness on the state of the oceans and marine life.
The 70,000-mile expedition across the Atlantic, Pacific, Antarctic and Indian oceans is investigating the impact of global warming on biodiversity and marine life. Scientists on board are looking at the role played by plankton in the earth's life-support system; the effects of climate change on this critical base to the marine food chain; the preservation of marine biodiversity and ways of combating pollution and overfishing.
Artists and journalists have also joined the expedition to promote public awareness of these important issues. Twenty-one laboratories in 10 countries are collaborating with the mission, and research findings are published immediately on free access databases.
"Tara's visit to New York is a great opportunity for us to think deeply and raise awareness of the issues that will be discussed in Rio," said Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary General and head of the United Nations Department of Public Information. "The aims of the Tara Oceans expedition are completely in tune with our own campaign for The Future We Want and they will resonate with everyone who cares about the ocean and the environment."
The 118-foot schooner, which is on a three-year mission, is sponsored by private sponsors and a scientific consortium, including the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Operating under the auspices of UNEP, it is also in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Researchers from Tara will be sharing their message of a sustainable future for all at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, popularly known as Rio+20, in June.
UNEP's association with Tara is an extension to its partnership with the late Sir Peter Blake and what was then the Seamaster, "to exert common efforts for the preservation and improvement of the human environment, for the benefit of all the people and for their posterity".
Together, UNEP and the Tara team wish to achieve the following objectives:
-Explore and assess environmental conditions and trends.
-Raise awareness in regards to the wise management of the environment.
-Encourage new partnerships
-Bring to the attention of decision makers real-life testimonies about the state of the environment.
When Tara returns to its home port in France, a special edition of its journal will be published in French, English and Japanese. A film featuring Tara in "Planet Ocean" by UNEP's Goodwill Ambassador Yann Arthus Bertrand and Michael Pitiot, will launched at the Rio+20 Summit in June.