Ambassador visits French scientific research vessel in London ahead of COP21

Ambassador Bermann went aboard the schooner Tara at its moorings in London’s Docklands, where scientists warned of the impact of climate change on the oceans

11 September 2015

On Thursday 10 September, the Ambassador was welcomed aboard the French scientific research vessel Tara, which is moored in London’s Docklands from 9-14 September. This unique schooner and its crew of scientists and researchers are in London to present the latest findings from their recent 70,000-mile, four-year trip across the world’s oceans collecting thousands of samples from the sea bed. The team discovered a vast hidden world of plankton – including a catalogue of several million new genes – which will provide the first complete overview of the ocean’s planktonic ecosystem.

The Ambassador was given a tour of the schooner, which sleeps up to 18 people, and attended a press conference given by the scientists who took part in Tara’s round-the-world expedition. They warned of the dangers posed by global warming to the biodiversity of the world’s oceans, and called for oceans to play a key role in the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris.

Étienne Bourgois, director of the French fashion label agnès b, which is the main sponsor of Tara Expeditions, spoke of the crew’s mission to raise public awareness of the importance of the oceans, in particular amongst schoolchildren. After stop-overs in Greenland and Stockholm, London is Tara’s final port of call before it heads back to France in time for the Paris COP21 meeting, and the schooner is open to the public for visits on the weekend of 12-13 September at its moorings at Thames Quay, West India Docks.

In an interview with Tara’s on-board journalist, Ambassador Bermann hailed the vessel’s London stop-over as a symbol of the extensive cooperation that exists between France and the UK in the field of science. The full interview (in French only) is available here.

For more information about Tara, visit the Tara Expeditions website: http://oceans.taraexpeditions.org/en/

Published on 14/09/2015

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