SOCIB joins the YGLs Learning Journey on a Sustainable Future for the Mediterranean

On Friday 3 September, Joaquín Tintoré, director of the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB), was invited to participate in the first post-COVID-19 Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) Learning Journey in Mallorca. Born out of the World Economic Forum, the YGLs is a community of enterprising, socially-minded leaders working as a force for good. More than 30 YGLs, from 12 countries and all walks of life-athletes, CEOs, scientists, entrepreneurs, politicians, etc.- joined this event to imagine a sustainable future for the Mediterranean. During his presentation, Tintoré encouraged participants to approach climate change and sustainability in an integrated and optimistic manner, acting now, to transform the Balearic Islands into an innovation laboratory and a leading actor for sustainability and climate action.

In the context of strengthening the response to the threat of climate change, Tintoré stressed that information on marine environments is more than ever needed for science-informed decision-making and urgent climate action. In this regard, the director of SOCIB presented the Mediterranean Sea as a well-known, reduced-scale ocean, an ideal natural laboratory to study global ocean processes, in particular, those associated with meso- and submesoscale variability, interactions with mean flows, and associated ecosystem response. Furthermore, Tintoré pointed out the need of enhancing our marine environmental monitoring and forecasting capabilities, highlighting the role of marine research infrastructures such as SOCIB that provide streams of data, added-value products, and forecasting services. “New technologies and approaches are emerging to vastly improve ocean observations. In this context, at SOCIB we implement and bring state-of-the-art multi-platform systems and technology to monitor and sustain high-resolution observations in coastal and open ocean regions,” the researcher said.

Also, he showed the three main drivers of SOCIB’s activity: scientific excellence, technological development and innovation, and strategic societal priorities connecting and engaging society in all its diversity to the ocean (Ocean Literacy and outreach); acting as mission drivers. Following this mission, Tintoré explained how SOCIB joins international efforts to build a strong interdisciplinary science of complex, multilevel systems that will enable to match governance arrangements to specific problems embedded in a social-ecological context. In particular, SOCIB engages in EOOS, GOOS, and EuroGOOS for a strong common voice and partnerships, and is part of initiatives such as the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development’s (2021-2030) CoastPredict Programme, co-chaired by SOCIB, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the University of Bologna, and the University of Miami; among others.

To conclude, Tintoré asked for leadership from participants to join efforts to act now for a sustainable future in the Balearic Islands in a climate emergency situation. “We must act now! There is an urgent need for sustainability, and we already have the capacities, know-how, and support from civil society. Now, we need leadership, the right structures, partnership, and enhanced and sustained funding,” he said.

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