Nearly 100 government officials and researchers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) took part in the BRICS Workshop on Climate Prediction and Marine Disaster Prevention and Mitigation on 12-13 December 2022.
The Ocean Decade-endorsed workshop was hosted by the Administrative Centre for China’s Agenda 21 (ACCA21) and co-organized by the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Decade Collaborative Centre on Ocean-Climate Nexus and Coordination Amongst Decade Implementing Partners in P.R. China (DCC-OCC). Held in a hybrid format in Qingdao, China, and online, the two days of discussions sought to deepen practical cooperation among BRICS countries in the marine and polar fields, with the aim of developing a flagship project on climate prediction and marine disaster prevention and mitigation. Sustainable economic and social development was also a key focus.
In the opening session, Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, highlighted the progress of the UN Ocean Decade and acknowledged the importance of the upcoming BRICS flagship project, which will contribute to achieving the vision of the Decade – “the science we need for the ocean we want”. Setting the tone for the event, he looked forward to high-quality cooperation among BRICS countries under the framework of the Decade. All the participants echoed the importance of the flagship collaborative project and promoting its implementation.
ACCA21, which plays a leading role in the BRICS Working Group on Ocean and Polar Science and Technology and is an Ocean Decade Implementing Partner, has continuously expanded the scope of cooperation in marine science and technology among BRICS countries. ACCA21’s Chief Engineer Dr. Hong Sun mentioned in particular the establishment of scientific and technological cooperation platforms, intergovernmental research and joint scientific expeditions. Recommendations included further strengthening ocean and climate data sharing and capacity building, as well as the application for establishment of a UN Decade Collaborative Centre of BRICS.
From the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Ms. Xuemei Yang, Division Director of the Department of International Cooperation, noted that scientific and technological innovation is a crucial part of the BRICS cooperation framework, with significant progress made. Ms. Yang hoped the workshop would facilitate breakthroughs in marine and polar cooperation in BRICS countries.
This year, MNR has taken the lead with the approval of the State Council of China and worked together with other relevant ministries to establish the Chinese National Decade Committee and formulate China’s Action Framework for the Ocean Decade. Echoing Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin’s words, Mr. Antao Wang, Division Director of the International Cooperation Department of MNR, emphasized how China is keen to strengthen marine cooperation with BRICS countries under the framework of the Decade, jointly enhance scientific understanding of the ocean, and support the regular organization of ocean-related BRICS workshops. Mr. Wang also called for the promotion of knowledge and information sharing and the development of a “Global Blue Partnership”.
A preeminent ocean institution in China, the First Institute of Oceanography (FIO) has greatly contributed to breakthroughs and progress in the field of climate prediction. Looking to the future, FIO Director General Professor Tiegang Li expressed the vision for jointly conducting research, sharing advanced scientific results and products and contributing knowledge to the second “Golden Decade” of BRICS cooperation.
Six Keynote Speakers shared the latest achievements, developments and challenges in climate prediction and marine disaster prevention and mitigation. The experts focused on the needs and application scenarios of BRICS countries, working to propose new ideas and plans for promoting scientific and technological cooperation in the ocean and polar fields:
- Coastal-SOS and BRICS cooperation under the UN Decade framework – Academician Minhan Dai, Xiamen University, China
- Introduction of BRICS STI FP – Yaroslav Sorokotyaga, Secretariat of the BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Mechanism Flagship Projects
- Climate prediction and marine disaster prevention and mitigation – A proposal for a BRICS flagship project – Fangli Qiao, FIO Deputy Director General
- Oceans, sustainable development, climate change mitigation and resilience: A perspective from South Africa – Harald Winkler, School of Economics, University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Preliminary attempt of marine science and technology cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries – Jie Xu, Director, Centre for Regional Oceans, University of Macau, China
- The Mega-Delta programme and BRICS cooperation proposal – Qing He, Director, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, China
Fifteen experts also gave inspiring presentations, attending from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, Shilshov Institute of Oceanography, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of Russia, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Ministry of Earth Sciences of India, South Africa Meteorological Service, University of Cape Town, South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), Shanghai Jiao Tong University of China, Polar Research Institute of China, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and FIO. The important topics covered Ocean and Climate Joint Observation, Prediction and Services; Best Practice on Ocean-based Solutions to Climate Change; and Climate Change in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The new flagship project will continue to be a priority in 2023, around which the representatives had enthusiastic and active discussions on the theme and directions. Building on joint scientific research and technical cooperation, it was decided that efforts will converge to set up a database and information platform for climate prediction and marine disaster prevention and mitigation, formulate relevant standards, norms and sharing mechanisms among BRICS countries, as well as to follow best practices and emphasize the importance of collaboration for ocean-based solutions to climate change. The new platform marks a key outcome of a productive, collaborative workshop.
In wrapping up, Dr. Wentao Wang, ACCA21 Ocean Division Director, applauded the important opportunity provided by the workshop for actively addressing the common challenges of BRICS countries and promoting the upcoming flagship project. As the lead of the BRICS Working Group on Ocean and Polar Science and Technology in China, ACCA21 continues to promote practical cooperation among BRICS countries on ocean issues.
The next key moment will be the 5th Meeting of the BRICS Working Group on Ocean and Polar Science and Technology, to be held in South Africa in 2023. It is expected that the participants will put together the latest developments, case studies and highlights so as to contribute BRICS knowledge and solutions to climate prediction, marine disaster prevention and mitigation and sustainable development, and to provide support for the flagship project.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Huize Zheng, Project Manager
The Administrative Centre for China’s Agenda 21
Dr. Li Li, Director of the International Cooperation Department; Senior Scientist
First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources