ECNU signs deal with IMBeR on ocean sustainability


ECNU signs a memorandum of cooperation with the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR).

The impact of climate change has become a hot issue in scientific research. To explore the sustainable development of the oceans and human society against global climate change, ECNU signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) early this month. IMBeR, formerly the Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) project, is a global environmental change research initiative co-sponsored by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and Future Earth, with the vision “Ocean sustainability under global change for the benefit of society” for the next decade (2016-2025).

International project office signing ceremony & partnership seminar.

IMBeR International Project Office-China

According to the MoU, IMBeR will set up its International Project Office-China in the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research (SKLEC), ECNU. The newly founded office will promote IMBeR research with a focus on the Asia-Pacific Region, Middle East, and Africa, support and coordinate the activities of IMBeR regional programmes and working groups, undertake educational outreach activities of IMBeR-related science, and promote capacity building of IMBeR relevant skills.

The existing IMBeR International Project Office in Bergen, Norway will relocate to Halifax, Canada by 1st April 2020. The newly set-up international project office in ECNU and its Canadian counterpart are two independent and mutually supportive offices of IMBeR. 

At the ceremony held on Jan 16, ECNU President Qian Xuhong and Chair of IMBeR Scientific Steering Committee Carol Robinson signed the MoU and unveiled the plaque for the International Project Office-China.

ECNU President Qian Xuhong and Chair of IMBeR Scientific Steering Committee Carol Robinson unveil the plaque for the International Project Office-China.

A long history of cooperation

According to President Qian, the cooperation between ECNU and IMBeR dates back to 2010 when both sides signed the MoU to set up a regional office at ECNU. Six major Chinese research projects had been successfully endorsed by IMBeR and had gained international attention during the past nine years. Qian said that the cooperation had made SKLEC more internationalized.

President Qian gives a speech.

The office is also an important part of ECNU’s “Internationalization +”Action Plan, which focuses on international cooperation in the frontiers of scientific and technological innovation.

Carol Robinson gives special thanks to ECNU and SKLEC.

On behalf of IMBeR, Carol Robinson gave special thanks to ECNU and SKLEC for their consistent support. She appreciated the achievements the regional office had so far made and said that she had higher expectations for the new International Project Office and its programs. She introduced IMBeR’s scientific contributions to the marine sustainable development and the promotion of human well-being in a speech at the inauguration ceremony of the office.

John Claydon, Lisa Maddison, Carol Robinson, Qin Kai and Zuo Fang (from left to right).

John Claydon and Lisa Maddison detailed the strategic planning and organizational structure of IMBeR, reviewed the past development of the IMBeR regional office and revealed some of the upcoming programs that IMBeR had in store. Both John Claydon and Lisa Maddison will come to Shanghai regularly to work with ZUO Fang and QIN Kai (IMBeR IPO-China).

A seminar on IMBeR strategic partnership with ECNU and supporting agencies

A seminar on strategic partnership was held after the agreement-signing ceremony. Three experts gave speeches on the topics of “Geochemical cycle of trace elements and isotopic marine life”, “The high-resolution numerical forecast system of ecological environment along China’s offshore and in the Pacific” and “Healthy and sustainable development of China’s marginal sea in a perspective of mariculture. The attendees, including IMBeR’s academic research team in China, discussed about these topics in greater depth and offered suggestions on the development of ECNU-IMBeR strategic partnership, the newly founded office and its supporting institutes and international scientific projects.

Three experts are invited to give speeches on ocean sustainability.

Strategic partnership seminar.

Participants of the ceremony and the seminar included IMBeR Scientific Steering Committee member, Prof. WU Ying (SKLEC); Prof. DING Pingxing, Director of the Faculty of Earth Sciences; Prof. GAO Shu, SKLEC Director; Prof. HE Qing, Dean of the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Research; Prof. TANG Jianwu, Overseas Dean of the Institute of Eco-Chongming. Also present were heads of other relevant departments of ECNU, IMBeR IPO staff members, Ms. FANG Dejia, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department, Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, experts from five marine-related supporting institutes in China (Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology, Ocean University of China, Qingdao; School of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai; State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, Shanghai; State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography (Ministry of Natural Resources), Hangzhou; Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao), as well as representatives of several international scientific projects (Future Earth Coasts; CLIVAR; SOLAS; GEOTRACES).

Written by: Guo Wenjun, Li Jing, Qin Kai

Edited by: Guo Wenjun

Proofread by: Lisa Maddison, Zuo Fang, Joshua Mayfield

Photos by: Yu Wenxi, Liu Jifeng


East China Normal University