The first IOC/UNESCO Regional Training and Research Center was launched on 9 June 2011 at the host institute, First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration of China. Mr. Cigui Liu, Administrator of the State Oceanic Administration of China, Mr. Mitrasen Bhikajee, Deputy Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO delivered their congratulatory speeches at the launching ceremony with witness of Mr. Geng Xia, Mayor of Qingdao City, Mr. Lianzeng Chen, Deputy Administrator of SOA, and other representatives of UNESCO Beijing Office, National Commission of China to UNESCO, and other relevant ministries, institutes and universities.
This Regional Training and Research Center was initiated within the framework of “IOC/UNESCO Regional Network of Training and Research Centers on Oceanography” , and established through an agreement between IOC and First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration of China at the 8th Intergovernmental Session of IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC), May 2010 in Bali, Indonesia. It will provide regular training, once a year on ocean dynamics, air-sea interaction, and numerical modelling, to young scientists, particularly from developing countries in the region.
The first regional training on ocean models will be held from 10-15 June 2011, immediately after the launching ceremony with participation of 10 world Leading Ocean modellers as lecturers and 69 trainees selected from more than 12 countries in the region.
The IOC/UNESCO Regional initiative “IOC/UNESCO Regional Network of Training and Research Centers on Oceanography” was launched in 2008 with objectives to improve the regional capacity and capability on marine scientific research, observations in a more sustainable and systematic manner through the establishment of a series of training and research centers within national oceanographic institutes and universities and the provision of regular training opportunities within these established centers on their specialization to young scientists, particularly from developing countries on a free-of-charge basis.
Planet Earth really should be called Planet Ocean. The ocean account for 97% of the Earth’s water. They provide 2/3 of the value of all the natural services provided by the planet. The oceans are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe; the oceans are also a major source of food and medicines. The oceans regulate the Earth’s climate, provide jobs and recreation. As such, there was and is a growing realisation that we on land depend on the ocean for life and this has led to an imperative for better observations and information about the ocean and its impact on human society.
Speaking of the region we are living in, the coastal and marine ecosystems are amongst the richest and most productive in the world and it is home to some 76% of the world’s coral species. On the other hand, this region is also of vast social and economic importance with over 70% of the population of almost 2 billion living in coastal areas. It is not only recognized as the center of marine generic richness and diversity in the world, but also considered to play a very important role in the study of climate change. It is in view of its significance that the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO established its Sub-Commission-WESTPAC in this region in 1989, aiming to promote and enhance the capacity of its member states in understanding and using the ocean sustainably.
For more information, please visit the UNESCO/IOC Regional Training and Research Center on Ocean Dynamics and Climate (UNESCO/IOC-ODC) ‘s website at http://www.fio.org.cn/english/training_center/index.htm