Cabo Verdean President visits GEOMAR
4 May 2019 / Kiel
Further Consolidation of Long-standing Cooperation with the West African Republic
The President of the Republic of Cabo Verde, His Excellency Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, today visits the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel as part of his first official journey to Germany. For more than 15 years, research institutions in Cabo Verde and Germany have been cooperating very successfully in the field of marine and climate research. In 2017, GEOMAR launched the operation of the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo in the port of Mindelo jointly with the Cabo Verdean Institute for Fisheries Development (INDP). During his visit, President Fonseca, accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, will inform himself at GEOMAR about current marine research topics and innovative marine technology.
The region around the Cape Verde Islands located in the eastern tropical and subtropical Atlantic is considered one of the key areas in terms of the feedback effects of global environmental change. This will allow scientists to study changes in ocean circulation or deoxygenation. On the other hand, the huge dust input from the Sahara with its fertilizing effect is of great importance for the marine productivity in the region and its influence on the carbon cycle in the ocean.
“GEOMAR and Cabo Verde is a success story”, says Prof. Dr. Arne Körtzinger, marine chemist at GEOMAR and scientific director of the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo (OSCM). “When we started our research activities in this region more than 15 years ago, Cabo Verde was not completely new for us from a scientific point of view. There were not only a multitude of exciting scientific questions, but also the possibility to integrate our research with the local expertise”, explains Prof. Körtzinger.
“We are extremely pleased that His Excellency Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca is visiting GEOMAR and thus underscoring the very good and friendly relationship we have had with Cabo Verde for many years”, says Prof. Dr. Peter Herzig, Director of GEOMAR. “Over the years, a relationship of trust has been established on the scientific as well as on the political level. The Cape Verde Islands have proven to be a reliable partner in the region for us”, " Herzig continues. This ultimately contributed to the joint project of the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo, a research and logistics station, in which we invested around 3 million euros. Since the end of 2017, the OSCM has been providing the international basis for many expeditions and research activities of GEOMAR, but also for other cooperating institutions. In addition to research and education, the OSCM also serves as a venue for high-level political events. “Among others, we were able to welcome Prince Albert II of Monaco or the EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas and thus support the broad and excellent international relations of the Republic of Cabo Verde”, explains Prof. Herzig.
“The State of Schleswig-Holstein is proud of the long-standing cooperation with the Cape Verde Islands”, says the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein Daniel Günther, who welcomed President Fonseca and his high-ranking delegation at the guest house of the state government. “It is remarkable to see what has already been achieved with the cooperation”, says Günther. He would be pleased if the visit would lead to new joint projects.
During his visit to GEOMAR, current research projects and innovative technologies are presented to the President of Cabo Verde. Finally, he will meet Cabo Verdean students, who are given the opportunity to study at Kiel University or elsewhere in Germany. “The strengthening of capacities is very important to us”, explains Prof. Arne Körtzinger. “The local expertise and involvement of the scientists is an important element in the long-term and successful operation of research in this region”, says the marine scientist, who has just been awarded a UNESCO Chair for Integrated Marine Research at the University of Kiel.