Preparation for the 2025 United Nations Oceans Conference

  • International
Published on June 26, 2023 Updated on July 28, 2023

on the June 26, 2023

NU 2025
NU 2025

From June 5 to 12, a delegation from Université Côte d'Azur visited Costa Rica and Panama at the invitation of the French Embassy and with support from the University's Initiative of Excellence. The main purpose of the visit was to participate in the academic and scientific conference: "Oceans and Societies: Towards a cooperation network between France and Central America”. The visit also served to strengthen current partnerships and to forge new ones. 

In the past, the University of Costa Rica and Université Côte d'Azur already enjoyed a strong partnership on the theme of socio-environmental challenges, led by the Graduate School ODYSSEE. As part of this partnership, the university's Initiative of Excellence earmarked 125,000 euros to develop a chair shared by the two universities. Since then, several short and longer trips have been organized around the Oceans theme and as part of a project supported by the PACA Sud Region to support the development of the cocoa industry. 

Paving the way for the 2025 United Nations Ocean Conference (UNOC) in Nice

The conference last June organized by the French Embassy in Costa Rica, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the University of Costa Rica and the International Ocean Institute, paves the way for the 2025 United Nations Ocean Conference (UNOC) in Nice, co-organized by France and Costa Rica. It provided a forum for academic and scientific discussion on various topics related to oceans and integrated coastal management, with a focus on both natural and societal aspects. Collaborative workspaces were also set up to establish and strengthen scientific alliances that will lead to preparation and submission of several joint project proposals. 

The conference was organized around three main themes: 
•    Marine and coastal governance and management. 
•    Climate variability and extreme events. 
•    Marine and coastal pollution and impacts. 

The conference also addressed two transversal aspects that ran through all three themes: biodiversity and societies.

The delegation from Université Côte d'Azur was involved in several ways: 
•    Marie Yasmine Bottein (Deputy Director ECOSEAS and Steering Committee of the Academy of Excellence Space, Environment, Risks and Resilience) took part in a round table on marine and coastal pollution and impacts, with Karol Ulate (Universidad Nacional), Edgar Dusacre (La Rochelle University - remotely), Karla Paz (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala) and Oscar Amaya (Universidad El Salvador).
•    Benoit Derijard (ECOSEAS researcher and leader of the FEAMP RECIF project) took part in a round table on governance and coastal management with Edgardo Díaz (Estación cientifica Coiba AIP), Camille Mazé (La Rochelle University), Ester López (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras), Johanna Segovia (Universidad Francisco Gavidia) and Erick Villagrán (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala).
•    Jean Christophe Martin (Director of the Institute for Peace and Development and holder of the Unesco Chair in Peace and Development through Law) and Christophe Mocquet (Director of the MSc MARRES) took part in a round table on the legal challenges of coastal zone governance, which opened with a plenary lecture by Jean Christophe Martin. Other participants were Annie Cudennec (Université de Bretagne Occidentale), Denis Duclos (Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle), Oscar Juárez (Universidad Nacional), Vanessa Merlo (Universidad Autónoma Nacional de Honduras), Fabio Buitrago (Ecólogo marino, remotely) and Oscar Danilo González (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua - León)
•    Eric Rottinger (IRCAN Research Director and Director of the MARRES Federative Institute) and Marie Yasmine Bottein contributed to a round table on chemical contaminants that started with a plenary lecture by Eric Rottinger, with Andrea Suarez (Universidad Nacional), Vianney Pichereau (Université de Bretagne Occidentale), Nancy Ariza (Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica) and Eddy Gómez (Universidad de Costa Rica).
•    Cécile Sabourault (Vice-President International Development and ECOSEAS Director) presented the international strategy of Université Côte d'Azur.
Alongside the conference, field trips were also organized to provide a better understanding of the region's social and cultural context.
Ahead of the Conference, a representative of Université Côte d'Azur joined a delegation that included the research representative of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Alain Lagrange) and the deputy director of the MNHN (Denis Duclot), to visit Costa Rican universities and laboratories with links to the sea. 

Connecting Costa Rican and Panamanian research ecosystems to socio-environmental challenges

Finally, at the request of the Embassy and more specifically the Central American Service for Cooperation and Cultural Action (SCAC), several members of the Université Côte d'Azur delegation travelled to Panama to establish connections between Costa Rican and Panamanian research ecosystems around socio-environmental challenges in anticipation of the 2025 UNOC Conference in Nice.

In both Costa Rica and Panama, the visit gave Université Côte d'Azur representatives the opportunity to meet local diplomats, notably at the invitation of Her Excellency Madam Ambassador Alexandra Bellayer-Roille in Costa Rica and His Excellency Arnaud de Sury in Panama.