26 January 2018
Sailors and scientists are heading to the Philippines aboard Tara, ready to continue their work in the waters of the Philippine archipelago. Meanwhile, the Tara Expeditions Foundation is waiting for an essential element for this mission: the Philippine government’s authorization to pursue Tara Pacific’s scientific work, the global study of Pacific coral reefs conducted in cooperation with the 30 countries already visited.
For Romain Troublé, executive director of the Tara Foundation, the Philippine government’s decision is important for science, but also for raising awareness. He explains: “The Tara Pacific research aims to advance understanding of the impact of climate change on the reefs. Our sole ambition is to advance fundamental research in order to understand the intimate processes of coral bleaching. 2018 has been designated “International Year of Coral Reefs” due to the serious dangers threatening the future of reef biodiversity and the people who depend on it”, he says.
The Tara Foundation has therefore invited the Philippine government to collaborate with them and benefit from international scientific expertise by including the Philippine reefs in this unprecedented study of the Pacific Ocean. “Whenever possible, Tara welcomes aboard researchers from the country where we’re collecting our samples”.
© Tara Expeditions Foundation
Patience and confidence are in order. “We know that the authorization process is complex, and we have been working on it for several months with the French Embassy. We sincerely hope that the Philippines will respond favorably to this ambitious study program and will dispatch a scientist from the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines aboard the schooner”.
Thus the Tara Expeditions Foundation is proposing to include the Philippine scientific community in a research program of excellence, as evidenced by the recent results published in Nature Communications on January 25, 2018, revealing 110 million new genes from the marine world, half of which have functions that are still totally unknown.
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