Monday, 06 May 2019 14:28

Black Sea countries launch science agenda for sustainable blue growth

Cooperation on marine research and innovation in the Black Sea region is receiving a strong boost with the adoption of the Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). The agenda, prepared by researchers and scientists from the region’s major marine research institutes and scientific bodies, aims to make the Black Sea more productive, healthy, resilient, sustainable and better-valued by 2030. It will be the research and innovation pillar of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea, to be agreed at the end of May.

Human activities and their impacts like eutrophication, overfishing, and climate change are increasingly affecting the fragile marine ecosystem in the Black Sea. The agenda adopted will address those challenges, while using research and innovation to boost sustainable economic growth from the sea. It also provides a basis to explore synergies with research activities in other sea basins like the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. The process brings together experts from seven Black Sea countries: the Republic of Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, and the Republic of Moldova. The European Union has played a key facilitating role: by offering a forum for discussions, bringing the relevant experts and policymakers to the table, and providing technical guidance. It will continue to support the implementation of SRIA and help scale up regional cooperation through, for instance, Horizon 2020 funding. SRIA builds on the Burgas Vision PaperSearch adopted at the 2018 European Maritime Day in Burgas, Bulgaria and takes into account the results of the research projects carried out in the Black Sea since 2010.