Full House at the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo
25 November 2019 / Mindelo
Cabo Verde Ocean Week starts with port call of three research vessels and high-level meetings
The Ocean Science Centre Mindelo (OSCM), jointly operated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and the newly formed Instituto do Mar (IMar), is looking forward to a very busy week. Three research vessels, among them the German ships METEOR and MARIA S. MERIAN, will call port in Mindelo. On Monday, 25 November, the 2ndCabo Verde Ocean Week (CVOW) will be opened by the President of the Republic of Cabo Verde followed by a high-level meeting of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). In addition, WASCAL will officially launch a new master programme on climate change and marine sciences.
Mindelo is one of the preferred harbors for German research vessels operating in the eastern tropical Atlantic. Next week two German vessels, RV METEOR and RV MARIA S. MERIAN, and the Dutch vessel PELAGIA will call port there to exchange scientific crews. In addition, the Cabo Verde Ocean Week (CVOW) will be opened at the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo (OSCM) by the Mayor of São Vicente Island, the Minister of Maritime Economy and the President of the Republic of Cabo Verde. The OSCM, which is jointly operated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and the newly formed Instituto do Mar (IMar), successor of the former cooperation partner INDP, will host the Governing Board Meeting of the “West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use” (WASCAL), funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. WASCAL will officially launch a new master programme on climate change and marine sciences at the Faculty of Engineering and Marine Sciences of the University of Cabo Cerde.
“Cabo Verde, Mindelo and the OSCM are reliable partners in the western African region”, says Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck, physical oceanographer from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. “This facilitates our logistics in Mindelo quite substantially”, according to Martin Visbeck. He headed the scientific crew on the German research vessel METEOR which just returned to Mindelo where he passes on to Prof. Arne Körtzinger, marine chemist from GEOMAR who will investigate mesoscale eddies near Cabo Verde during the next four weeks in a joint mission with Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht and other German partners. Two days after the METEOR, the Dutch research vessel PELAGIA arrives followed by MARIA S. MERIAN another two days later. From the latter one, a team from Kiel University departs and geologists from GEOMAR will take over for a mission on sea floor exploration in the western tropical Atlantic.
Either before heading home or departing for the next cruise, the scientists will also visit the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo. During the Cabo Verde Ocean Week (CVOW) numerous international re-owned experts from the marine and maritime field are invited to a series of panels sessions dedicated to the ocean and representatives from the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), FAO, World Bank, and other organizations to be expected. “The Cape Verde Ocean Week is a very important event for our country, and brings together high national and international maritime personalities, representatives from various countries and international organizations, highlighting partners and experts of recognized worldwide merit and deep attention of the seas and oceans”, states Dr. José da Silva Gonçalves, Minister for Maritime Economy of the Republic of Cabo Verde.
The opening is followed by the Governing Board Meeting of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). WASCAL is a large-scale research-focused Climate Service Centre which aims to strengthen research infrastructures and capacities in West Africa related to climate change and by pooling the expertise of eleven West African countries and Germany. During the CVOW, WASCAL will formally launch a new master programme on climate change and marine science. “The new programme will provide 12 students from West Africa with excellent opportunities for additional qualifications and perspectives on marine and environmental sciences”, states Cordula Zenk, OSCM Executive Officer and Coordinator of the German-Cabo Verdean Cooperation at GEOMAR. The programme will be hosted both at the University of Cabo Verde and the OSCM and start in January 2020.
“As evidenced by the coincidence of high-profile activities around it, the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo develops more and more towards the centre of gravity for marine research and capacity building in the western African region”, Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck, summarizes.