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The US Announces $800k Support to the IAEA Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre

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The United States’ Government this week announced a US$ 839,000 contribution to support the work of the IAEA Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC). The announcement, made at the 2018 Our Ocean Conference in Bali, comes in addition to earlier US donations to the Centre, including the most recent one in 2017.

Established in 2013, the OA-ICC coordinates and promotes global ocean acidification studies and activities and provides a platform for international cooperation in this area. Often referred to as the “other CO2 problem” alongside global warming, the acidification of oceans threatens coral reefs, fish and other marine animals and plants.

David Osborn, Director of the IAEA Environment Laboratories, said: “The imperative to study and understand the impacts of ocean acidification continues to grow. In fact, we must accelerate our efforts. In this regard, the IAEA is extremely grateful to the US government for its ongoing support of the OA-ICC.”

The new contribution brings the total support from the United States to the OA-ICC over the past five years to over US$ 3 million, provided through the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI). Nicole Shampaine, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna remarked: “Promoting a sustainable blue economy and sustainable fisheries are key priorities for the United States. And the ocean needs our concerted action – in order to stay healthy and productive.” Several other countries have also provided financial and in-kind support to the Centre.

The OA-ICC promotes international collaboration and coordination on ocean acidification by providing access to data and resources, developing standardized methodology and best practices, raising awareness among various stakeholders and training the next generation of ocean acidification scientists.

To achieve these goals, the OA-ICC works with many international partners and supports global and regional ocean acidification networks, including the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network.

The work of the OA-ICC is key to supporting countries as they prepare to monitor and respond to ocean acidification as part of their work to achieve Goal 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Osborn said. Target three of this goal specifically focuses on tackling ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.

How nuclear science and technology help us protect our oceans will be a topic discussed at the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology. Watch the event live on 28-30 November 2018. Have a look at the full programme here.

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